Analysis, Modeling, and Validation for the Thermal Dynamics of a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell System

[+] Author and Article Information
Eric A. Müller

 Measurement and Control Laboratory, ETH Zentrum, 8092 Zurich, Switzerlandmueller@imrt.mavt.ethz.ch

Anna G. Stefanopoulou

Fuel Cell Control Systems Laboratory, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109annastef@umich.edu

Standard liters per minute (slm) are the units used by the manufacturer. Although SI units are used in the rest of this article, the instrument specifications are quoted with the manufacturer's units.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 3(2), 99-110 (Sep 14, 2005) (12 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2173663 History: Received March 17, 2005; Revised September 14, 2005

A control-oriented mathematical model of a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack is developed and experimentally verified. The model predicts the bulk fuel cell transient temperature and voltage as a function of the current drawn and the inlet coolant conditions. The model enables thermal control synthesis and optimization and can be used for estimating the transient system performance. Unlike other existing thermal models, it includes the gas supply system, which is assumed to be capable of controlling perfectly the air and hydrogen flows. The fuel cell voltage is calculated quasistatically. Measurement data of a 1.25kW, 24-cell fuel cell stack with an integrated membrane-type humidification section is used to identify the system parameters and to validate the performance of the simulation model. The predicted thermal response is verified during typical variations in load, coolant flow, and coolant temperature. A first-law control volume analysis is performed to separate the relevant from the negligible contributions to the thermal dynamics and to determine the sensitivity of the energy balance to sensor errors and system parameter deviations.

Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Test bench of a 1.25kW, 24-cell fuel cell stack with an integrated membrane-type humidification section

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Figure 2

Schematic diagram of the fuel cell stack with integrated humidification section and measurement locations (1–8)

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Figure 3

Experimental data used for evaluation of the control volume analysis and for model parameter identification; left axes: solid lines, right axes: dashed lines

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Figure 4

Comparison of temperature curves; calculated system temperature (—), coolant temperature (– – –), cathode temperature (–∙), and anode temperature (⋯)

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Figure 5

Averaged contributions to the energy balance of the fuel cell system for the experimental run shown in Fig. 3

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Figure 6

Fuel cell system energy flow chart for the experimental run shown in Fig. 3

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Figure 7

Averaged contributions to the (steady-state) water mass balance for the gas channels

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Figure 8

Dynamic subsystems of the fuel cell system model with the state variables TB, TCtPS, and TCtHM

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Figure 9

Causality diagram of the dynamic fuel cell system lumped-parameter model with the input signals ISt,TCtPSIn,ṁCtPSIn and the output signals VSt,TB,TCtHMOut

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Figure 10

Parametrization of the cathode inlet pressure model; experiment (—) and model (– – -)

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Figure 11

Parametrization of the cathode temperature model; experiment (—) and model (– – -)

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Figure 12

Parametrization of the heat transfer coefficient model; identification data (◻) and model (—)

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Figure 13

Validation of the model; in each plot, subplots 1–3 show the input signals and subplot 4 the comparison between measurement (—) and prediction (– – -) of the coolant outlet temperature



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