Analysis of the system efficiency of an intermediate temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell at elevated temperature and relative humidity conditions

Seung Won Jeon, Dowon Cha, Hyung Soon Kim, Yongchan Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Humidification of the membrane is very important in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), to maintain high ionic conductivity. At an elevated temperature, a large amount of thermal energy is required for humidification because of the exponentially increased saturation vapor pressure. In this study, the system efficiency of a PEMFC was evaluated by considering the heat required for preheating/humidification and compression work. Three-dimensional steady-state simulations were conducted using Fluent 14 to simulate the electrochemical reactions. The operating conditions were optimized using response surface methodology by considering both the fuel cell output and system efficiency. In addition, the effects of operating parameters such as the temperature, relative humidity, and stoichiometric ratio were investigated. The system efficiency can be improved more effectively by increasing relative humidity rather than increasing operating temperature because the ionic conductivity of the membrane was strongly influenced by the relative humidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-173
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Energy
Volume166
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a Korea University Grant, the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) with a grant (No. 2013068888 ) funded by the Korean Government (MSIP), and the Human Resources Program in Energy Technology of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) with a grant (No. 20144010200770 ) provided with financial resources from the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy of the Republic of Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Keywords

  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • PEMFC
  • Relative humidity
  • Response surface methodology
  • System efficiency
  • Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Energy
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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