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Research Papers

Dynamic Model of the High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Stack Temperature

[+] Author and Article Information
Søren Juhl Andreasen

Institute of Energy Technology, Aalborg University, Pontoppidastraede 101, Aalborg East DK-9220, Denmarksja@iet.aau.dk

Søren Knudsen Kær

Institute of Energy Technology, Aalborg University, Pontoppidastraede 101, Aalborg East DK-9220, Denmark

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 6(4), 041006 (Aug 12, 2009) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3081461 History: Received June 13, 2007; Revised August 13, 2008; Published August 12, 2009

The present work involves the development of a model for predicting the dynamic temperature of a high temperature proton exchange membrane (HTPEM) fuel cell stack. The model is developed to test different thermal control strategies before implementing them in the actual system. The test system consists of a prototype cathode air cooled 30 cell HTPEM fuel cell stack developed at the Institute of Energy Technology at Aalborg University. This fuel cell stack uses PEMEAS Celtec P-1000 membranes and runs on pure hydrogen in a dead-end anode configuration with a purge valve. The cooling of the stack is managed by running the stack at a high stoichiometric air flow. This is possible because of the polybenzimidazole (PBI) fuel cell membranes used and the very low pressure drop in the stack. The model consists of a discrete thermal model dividing the stack into three parts: inlet, middle, and end. The temperature is predicted in these three parts, where they also are measured. The heat balance of the system involves a fuel cell model to describe the heat added by the fuel cells when a current is drawn. Furthermore the model also predicts the temperatures when heating the stack with external heating elements for start-up, heat conduction through stack insulation, cathode air convection, and heating of the inlet gases in the manifold. Various measurements are presented to validate the model predictions of the stack temperatures.

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Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Fuel cell system schematic, showing the balance-of-plant configuration

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Figure 2

The HTPEM fuel cell system with the top fuel cell mounted thermocouples visible

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Figure 3

Picture of a bipolar plate and the placement of the manifolds and temperature measurements

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Figure 4

Schematic showing the varying temperatures in the manifold and fuel cell channels

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Figure 5

Simulation example of typical dynamic temperature behavior of the HTPEM fuel cell stack at 500 s heating with 1500 W and following a load step of 20 A. Middle stack temperature is controlled.

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Figure 6

Simulation example of typical dynamic temperature behavior of the HTPEM fuel cell stack at 500s heating with 1500 W and following a load step of 20 A. End stack temperature is controlled.

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Figure 7

Experimental results using a constant electrical heating of 400 W

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Figure 8

Simulation results using a constant electrical heating of 350 W

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Figure 9

Experimental steady-state results with the fuel cell stack loaded at 20 A

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Figure 10

Simulation results with 1500 W heating and 20 A constant current load

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Figure 11

Simulation with different values of hnat.conv,i

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Figure 12

Experimental results with pulsating air flow

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Figure 13

Simulation with pulsating air flow

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