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Dynamic Simulation of a Stationary PEM Fuel Cell System

[+] Author Affiliations
Kyoungdoug Min

Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea

Jack Brouwer, John Auckland, Fabian Mueller, Scott Samuelsen

University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA

Paper No. FUELCELL2006-97039, pp. 853-861; 9 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


A dynamic model of a stationary PEM fuel cell system has been developed in Matlab-Simulink®. The system model accounts for the fuel processing system, PEM stack with coolant, humidifier with anode tail-gas oxidizer (ATO), and an enthalpy wheel for cathode air. For the fuel processing system four reactors were modeled: (1) an auto thermal reactor (ATR) (2) a high temperature shift (HTS) reactor, (3) a low temperature shift (LTS) reactor, and (4) a preferential oxidation (PROX) reactor. Chemical kinetics for ATR that describe steam reformation of methane and partial oxidation of methane were simultaneously solved to accurately predict the reaction dynamics. Chemical equilibrium of CO with H2 O was assumed at HTS and LTS reactor exits to calculate CO conversion corresponding to the temperature of each reactor. A quasi-two dimensional unit PEM cell was modeled with five control volumes for solving the dynamic species and mass conservation equations and seven control volumes to solve the dynamic energy balance and to capture the details of MEA behavior, such as water transport, which is critical to accurately determine polarization losses. The dynamic conservation equations, primary heat transfer equations and equations of state are solved in each bulk component and each component is linked together to represent the complete system. A comparison of steady-state model results to experimental data shows that the system model well predicts the actual system power and catalytic partial oxidation (CPO) temperature. Transient simulation of DC power is also well matched with the experimental results to within a few percent. The model predictions well characterized the observed dynamic CPO temperature, voltage, and temperature of stack coolant outlet observations that are representative of a generic PEM stationary fuel cell system performance. The model is shown to be a useful tool for investigating the effects of inlet conditions and for the development of control strategies for enhancing system performance.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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