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Research Papers

Design Methodology of a Proton Exchange Membrane Modular Fuel Cell of 100 W Power Output

[+] Author and Article Information
Munzer S. Y. Ebaid

P. O. Box (970674), 11194-Amman, Jordanmebaid2@philadelphia.edu.jo

Mohamad Y. Mustafa

P. O. Box (970674), 11194-Amman, Jordanmustafa4@coventry.ac.uk

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 8(6), 061017 (Sep 28, 2011) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4004506 History: Received February 06, 2011; Revised June 30, 2011; Published September 28, 2011; Online September 28, 2011

The design of the fuel cell plays a major role in determining their cost. It is not only the cost of materials that increases the cost of the fuel cell, but also the manufacturing techniques and the need for skilled technicians for assembling and testing the fuel cell. The work presented in this paper is part of a research work aims to design and manufacture a proton exchange membrane (PEM) modular fuel cell of 100 W output at low cost using conventional materials and production techniques, then testing the fuel cell to validate its performance. This paper will be dealing only with the design of a modular fuel cell that can be mass produced and used to set up a larger fuel cell stack for stationary applications (6 kW) which is capable of powering a medium sized household. The design for 100 W fuel cell module will include the calculations for the main dimensions of the fuel cell components, mass flow rate of reactants, water production, heat output, heat transfer and the cooling system. This work is intended to facilitate material and process selection prior to manufacturing alternatives prior to capital investment for wide-scale production. The authors believe that the paper would lead to a stimulating discussion.

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Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Estimated percentage cost of each of the major components of the fuel cell

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Figure 2

Exploded View of a PEM fuel cell stack [2]

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Figure 3

Microscopic image depicting the random fiber structure of a GDL formed of Toray® carbon paper [11]

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Figure 4

Schematic representation of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), not to scale

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Figure 5

A graph of fuel cell area against the number of cells in a 0.1 kW and 1 kW fuel cell stacks

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Figure 6

Estimated temperature drop in fuel cell component for current density i = 0.1 and 1.0 A cm−2 for Toray® carbon paper and SIGRACET® 5% PTFE as the diffusion media. (—) i = 0.1 A/cm2 (Toray), (– · – · –) i = 1.0 A/cm2 (Toray® ), (– – –) i = 0.1 A/cm2 SIGRACET® ); (–· · –· · –) i = 1.0 A/cm2 (SIGRACET® ). CL: catalyst layer, DM: diffusion media, and BP is bipolar plate 19.

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Figure 7

Schematic of the heat flux in the fuel cell cathode (not to scale)

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Figure 8

A SolidWorks CAD isometric drawing of a single cell fuel cell, the trough, the meshed plate electrodes, inlet and outlet ports can be seen (drawing to scale)

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Figure 9

Complete fuel cell module, comprising 6 single cells, 9 troughs, 6 end plates and two cooling gaps, the electrical poles and gas ports can be seen in the drawing

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