This paper presents a dynamic model of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) and its performance test under direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC) operation conditions. The proposed fuel cell model involves all voltage losses, thermal dynamics and methanol reformer. SOFC model is developed on Matlab/Simulink environment. First, DC load following capability of proposed SOFC dynamic model is examined. Then, the SOFC dynamic model is connected to single-machine infinite bus through a transmission line. To connect the proposed SOFC dynamic model to AC bus, a basic power conditioner unit (PCU) is designed. A PCU, which consists of a DC–DC boost converter, a DC–AC inverter, their controller, transformer and filter, is designed. Finally, the proposed SOFC model is also simulated for an AC power system that has sinusoidal voltage of 400 V, frequency of 50 Hz and resistive load of 200 W. The simulation results show that the proposed SOFC dynamic model has followed fairly DC load variations. Also, the output voltage of fuel cell system under maximum DC load conditions is obtained as 280 V. The designed power conditioning unit is suitable for studying AC power system applications. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.