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Research Papers

Performance Modeling of a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Fueled With Methanol and Ethanol

[+] Author and Article Information
S. O. Bade Shrestha

Fellow ASME
Department of Mechanical
and Aerospace Engineering,
Western Michigan University,
4601 Campus Drive,
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5343
e-mail: Bade.Shrestha@wmich.edu

Sujith Mohan

Department of Mechanical
and Aerospace Engineering,
Western Michigan University,
4601 Campus Drive,
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5343
e-mail: sujith.mohan@rediffmail.com

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FUEL CELL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received July 16, 2014; final manuscript received August 11, 2014; published online November 14, 2014. Editor: Nigel M. Sammes.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 11(6), 061009 (Dec 01, 2014) (7 pages) Paper No: FC-14-1085; doi: 10.1115/1.4028971 History: Received July 16, 2014; Revised August 11, 2014; Online November 14, 2014

Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) are becoming a choice of a power source in the field of power electronics, and portable devices because of their high energy density. The benefits of using a fuel cell toward the environment will be enhanced if the fuel used for its application comes from renewable sources such as ethanol. A method of modeling of the performance of DMFC was developed and validated with the experimental data obtained from a passive DMFC operated under varying methanol and ethanol concentrations. Impedance spectroscopy was employed to measure ohmic, activation and mass transport losses for all concentrations. Improved performance of the cell was observed when the concentrations of the solutions were closer to stoichiometric values. The model predicted results were compared to the corresponding experimental values and found satisfactory.

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References

Figures

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Fig. 1

Polarization curve showing the effect of methanol concentration [5]

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Fig. 2

Power density curves at different methanol concentrations [5]

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Fig. 3

Typical Nyquist plot [7]

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Fig. 4

Nyquist plot generated for 0.25 M methanol concentration [5]

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Fig. 5

Ohmic losses versus current for 4 M methanol solution

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Fig. 6

Activation losses versus current for 4 M methanol solution

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Fig. 7

Mass transport losses versus current for 4 M methanol solution

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Fig. 8

Constant C1 versus methanol concentration

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Fig. 9

Experimental versus predicted polarization curve for 2 M methanol solution

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Fig. 10

Simulated polarization and power density curve for 5 M and 1.78 M methanol solution

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Fig. 11

V–I curve showing the effect of ethanol concentration

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Fig. 12

Power density curves showing the effect of ethanol concentration

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Fig. 13

Nyquist for 2 M ethanol concentration

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Fig. 14

Experimental versus predicted polarization curve for 0.125 M ethanol solution

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Fig. 15

Simulated polarization and power density curve for 0.85 M and 4 M ethanol solution

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