Modelling of a 5 Cell Intermediate Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell (IT-PEFC) Stack: Analysis of Flow Configuration and Heat Transfer

A.S. Chandan[1], A. Mossadegh Pour[2], R. Steinberger-Wilckens[2]
[1]Centre for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
[2]University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Published in 2013

Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells (PEFCs) are a key technology in the advancement of society towards a low carbon future, in particular for use within the automotive sector. PEFCs are advantageous due to their low operating temperature (60-80 deg.C), quick start up times and responsiveness to load change. However, the requirement for expensive platinum, difficulty of water management and heat dissipation means that further improvements are required. COMSOL Multiphysics® was used to create a three dimensional model of a 5 cell stack. Results have shown that the flow configuration within the stack has a large effect on the dissipation of heat. It was also found that by replacing conventional cell materials with novel component composite materials, the heat removal could be increased significantly.

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