Exergetic Optimization of a PEM Fuel Cell for Domestic Hot Water Heater

[+] Author and Article Information
M. H. Saidi, M. A. Ehyaei

Center of Excellence in Energy Conversion, School of Mechanical Engineering,  Sharif University of Technology, P.O. Box: 11365-9567, Tehran, Iran

A. Abbassi

Mechanical Engineering Department, Amirkabir University of Technology

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 2(4), 284-289 (Mar 26, 2005) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2041672 History: Received December 19, 2004; Revised March 26, 2005

In this paper, a 5kW PEM fuel cell including burner, steam reformer, and water heater for domestic application has been considered. Water is used for cooling of the fuel cell. Cold water is passed through a cooling channel, warmed up and used for domestic water heating. To increase the efficiency, outlet steam of fuel cell is fed to the reformer. The perfomance of the system is optimized by exergy analysis based on the second law of thermodynamics. Also, the effect of burner, fuel cell temperature and stoichiometric air fuel ratio are investigated. In this analysis, pressure loss in the fuel cell and heat transfer of the cooling channel are taken into account whereas, pressure loss in burner and reformer are neglected. Results show, to minimize the entropy generation, fuel cell temperature must be increased to maximize PEM fuel cell temperature. Also, burner and reformer temperature and stoichiometric air fuel ratio must be decreased to 900K, and λ=2, respectively.

Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Principle of PEM fuel cell with proton exchange membrane (16)

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Figure 2

Membrane fuel cell. (1) Anode bipolar plate with flow field for electrical contact and distribution of the reactant. (2) Anode diffusion layer. (3) Catalyst coated membrane. (4) Cathode diffusion layer. (5) Cathode bipolar plate.

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Figure 3

Control volume of the system

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Figure 4

Schematic of reactants and products passage and cooling channel

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Figure 5

Effect of fuel cell temperature on energy efficiency

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Figure 6

Effect of fuel cell temperature on entropy generation

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Figure 7

Effect of burner temperature on efficiency

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Figure 8

Effect of burner temperature on the entropy generation

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Figure 9

Effect of stoichiometric fuel air ratio on entropy generation

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Figure 10

Effect of fuel cell operating pressure on entropy generation




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