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Research Papers

Analysis and Optimization of Transient Response of Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells

[+] Author and Article Information
A. Verma

Advanced Materials and Technologies Laboratory,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Virginia Tech,
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0238

R. Pitchumani

Fellow ASME
Advanced Materials and Technologies Laboratory,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Virginia Tech,
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0238
e-mail: pitchu@vt.edu

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 28, 2014; final manuscript received August 4, 2014; published online November 25, 2014. Editor: Nigel M. Sammes.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 12(1), 011005 (Feb 01, 2015) (10 pages) Paper No: FC-14-1089; doi: 10.1115/1.4028972 History: Received July 28, 2014; Revised August 04, 2014; Online November 25, 2014

Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells are well suited for automotive applications compared to other types of fuel cells owing to their faster transient response and low-temperature operation. Due to rapid change in loads during automotive applications, study of dynamic behavior is of paramount importance. This study focuses on elucidating the transient response of a PEM fuel cell for specified changes in operating parameters, namely, voltage, pressure, and stoichiometry at the cathode and the anode. Transient numerical simulations are carried out for a single-channel PEM fuel cell to illustrate the response of power as the operating parameters are subjected to specified changes. These parameters are also optimized with an objective to match the power requirements of an automotive drive cycle over a certain period of time.

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References

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Verma, A., and Pitchumani, R., 2014, “Influence of Transient Operating Parameters on the Mechanical Behavior of Fuel Cells,” Technical Report, Advanced Materials and Technologies Laboratory, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA.

Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic of PEM fuel cell [16]

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Fig. 2

Schematic of model domain and associated boundary conditions [16,17]

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Fig. 3

Profile of cyclic variation in operating parameter as a function of time

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Fig. 4

Validation of the numerical model with results from Wang and Wang [4]

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Fig. 5

Variation in power density as a function of time, for cyclic variation in cell voltage for (a) tp = 2 s and (b) tp = 10 s

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Fig. 6

Variation in power density as a function of time, for cyclic variation in anode pressure for (a) tp = 2 s and (b) tp = 10 s

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Fig. 7

Variation in power density as a function of time, for cyclic variation in cathode pressure for (a) tp = 2 s and (b) tp = 10 s

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Fig. 8

Variation in power density as a function of time, for cyclic variation in anode inlet velocity for (a) tp = 2 s and (b) tp = 10 s

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Fig. 9

Variation in power density as a function of time, for cyclic variation in cathode inlet velocity for (a) tp = 2 s and (b) tp = 10 s

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Fig. 10

(a) Desired and simulated power curves for power curve C1, as a function of time and (b) optimized cell voltage for various cathode inlet humidity

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Fig. 11

(a) Desired and simulated power curves for power curve C2, as a function of time and (b) optimized cell voltage for various cathode inlet humidity

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Fig. 12

(a) Desired and simulated power curves for power curve C3, as a function of time and (b) optimized cell voltage for various cathode inlet humidity

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