Research Papers

Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Air Management in Automotive Applications

[+] Author and Article Information
Benjamin Blunier

Transport and Systems Laboratory (SeT)-EA 3317/UTBM, University of Technology of Belfort -Montbéliard, Belfort 90000, Francebenjamin.blunier@utbm.fr

Abdellatif Miraoui

Transport and Systems Laboratory (SeT)-EA 3317/UTBM, University of Technology of Belfort -Montbéliard, Belfort 90000, France

2015 targets. The target is $45/kW.

20,000 h in steady state conditions.

At high currents, hydrogen at the anode side should be also humidified (outside the scope of this paper) because electro-osmotic drag (from anode to cathode) prevails on diffusion (cathode to anode).



J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 7(4), 041007 (Apr 06, 2010) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4000627 History: Received April 28, 2008; Revised August 06, 2009; Published April 06, 2010; Online April 06, 2010

This paper deals with the state-of-the-art of air management in proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), which is a challenge because commercial compressors and humidification systems are not suitable for automotive applications. Major tasks and requirements for compression and humidification subsystems have been introduced, showing that compression and humidification subsystems cannot be decoupled. A higher working pressure around 2.5 bar is recommended because it permits the PEMFC to have a higher efficiency, as well as a lighter stack and a lower volume than an equivalent PEMFC working at a lower pressure; moreover, the water necessary for humidifying the membrane decreases, resulting in a simple management. For high pressure fuel cells, centrifugal compressors or positive displacement compressors with internal compression have to be preferred than those with external compression because they offer a better efficiency. The built-in compression ratio has to be as close as possible to the fuel cell working pressure to ensure maximum efficiency. Downstream or integrated direct water injection has shown many advantages for air humidification compared with other methods because of its controllability, low power consumption, and compactness.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Fuel cell system

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Figure 2

Radar diagram of the state-of-the-art and objectives (2010) for a 80 kW (net) of fuel cell systems

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Figure 3

Radar diagram of the state-of-the-art and objectives (2010) of compression systems for a 80 kW (net) fuel cell systems

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Figure 4

Membrane specific resistance versus average water content at 80°C and with the same water activity at the anode and cathode side (i.e., no diffusion or electro-osmotic drag)

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Figure 5

Compression and humidification

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Figure 6

Net cell voltage change versus operating pressure for different air excess ratio

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Figure 7

Influence of the working pressure on the water content to achieve the given humidity level

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Figure 15

Three compression system topologies: M=Motor, T=Turbine or Expander, and C=Compressor

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Figure 16

Compressor test bench

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Figure 17

Iso-power lines for the fuel cell gross power versus mass flow and pressure

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Figure 18

Predicted performances of a fuel cell system for a given compressor

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Figure 9

Comparison between several kinds of compressors

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Figure 10

P-V diagram of different kinds of compression

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Figure 11

Speed-mass flow characteristic of the scroll compressor

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Figure 12

Centrifugal compressor map

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Figure 13

Internal view of the compressor TT-300 from Danfoss Turbocor: permanent magnet motor (750 W); magnetic bearings; rotational speed: 48,000 rpm; rotor built-in neodyme magnets (22)

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Figure 14

Turbocompressor from Mohawk Innovative Technology: permanent synchronous motor 12 kW; air foil bearings; rotational speed: 20,000–120,000 rpm (24)



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