Analytical modelling of boiling phase change phenomenon in high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells during warm-up process
Abdul Rasheed, Raj Kamal
Ehteshami, Seyyed Mohsen Mousavi
Chan, Siew Hwa
Date of Issue2013
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
This paper investigates the thermal and water balance as well as the electro-kinetics during the warm-up process of a Hydrogen/Oxygen high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell (HT-PEMFC) from room temperature up to the desired temperature of 180 ˚C. The heating strategy involves the extraction of constant current from the fuel cell, while an external heating source with a constant heat input rate is applied at the end plates of the cell simultaneously. A simple analytical unsteady model is derived addressing the boiling phase changing phenomenon in the cathode catalyst layer (CCL) and cathode gas diffusion layer (CGDL) of the cathode that occurs when the temperature of the fuel cell reaches the boiling temperature of water. Parameters such as the heat input rate, extracted current, cathode pressure and cathode stoichiometric flow ratio are varied and their effects on the temperature, liquid water fraction and most importantly, the voltage profiles with respect to time, are explored. A comparison between other existing heating strategies using the model suggests that there is insignificant improvement in warm-up time when current is extracted from room temperature considering a single cell. However, considering the solution for a typical 1-kW stack suggests that reductions in warm-up time and energy consumption can be expected. In addition, the results show that boiling phase change is found to be a key factor that affects the level of water saturation in the porous media such as the CCL and CGDL during the warm-up process, when current is extracted from the start of the process i.e. room temperature. However, the energy consumption due to boiling phase change is found to be negligible as compared to external heating input rate. The parametric studies show that the variation of heat input rate, extracted current and cathode pressure have significant effect on the cell voltage that is strongly dominated by the liquid water fraction in the porous media. On the other hand, the variation of cathode stoichiometric flow ratio is found to have minimal effect on the output cell voltage. The parametric studies also indicate that boiling phase change is present for a significant period of time under typical operating conditions.
DRNTU::Engineering::Mechanical engineering::Energy conservation
International journal of hydrogen energy
Copyright © 2013 Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Elsevier Ltd. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhydene.2013.11.103].