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Stability Issues for Fuel Cell Models in the Activation and Concentration Regimes

[+] Author and Article Information
Steven Beale

Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH Institute of Energy and Climate Research, IEK-3, 52425 Jülich, GermanyMechanical and Materials Engineering, Queen’s University, Kingston ON K7L 3N6, Canada
s.beale@fz-juelich.desteven.beale@queensu.ca

Uwe Reimer

Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH Institute of Energy and Climate Research, IEK-3, 52425 Jülich, Germany
u.reimer@fz-juelich.de

Dieter Froning

Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH Institute of Energy and Climate Research, IEK-3, 52425 Jülich, Germany
d.froning@fz-juelich.de

Hrvoje Jasak

Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, University of Zagreb, Ivana Lucica 5, 10000 Zagreb, CroatiaWikki Ltd., Unit 459, Southbank House, Black Prince Road, London SE1 7SJ, United Kingdom
hrvoje.jasak@fsb.hrh.jasak@wikki.co.uk

Martin Andersson

Department of Energy Sciences, Lund University, 22100 Lund, SwedenForschungszentrum Jülich GmbH Institute of Energy and Climate Research, IEK-3, 52425 Jülich, Germany
martin.andersson@energy.lth.se

Jon G. Pharoah

Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Queen’s University, Kingston ON K7L 3N6, Canada
pharoah@queensu.ca

Werner Lehnert

Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH Institute of Energy and Climate Research, IEK-3, 52425 Jülich, GermanyModeling in Electrochemical Process Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen 52056, GermanyJARA-HPC, 52425 Jülich, Germany
w.lehnert@fz-juelich.de

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039858 History: Received June 14, 2017; Revised March 26, 2018

Abstract

Code stability is a matter of concern for three-dimensional fuel cell models operating both at high current density and at high cell voltage. An idealized mathematical model of a fuel cell should converge for all potentiostatic or galvanostatic boundary conditions ranging from open-circuit to closed-circuit. Many fail to do so, due to: (i) Fuel or oxygen starvation causing divergence as local partial pressures and mass fractions of fuel or oxidant fall to near zero. (ii) Non-linearities in the Nernst and Butler-Volmer equations near open-circuit conditionss. This paper describes in detail, specific numerical methods used to improve the stability of a previously-existing fuel cell performance calculation procedure, at both low and high current density. Four specific techniques are identified. The example of a straight channel operating as a (i) solid-oxide, (ii) low and high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell is used to illustrate the efficacy of the modifications.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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