Technical Briefs

Innovative Design of an Air-Breathing Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell With a Piezoelectric Device

[+] Author and Article Information
Hsiao-Kang Ma, Shih-Han Huang

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Taiwan University Taipei, Taiwan 106

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 6(3), 034501 (May 11, 2009) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3005581 History: Received June 16, 2007; Revised May 28, 2008; Published May 11, 2009

This paper presents a three-dimensional transitional model to describe an innovative design for an air-breathing proton exchange membrane fuel cell (AB-PEMFC) with a microdiaphragm actuated by a piezoelectric device. This newly designed gas pump with a piezoelectric actuation structure is utilized as an air-flow channel in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) system called PZT-PEMFC. When the actuator moves in the outward direction to increase the cathode channel volume, the air is sucked into the chamber: inward movement decreases channel volume and thereby compresses air into the catalyst layer and enhances the chemical reaction. The air-standard PZT-PEMFC cycle coupling with fuel∕air ratio is proposed to describe an air-breathing PZT-PEMFC. The model is able to simulate its major phenomena and performance in different fuel∕air ratio and PZT frequency. The results show that the PZT actuation leads to a more stable current output, more drained water, stronger suction, and overcome concentration losses at a proper PZT frequency.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

The outlook of a PZT-PEMFC system

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Figure 2

Actuating mechanisms in a PZT-PEMFC System

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Figure 3

Pressure-Volume diagram of PZT-PEMFC Cycle

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Figure 4

The pressure field at f=16Hz

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Figure 5

Dimensions of the Air-breathing PZT-PEMFC

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Figure 6

The velocity field at f=16Hz

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Figure 7

Current profile with equivalent ratio

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Figure 8

The water vapor concentration field at f=16Hz

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Figure 9

Polarization (I‐V‐t) curves under different PZT frequencies

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Figure 10

Current profiles with period at different PZT frequencies (0.7V)



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