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An Analysis of Water Management for a PEM Fuel Cell System in Automotive Drive Cycles

[+] Author Affiliations
Kristina Haraldsson, Tony Markel, Keith Wipke

National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO

Paper No. FUELCELL2003-1737, pp. 333-338; 6 pages
  • ASME 2003 1st International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • 1st International Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology Conference
  • Rochester, New York, USA, April 21–23, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3668-1
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


Low-temperature operation of a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell system requires humidification of the membrane. The amount of water produced electrochemically within the fuel cell system is directly related to the system power output. In a vehicular application where the power output may vary substantially over time, it is critical that water management be addressed in the fuel cell and vehicle system design. This paper introduces the integration of a detailed fuel cell system model within a hybrid electric vehicle system model. The newly integrated models provide the capability to better understand the impacts of a variety of fuel cell and vehicle design parameters on overall system performance. Ultimately, coupling these models leads to system optimization and increased vehicle efficiency. This paper presents the initial results of a parametric study to quantify the impacts of condenser size and cathode inlet relative humidity on system water balance under realistic drive cycles in a fuel cell hybrid electric sport utility vehicle. The vehicle simulations included operation under both hot and ambient start conditions. The study results demonstrate that ambient start or aggressive drive cycles require larger condensers or water reservoirs to maintain a neutral water balance than either hot start or less aggressive drive cycles.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME



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