Effects of operating conditions on the heat management of a microscale fuel cell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Higher energy densities and the potential for nearly instantaneous recharging make microscale fuel cells very attractive as power sources for portable technology in comparison with standard battery technology. Heat management is very important to the microscale fuel cells because of the generation of waste heat. Waste heat generated in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells includes oxygen reduction reaction in the cathode catalyst, hydrogen oxidation reaction in the anode catalyst, and Ohmic heating in the membrane. A novel microscale fuel cell design is presented here that utilizes a half-membrane electrode assembly. An ANSYS Fluent model is presented to investigate the effects of operating conditions on the heat management of this microscale fuel cell. Five inlet fuel temperatures are 22°C, 40°C, 50°C, 60°C, and 70°C. Two fuel flow rate are 0.3 mL/min and 2 mL/min. The fuel cell is simulated under natural convection and forced convection. The simulations predict thermal profiles throughout this microscale fuel cell design. The exit temperature of fuel stream, oxygen stream and nitrogen stream are obtained to determine the rate of heat removal. Simulation results show that the fuel stream dominates heat removal at room temperature. As inlet fuel temperature increases, the majority of heat removal occurs via convection with the ambient air by the exposed current collector surfaces. The top and bottom current collector removes almost the same amount of heat. The model also shows that the heat transfer through the oxygen channel and nitrogen channel is minimal over the range of inlet fuel temperatures. Increasing fuel flow rate and ambient air flow both increase the heat removal by the exposed current collector surfaces. Ultimately, these simulations can be used to determine design points for best performance and durability in a single-channel microscale fuel cell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASME 2019 6th International Conference on Micro/Nanoscale Heat and Mass Transfer, MNHMT 2019
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
ISBN (Electronic)9780791858905
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019
EventASME 2019 6th International Conference on Micro/Nanoscale Heat and Mass Transfer, MNHMT 2019 - Dalian, China
Duration: Jul 8 2019Jul 10 2019

Publication series

NameASME 2019 6th International Conference on Micro/Nanoscale Heat and Mass Transfer, MNHMT 2019

Conference

ConferenceASME 2019 6th International Conference on Micro/Nanoscale Heat and Mass Transfer, MNHMT 2019
CountryChina
CityDalian
Period7/8/197/10/19

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of operating conditions on the heat management of a microscale fuel cell'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this