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Modelling and Testing a PEM Fuel Cell Fuelled by a Steam Reforming System

[+] Author Affiliations
Mariagiovanna Minutillo, Elio Jannelli

University of Cassino, Cassino, FR, Italy

Paper No. FUELCELL2006-97151, pp. 889-895; 7 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


In this paper the performance of a natural gas power system has been discussed. The power generation unit is composed by a fuel cell and a fuel processor integrated in a compact system. The hydrogen generator uses the steam reforming technology. A CO shift converter and a preferential oxidation reactor are used to minimize the CO concentration in the reformate gas. The hydrogen dilution in the reformate gas calls for a modification of the fuel cell feeding system. The dead-end mode is not practicable for the fuel cell operation, but it is necessary to open the anode flow channels. In order to increase the efficiency of the integrated system, the anode off gas mass flow is burned to supply heat for the reforming reaction. The fuel cell performance has been evaluated using the test bed of the University of Cassino. The experimental activity has been focused to evaluate the performance in different operating conditions. A semi-empirical model of the fuel cell has been employed to forecast the fuel cell behaviour with pure hydrogen and reformate gas feeding. The semi-empirical coefficients of the model have been fitted by using the experimental data. The target of the fuel cell modelling has been to develop a tool capable of predicting the performance in different operating conditions. The same tool can be used to identify the areas for design improvements.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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