System-level electro-thermal optimisation of air-cooled open-cathode polymer electrolyte fuel cells: Air blower parasitic load and schemes for dynamic operation

Quentin Meyer, Ahmed Himeur, Sean Ashton, Oliver Curnick, Ralph Clague, Tobias Reisch, Paul Adcock, Paul R. Shearing, Daniel J.L. Brett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Overall fuel cell system efficiency must include consideration of the parasitic loads associated with operating the stack. For an air-cooled open-cathode polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) the air blowers form the largest parasitic load and have a direct influence of the performance of the stack and its temperature; increasing air flow often leading to improved performance at the expense of increasing parasitic load. Here, electro-thermal performance maps are used to characterise stack operation with varying air flow rate (for both cooling and cathode oxygen supply). The non-linear power requirement of air blowers is used to modify stack-level electro-thermal maps to give system-level performance maps capable of identifying the optimum air flow rate to maximise net power output and consequently efficiency at a given operating point. The electro-thermal map concept is invoked in the consideration of dynamics of fuel cell system operation with issues pertaining to speed of response, durability and system self-sustainable operation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16760-16766
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Volume40
Issue number46
Early online date26 Jul 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Electro-thermal performance maps
  • Experimental optimisation
  • Forced convection
  • Polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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