Solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) is a device that produces electricity directly from oxidizing a fuel. Some of the advantages are operating at high temperatures and converting various hydrocarbon fuels directly into electricity. This study investigates the parameters that influence the cell characteristics of a cathode-supported SOFC (CS-SOFC) model. Numerical modeling has been performed utilizing low calorific value coal gases, generator gas, and water gas by deriving an SOFC model based on finite element method (FEM). The effects of fuel compositions, temperature, pressure, and porosity on the performance of the developed SOFC have been examined using COMSOL software. These effects are presented by polarization and power curves. A mathematical model has been developed to determine the performance of a CS-SOFC with low calorific value coal gases that were obtained from Turkey/Turk coal. It is predicted that the performance of CS-SOFC is higher than that of the electrolyte-supported SOFC (ES-SOFC) for all studied fuels. Besides this, the cost of the cathode supporting materials for high-performance CS-SOFC is low. The performance of SOFC using water gas is higher than that of the generator gas. This being maybe the hydrogen content of the water gas is higher compared with the generator gas. Therefore, the result confirmed that low calorific value coal gases could be used in SOFCs as a source of fuel. Moreover, the power of the CS-SOFC increases as the pressure, temperature, and hydrogen content increase. (C) 2019 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.