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Modeling and Simulation of a Modern PEM Fuel Cell System

[+] Author Affiliations
Richard T. Meyer, Bin Yao

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Paper No. FUELCELL2006-97067, pp. 133-150; 18 pages
  • ASME 2006 4th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • ASME 2006 Fourth International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology, Parts A and B
  • Irvine, California, USA, June 19–21, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Nanotechnology Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4247-9 | eISBN: 0-7918-3780-7
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


Recent trends and advances in hydrogen/air Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC) are incorporated into a dynamic control oriented model. This type of model is important for development of control systems for PEMFC powered transportation where unpredictable and widely varying changes in power demand can be expected. Self humidification and low pressure operation are the two major changes to past systems. As a result, a high pressure air compressor, air cooler, and inlet gas humidifiers are no longer required. Also, the likelihood of cathode flooding is reduced. The overall fuel cell model consists of four basic sub-models: anode, cathode, fuel cell body, and cooling. Additionally, the oxidant supply blower, cooling pump, and cooling fan are explicitly incorporated. Mass and energy conservation are applied to each using a lumped parameter control volume approach. Empirical modeling is minimized as much as possible, however it is necessary for model manageability in a control context. Interactions between each subsystem and balance of plant components are clearly defined. The overall model is capable of capturing the transient behavior of the flows, pressures, and temperatures as well as net output power. The influence of the charge double layer effect on transient performance is also explored. Numerical simulations of the system are presented which illustrate the usefulness of the model. Finally, future control work is described.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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