Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30

Fuel Cell Related Abstracts

30 Carbon Nanotubes Synthesized Using Sugar Cane as a Percursor

Authors: Deyse Carpenter, Vanessa Romanovicz, Beatriz A. Berns, Stephen D. Carpenter


This article deals with the carbon nanotubes (CNT) synthesized from a novel precursor, sugar cane and Anodic Aluminum Oxide (AAO). The objective was to produce CNTs to be used as catalyst supports for Proton Exchange Membranes. The influence of temperature, inert gas flow rate and concentration of the precursor is presented. The CNTs prepared were characterized using TEM, XRD, Raman Spectroscopy, and the surface area determined by BET. The results show that it is possible to form CNT from sugar cane by pyrolysis and the CNTs are the type multi-walled carbon nanotubes. The MWCNTs are short and closed at the two ends with very small surface area of SBET = 3.691m,/g.

Keywords: Carbon Nanotubes, Fuel Cell, sugar cane, catalyst support

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29 Nafion Nanofiber Composite Membrane Fabrication for Fuel Cell Applications

Authors: C. N. Okafor, M. Maaza, T. A. E. Mokrani


A proton exchange membrane has been developed for Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC). The nanofiber network composite membranes were prepared by interconnected network of Nafion (perfuorosulfonic acid) nanofibers that have been embedded in an uncharged and inert polymer matrix, by electro-spinning. The spinning solution of Nafion with a low concentration (1 wt. % compared to Nafion) of high molecular weight poly(ethylene oxide), as a carrier polymer. The interconnected network of Nafion nanofibers with average fiber diameter in the range of 160-700nm, were used to make the membranes, with the nanofiber occupying up to 85% of the membrane volume. The matrix polymer was cross-linked with Norland Optical Adhesive 63 under UV. The resulting membranes showed proton conductivity of 0.10 S/cm at 25°C and 80% RH; and methanol permeability of 3.6 x 10-6 cm2/s.

Keywords: Fuel Cell, Electrospinning, Nanofibers, composite membrane

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28 Experimental Investigation of Performance Anode Side of PEM Fuel Cell with Spin Method Coated with YSZ+SDC

Authors: Gürol Önal, Kevser Dincer, Salih Yayla


In this study, performance of proton exchange membrane PEM fuel cell was experimentally investigated. Coating on the anode side of the PEM fuel cell was accomplished with the spin method by using YSZ+SDC. A solution having 0,1 gr YttriaStabilized Zirconia (YSZ) + 0,1 Samarium-Doped Ceria (SDC) + 10 mL methanol was prepared. This solution was taken out and filled into a micro-pipette. Then the anode side of PEM fuel cell was coated with YSZ+ SDC by using spin method. In the experimental study, current, voltage and power performances before and after coating were recorded and then compared to each other. It was found that the efficiency of PEM fuel cell increases after the coating with YSZ+SDC.

Keywords: Fuel Cell, Membrane, Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM), spin method

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27 Performance Improvement of The Nano-Composite Based Proton Exchange Membranes (PEMs)

Authors: Kevser Dincer, Derya Saygılı, Yusuf Yılmaz


In this study, performance of PEMs was experimentally investigated. Coating on the cathode side of the PEMs fuel cells was accomplished with the spray method by using NaCaNiBO. A solution having 0,1 gr NaCaNiBO +10 mL methanol was prepared. This solution was taken out and filled into a spray. Then the cathode side of PEMs fuel cells was cladded with NaCaNiBO by using spray method. After coating, the membrane was left out to dry for 24 hours. The PEM fuel cells were mounted to the system in single, double, triple and fourfold manner in order to spot the best performance. The performance parameter considered was the power to current ratio. The best performance was found to occur at the 300th second with the power/current ratio of 3.55 Watt/Ampere and on the fourfold parallel mounting after the coating; whereas the poorest performance took place at the 210th second, power to current ratio of 0.12 Watt/Ampere and on the twofold parallel connection after the coating.

Keywords: Fuel Cell, Nano-composites, proton exchange membranes, performance improvement

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26 Optimum Design for Cathode Microstructure of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

Authors: M. Baniassadi, M. Riazat, H. Abdolvand


In this present work, 3D reconstruction of cathode of SOFC is developed with various volume fractions and porosity. Three Phase Boundary (TPB) of construction of such derived micro structures is calculated. The neural network is used to optimize the porosity and volume fraction of each phase to reach a structure with maximum TPB.

Keywords: Fuel Cell, Solid oxide, TPB

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25 Morphology and Electrical Conductivity of a Non-Symmetrical NiO-SDC/SDC Anode through a Microwave-Assisted Route

Authors: Mohadeseh Seyednezhad, Armin Rajabi, Andanastui Muchtar, Mahendra Rao Somalu


This work investigates the electrical properties of NiO-SDC/SDC anode sintered at about 1200 ○C for 1h through a relatively new approach, namely the microwave method. Nano powders Sm0.2Ce0.8O1.9 (SDC) and NiO were mixed by using a high-energy ball-mill and subsequent co-pressed at three different compaction pressures 200, 300 and 400 MPa. The novelty of this study consists in the effect of compaction pressure on the electrochemical performance of Ni-SDC/SDC anode, with no binder used between layers. The electrical behavior of the prepared anode has been studied by electrochemical impedance spectra (EIS) in controlled atmospheres, operating at high temperatures (600-800 °C).

Keywords: Nanostructures, sintering, Ceramics, Impedance spectroscopy, Fuel Cell, Electrical Conductivity

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24 Nafion Nanofiber Mat in a Single Fuel Cell Test

Authors: Chijioke Okafor, Malik Maaza, Touhami Mokrani


Proton exchange membrane, PEM was developed and tested for potential application in fuel cell. Nafion was electrospun to nanofiber network with the aid of poly(ethylene oxide), PEO, as a carrier polymer. The matrix polymer was crosslinked with Norland Optical Adhesive 63 under UV after compacting and annealing. The welded nanofiber mat was characterized for morphology, proton conductivity, and methanol permeability, then tested in a single cell test station. The results of the fabricated nanofiber membrane showed a proton conductivity of 0.1 S/cm at 25 oC and higher fiber volume fraction; methanol permeability of 3.6x10^-6 cm2/s and power density of 96.1 and 81.2 mW/cm2 for 5M and 1M methanol concentration respectively.

Keywords: Nanofiber, Fuel Cell, Permeability, nafion

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23 Robust Diagnosability of PEMFC Based on Bond Graph LFT

Authors: Ould Bouamama, M. Bressel, D. Hissel, M. Hilairet


Fuel cell (FC) is one of the best alternatives of fossil energy. Recently, the research community of fuel cell has shown a considerable interest for diagnosis in view to ensure safety, security, and availability when faults occur in the process. The problematic for model based FC diagnosis consists in that the model is complex because of coupling of several kind of energies and the numerical values of parameters are not always known or are uncertain. The present paper deals with use of one tool: the Linear Fractional Transformation bond graph tool not only for uncertain modelling but also for monitorability (ability to detect and isolate faults) analysis and formal generation of robust fault indicators with respect to parameter uncertainties.The developed theory applied to a nonlinear FC system has proved its efficiency.

Keywords: Structural Analysis, Fuel Cell, fault detection and isolation (FDI), bond graph, robust diagnosis

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22 Providing Energy Management of a Fuel Cell-Battery Hybrid Electric Vehicle

Authors: Ahmet Yigit Arabul, Fatma Keskin Arabul, Ibrahim Senol, Ali Rifat Boynuegri


On account of the concern of the fossil fuel is depleting and its negative effects on the environment, interest in alternative energy sources is increasing day by day. However, considering the importance of transportation in human life, instead of oil and its derivatives fueled vehicles with internal combustion engines, electric vehicles which are sensitive to the environment and working with electrical energy has begun to develop. In this study, simulation was carried out for providing energy management and recovering regenerative braking in fuel cell-battery hybrid electric vehicle. The main power supply of the vehicle is fuel cell on the other hand not only instantaneous power is supplied by the battery but also the energy generated due to regenerative breaking is stored in the battery. Obtained results of the simulation is analyzed and discussed.

Keywords: Energy Management, Electric Vehicles, Fuel Cell, Battery, regenerative braking

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21 Active Power Control of PEM Fuel Cell System Power Generation Using Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy Controller

Authors: Khaled Mammar


This paper presents an application of adaptive neuro-fuzzy controller for PEM fuel cell system. The model proposed for control include a fuel cell stack model, reformer model and DC/AC inverter model. Furthermore, a Fuzzy Logic (FLC) and adaptive neuro-fuzzy controllers are used to control the active power of PEM fuel cell system. The controllers modify the hydrogen flow feedback from the terminal load. The validity of the controller is verified when the fuel cell system model is used in conjunction with the ANFIS controller to predict the response of the active power. Simulation results confirmed the high-performance capability of the neuo-fuzzy to control power generation.

Keywords: Modeling, Simulation, Fuel Cell, Fuzzy Logic Controller, ANFIS, FLC, PEMFC, adaptive neuro-fuzzy controller

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20 Sampled-Data Control for Fuel Cell Systems

Authors: Ju H. Park, S. M. Lee, H. Y. Jung


A sampled-data controller is presented for solid oxide fuel cell systems which is expressed by a sector bounded nonlinear model. The sector bounded nonlinear systems, which have a feedback connection with a linear dynamical system and nonlinearity satisfying certain sector type constraints. Also, the sampled-data control scheme is very useful since it is possible to handle digital controller and increasing research efforts have been devoted to sampled-data control systems with the development of modern high-speed computers. The proposed control law is obtained by solving a convex problem satisfying several linear matrix inequalities. Simulation results are given to show the effectiveness of the proposed design method.

Keywords: Nonlinear Control, Fuel Cell, linear matrix inequalities, sampled-data control

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19 DC-to-DC Converters for Low-Voltage High-Power Renewable Energy Systems

Authors: Zahid Ullah, Rizwan Ullah, Abdar Ali


This paper focuses on the study of DC-to-DC converters, which are suitable for low-voltage high-power applications. The output voltages generated by renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic arrays and fuel cell stacks are generally low and required to be increased to high voltage levels. Development of DC-to-DC converters, which provide high step-up voltage conversion ratios with high efficiencies and low voltage stresses is one of the main issues in the development of renewable energy systems. A procedure for three converters-conventional DC-to-DC converter, interleaved boost converter, and isolated flyback based converter, is illustrated for a given set of specifications. The selection among the converters for the given application is based on the voltage conversion ratio, efficiency, and voltage stresses.

Keywords: Renewable Energy, Fuel Cell, photovoltaic array, flyback converter, interleaved boost, switch stress, voltage conversion ratio

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18 Transition to Hydrogen Cities in Korea and Japan

Authors: Minhee Son, Kyung Nam Kim


This study explores the plan of the Korean and Japanese governments to transition into the hydrogen economy. Two motor companies, Hyundai Motor Company from Korea and Toyota from Japan, released the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle to monopolize the green energy automobile market. Although, they are the main countries which emit greenhouse gas, hydrogen energy can bring from a certain industry places, such as chemical plants and steel mills. Recent, the two countries have been focusing on the hydrogen industry including a fuel cell vehicle, a hydrogen station, a fuel cell plant, a residential fuel cell. The purpose of this paper is to find out the differences of the policies in the two countries to be hydrogen societies. We analyze the behavior of the public and private sectors in Korea and Japan about hydrogen energy and fuel cells for the transition of the hydrogen economy. Finally we show the similarities and differences of both countries in hydrogen fuel cells. And some cities have feature such as Hydrogen cities. Hydrogen energy can make impact environmental sustainability.

Keywords: hydrogen energy, Fuel Cell, hydrogen city, hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, hydrogen station

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17 Mathematical Modeling of the Water Bridge Formation in Porous Media: PEMFC Microchannels

Authors: N. Djilali, J. Legrand, N. Ibrahim-Rassoul, A. Kessi, E. K. Si-Ahmed


The static and dynamic formation of liquid water bridges is analyzed using a combination of visualization experiments in a microchannel with a mathematical model. This paper presents experimental and theoretical findings of water plug/capillary bridge formation in a 250 μm squared microchannel. The approach combines mathematical and numerical modeling with experimental visualization and measurements. The generality of the model is also illustrated for flow conditions encountered in manipulation of polymeric materials and formation of liquid bridges between patterned surfaces. The predictions of the model agree favorably the observations as well as with the experimental recordings.

Keywords: Mathematical Modeling, Green Energy, Fuel Cell, gas diffusion layer, water plug, surface of revolution

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16 Rule-Based Mamdani Type Fuzzy Modeling of Performances of Anode Side of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Spin-Coated with Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia

Authors: Kevser Dincer, Sadık Ata


In this study, performance of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell was experimentally investigated and modelled with Rule-Based Mamdani-Type Fuzzy (RBMTF) modelling technique. Coating on the anode side of the PEM fuel cell was accomplished with the spin method by using Yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ). Input parameters voltage density (V/cm2), and current density (A/cm2), temperature (°C), time (s); output parameter power density (W/cm2) were described by RBMTF if-then rules. Numerical parameters of input and output variables were fuzzificated as linguistic variables: Very Very Low (L1), Very Low (L2), Low (L3), Negative Medium (L4), Medium (L5), Positive Medium (L6), High (L7), Very High (L8) and Very Very High (L9) linguistic classes. The comparison between experimental data and RBMTF is done by using statistical methods like absolute fraction of variance (R2). The actual values and RBMTF results indicated that RBMTF can be successfully used for the analysis of performance of PEM fuel cell.

Keywords: Fuel Cell, proton exchange membrane (PEM), rule-based Mamdani-type fuzzy (RMBTF) modeling, yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ)

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15 Improving the Performance of Proton Exchange Membrane Using Fuzzy Logic

Authors: Kevser Dincer, Sadık Ata


In this study, the performance of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell was experimentally investigated and modelled with Rule-Based Mamdani-Type Fuzzy (RBMTF) modelling technique. Coating on the anode side of the PEM fuel cell was accomplished with the spin method by using Yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ). Input-output parameters were described by RBMTF if-then rules. Numerical parameters of input and output variables were fuzzificated as linguistic variables: Very Very Low (L1), Very Low (L2), Low (L3), Negative Medium (L4), Medium (L5), Positive Medium (L6),High (L7), Very High (L8) and Very Very High (L9) linguistic classes. The comparison between experimental data and RBMTF is done by using statistical methods like absolute fraction of variance (R2). The actual values and RBMTF results indicated that RBMTF can be successfully used for the analysis of performance PEM fuel cell.

Keywords: Fuel Cell, proton exchange membrane (PEM), yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ), rule-based mamdani-type fuzzy (RMBTF) modelling

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14 Experimental Investigation of the Effect of Temperature on A PEM Fuel Cell Performance

Authors: Kevser Dincer, Remzi Sahin, Sadık Ata


In this study, performance of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell was experimentally investigated. The efficiency of energy conversion in PEM fuel cells is dependent on the catalytic activities of the catalysts used in the cathode and anode of membrane electrode assemblies. Membrane is considered the heart of PEM fuel cells without which they cannot produce electricity. PEM fuel cell performance increased with coating carbon nanotube (CNT). CNT show a unique combination of stiffness, strength, and tenacity compared to other fiber materials which usually lack one or more of these properties. Two different experiments were performed and the membrane performance has been determined by repeating the two experiments that were done before coating. The purposes of these experiments are the observation of power change due to a temperature change in the same voltage value.

Keywords: Fuel Cell, spin method, carbon nanotube (CNT), proton exchange membrane (PEM)

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13 The Methods of Immobilization of Laccase for Direct Transfer in an Enzymatic Fuel Cell

Authors: Afshin Farahbakhsh, Hoda Khodadadi


In this paper, we compare five methods of biological fuel cell fabrication by combining a Shewanella oneidensis microbial anode and a laccase-modified air-breathing cathode. As a result of biofuel cell laccase with graphite nanofibers, carbon surface (PAMAN) on the pt/hpg electrode, graphite sheets MWCNT and with (PG) and (MWCNT) showed, respectively. Describes methods for creating controllable and reproducible bio-anodes and demonstrates the versatility of hybrid biological fuel cells. The laccase-based biocathodes prepared either with the crude extract or with the purified enzyme can provide electrochemically active and stable biomaterials. The laccase-based biocathodes prepared either with the crude extract or with the purified enzyme can provide electrochemically active and stable biomaterials. When the device was fed with transdermal extracts, containing only 30μM of glucose, the average peak power was proportionally lower (0.004mW). The result of biofuel cell with graphite nanofibers showed the enzymatic fuel cell reaches 0.5 V at open circuit voltage with both, ethanol and methanol and the maximum current density observed for E2electrode was 228.94mAcm.

Keywords: Fuel Cell, immobilization, laccase, enzymatic electrode

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12 Oxidation Activity of Platinum-Ruthenium-Tin Ternary Alloy Catalyst on Bio-Alcohol

Authors: An-Ya Lo, Chiu-Yue Lin, Yi-Chen Chung, Yun-Chi Hsu, Chuan-Ming Tseng


In this study, the ternary alloy catalyst Pt20RuxSny (where 20, x, y represent mass fractions of Pt, Ru, and Sn, respectively) was optimized for the preliminary study of bio-ethanol fuel cells (BAFC). The morphology, microstructure, composition, phase-structures, and electrochemical properties of Pt20RuxSny catalyst were examined by SEM, TEM, EDS-mapping, XRD, and potentiostat. The effect of Sn content on electrochemical active surface (EAS) and oxidation activity were discussed. As a result, the additional Sn greatly improves the efficiency of Pt20RuxSny, either x=0 or 10. Through discussing the difference between ethanol and glycol oxidations, the mechanism of tolerance against poisoning has been proved. Overall speaking, the catalytic activity are in the order of Pt20RuxSny > Pt20Rux > Pt20Sny in both ethanol and glycol systems. Finally, Pt20Ru10Sn15 catalyst was successfully applied to demonstrate the feasibility of using bio-alcohol.

Keywords: Fuel Cell, Ethanol, ethylene glycol, Pt-Sn alloy catalyst, Pt-Ru-Sn alloy catalyst

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11 Performance Evaluation of a Fuel Cell Membrane Electrode Assembly Prepared from a Reinforced Proton Exchange Membrane

Authors: Yingjeng James Li, Yun Jyun Ou, Chih Chi Hsu, Chiao-Chih Hu


A fuel cell is a device that produces electric power by reacting fuel and oxidant electrochemically. There is no pollution produced from a fuel cell if hydrogen is employed as the fuel. Therefore, a fuel cell is considered as a zero emission device and is a source of green power. A membrane electrode assembly (MEA) is the key component of a fuel cell. It is, therefore, beneficial to develop MEAs with high performance. In this study, an MEA for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) was prepared from a 15-micron thick reinforced PEM. The active area of such MEA is 25 cm2. Carbon supported platinum (Pt/C) was employed as the catalyst for both anode and cathode. The platinum loading is 0.6 mg/cm2 based on the sum of anode and cathode. Commercially available carbon papers coated with a micro porous layer (MPL) serve as gas diffusion layers (GDLs). The original thickness of the GDL is 250 μm. It was compressed down to 163 μm when assembled into the single cell test fixture. Polarization curves were taken by using eight different test conditions. At our standard test condition (cell: 70 °C; anode: pure hydrogen, 100%RH, 1.2 stoic, ambient pressure; cathode: air, 100%RH, 3.0 stoic, ambient pressure), the cell current density is 1250 mA/cm2 at 0.6 V, and 2400 mA/cm2 at 0.4 V. At self-humidified condition and cell temperature of 55 °C, the cell current density is 1050 mA/cm2 at 0.6 V, and 2250 mA/cm2 at 0.4 V. Hydrogen crossover rate of the MEA is 0.0108 mL/min*cm2 according to linear sweep voltammetry experiments. According to the MEA’s Pt loading and the cyclic voltammetry experiments, the Pt electrochemical surface area is 60 m2/g. The ohmic part of the impedance spectroscopy results shows that the membrane resistance is about 60 mΩ*cm2 when the MEA is operated at 0.6 V.

Keywords: Fuel Cell, membrane electrode assembly, reinforced, proton exchange membrane

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10 An Empirical Dynamic Fuel Cell Model Used for Power System Verification in Aerospace

Authors: Giuliano Raimondo, Jörg Wangemann, Peer Drechsel


In systems development involving Fuel Cells generators, it is important to have from an early stage of the project a dynamic model for the electrical behavior of the stack to be shared between involved development parties. It allows independent and early design and tests of fuel cell related power electronic. This paper presents an empirical Fuel Cell system model derived from characterization tests on a real system. Moreover, it is illustrated how the obtained model is used to build and validate a real-time Fuel Cell system emulator which is used for aerospace electrical integration testing activities.

Keywords: Modelling, Testing, Fuel Cell, real time emulation

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9 Quaternized PPO/PSF Anion Exchange Membranes Doped with ZnO-Nanoparticles for Fuel Cell Application

Authors: P. G. Ndungu, P. F. Msomi, P. T. Nonjola, J. Ramontja


In view of the projected global energy demand and increasing levels of greenhouse gases and pollutants issues have inspired an intense search for alternative new energy technologies, which will provide clean, low cost and environmentally friendly solutions to meet the end user requirements. Alkaline anion exchange membrane fuel cells (AAEMFC) have been recognized as ideal candidates for the generation of such clean energy for future stationary and mobile applications due to their many advantages. The key component of the AAEMFC is the anion exchange membrane (AEM). In this report, a series of quaternized poly (2.6 dimethyl – 1.4 phenylene oxide)/ polysulfone (QPPO/PSF) blend anionic exchange membranes (AEM) were successfully fabricated and characterized for alkaline fuel cell application. Zinc Oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles were introduced in the polymer matrix to enhance the intrinsic properties of the AEM. The characteristic properties of the QPPO/PSF and QPPO/PSF-ZnO blend membrane were investigated with X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) scanning electron microscope (SEM) and contact angle (CA). To confirm successful quaternisation, FT-IR spectroscopy and proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) were used. Other properties such as ion exchange capacity (IEC), water uptake, contact angle and ion conductivity (IC) were also undertaken to check if the prepared nanocomposite materials are suitable for fuel cell application. The membrane intrinsic properties were found to be enhanced by the addition of ZnO nanoparticles. The addition of ZnO nanoparticles resulted to a highest IEC of 3.72 mmol/g and a 30-fold IC increase of the nanocomposite due to its lower methanol permeability. The above results indicate that QPPO/PSF-ZnO is a good candidate for AAEMFC application.

Keywords: Fuel Cell, nanocomposite, anion exchange membrane, zinc oxide nanoparticle

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8 Anion Exchange Nanocomposite Membrane Doped with ZnO-Nanoparticles for Direct Methanol Alkaline Fuel Cell

Authors: Phumlani Msomi, Patrick Nonjola, Patrick Ndungu, James Ramontja


A series of quaternized poly (2.6 dimethyl – 1.4 phenylene oxide)/ polysulfone (QPPO/PSF) blend anion exchange membrane (AEM) were successfully fabricated and characterized for methanol alkaline fuel cell application. Zinc Oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles were introduced in the polymer matrix to enhance the intrinsic properties of the AEM. To confirm successful fabrication, FT-IR spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance (¹H NMR and HMBC ¹⁵N NMR) were used. The membrane properties were enhanced by the addition of ZnO nanoparticles. The addition of ZnO nanoparticles resulted to a higher ion exchange capacity (IEC) of 3.72 mmol.g⁻¹and a 30-fold ion conductivity (IC) increase of the nanocomposite due to no (zero (0)) methanol permeability at 30 °C and increased water uptake. The QPPO/PSF/2% ZnO composite retained over 80 % of its initial IC when evaluated for alkaline stability at room temperature. The maximum power output reached for the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) constructed with QPPO/PSF/2%ZnO is 69⁻², which is about three times more than the parent QPPO membrane. The above results indicate that QPPO/PSF-ZnO is a good candidate as an anion exchange membrane for fuel cell application.

Keywords: Fuel Cell, nanocomposite, zinc oxide, anion exchange membrane

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7 Buoyant Gas Dispersion in a Small Fuel Cell Enclosure: A Comparison Study Using Plain and Pressed Louvre Vent Passive Ventilation Schemes

Authors: T. Ghatauray, J. Ingram, P. Holborn


The transition from a ‘carbon rich’ fossil fuel dependent to a ‘sustainable’ and ‘renewable’ hydrogen based society will see the deployment of hydrogen fuel cells (HFC) in transport applications and in the generation of heat and power for buildings, as part of a decentralised power network. Many deployments will be low power HFCs for domestic combined heat and power (CHP) and commercial ‘transportable’ HFCs for environmental situations, such as lighting and telephone towers. For broad commercialisation of small fuel cells to be achieved there needs to be significant confidence in their safety in both domestic and environmental applications. Low power HFCs are housed in protective steel enclosures. Standard enclosures have plain rectangular ventilation openings intended for thermal management of electronics and not the dispersion of a buoyant gas. Degradation of the HFC or supply pipework in use could lead to a low-level leak and a build-up of hydrogen gas in the enclosure. Hydrogen’s wide flammable range (4-75%) is a significant safety concern, with ineffective enclosure ventilation having the potential to cause flammable mixtures to develop with the risk of explosion. Mechanical ventilation is effective at managing enclosure hydrogen concentrations, but drains HFC power and is vulnerable to failure. This is undesirable in low power and remote installations and reliable passive ventilation systems are preferred. Passive ventilation depends upon buoyancy driven flow, with the size, shape and position of ventilation openings critical for producing predictable flows and maintaining low buoyant gas concentrations. With environmentally sited enclosures, ventilation openings with pressed horizontal and angled louvres are preferred to protect the HFC and electronics inside. There is an economic cost to adding louvres, but also a safety concern. A question arises over whether the use of pressed louvre vents impairs enclosure passive ventilation performance, when compared to same opening area plain vents. Comparison small enclosure (0.144m³) tests of same opening area pressed louvre and plain vents were undertaken. A displacement ventilation arrangement was incorporated into the enclosure with opposing upper and lower ventilation openings. A range of vent areas were tested. Helium (used as a safe analogue for hydrogen) was released from a 4mm nozzle at the base of the enclosure to simulate a hydrogen leak at leak rates from 1 to 10 lpm. Helium sensors were used to record concentrations at eight heights in the enclosure. The enclosure was otherwise empty. These tests determined that the use of pressed and angled louvre ventilation openings on the enclosure impaired the passive ventilation flow and increased helium concentrations in the enclosure. High-level stratified buoyant gas layers were also found to be deeper than with plain vent openings and were within the flammable range. The presence of gas within the flammable range is of concern, particularly as the addition of the fuel cell and electronics in the enclosure would further reduce the available volume and increase concentrations. The opening area of louvre vents would need to be greater than equivalent plain vents to achieve comparable ventilation flows or alternative schemes would need to be considered.

Keywords: Hydrogen Safety, Fuel Cell, enclosure, passive ventilation, helium, louvre vent

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6 Comparison of Performance of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Membrane Electrode Assemblies Prepared from 10 and 15-Micron Proton Exchange Membranes

Authors: Yingjeng James Li, Chiao-Chih Hu


Membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) applications were prepared by using 10 and 15 um PEMs. Except for different membrane thicknesses, these MEAs were prepared by the same conditions. They were prepared by using catalyst coated membrane (CCM) process. The catalyst employed is 40% Pt/C, and the Pt loading is 0.5mg/cm² for the sum of anode and cathode. Active area of the MEAs employed in this study is 5cm*5cm=25cm². In polarization measurements, the flow rates were always set at 1.2 stoic for anode and 3.0 stoic for cathode. The outlets were in open-end mode. The flow filed is tri-serpentine design. The cell temperatures and the humidification conditions were varied for the purpose of MEA performance observations. It was found that the performance of these two types of MEAs is about the same at fully or partially humidified operation conditions; however, 10um MEA exhibits higher current density in dry or low humidified conditions. For example, at 70C cell, 100% RH, and 0.6V condition, both MEAs have similar current density which is 1320 and 1342mA/cm² for 15um and 10um product, respectively. However, when in operation without external humidification, 10um MEA can produce 1085mA/cm²; whereas 15um MEA produces only 720mA/cm².

Keywords: Fuel Cell, membrane electrode assembly, PEMFC, proton exchange membrane, PEFC

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5 A Comparative Study: Influences of Polymerization Temperature on Phosphoric Acid Doped Polybenzimidazole Membranes

Authors: Cagla Gul Guldiken, Levent Akyalcin, Hasan Ferdi Gercel


Fuel cells are electrochemical devices which convert the chemical energy of hydrogen into the electricity. Among the types of fuel cells, polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are attracting considerable attention as non-polluting power generators with high energy conversion efficiencies in mobile applications. Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) is one of the essential components of PEMFCs. Perfluorosulfonic acid based membranes known as Nafion® is widely used as PEMs. Nafion® membranes water dependent proton conductivity which limits the operating temperature below 100ᵒC. At higher temperatures, proton conductivity and mechanical stability of these membranes decrease because of dehydration. Polybenzimidazole (PBI), which has good anhydrous proton conductivity after doped with acids, as well as excellent thermal stability, shows great potential in the application of high temperature PEMFCs. In the present study, PBI polymers were synthesized by solution polycondensation at 190 and 210ᵒC. The synthesized polymers were characterized by FTIR, 1H NMR, and TGA. Phosphoric acid doped PBI membranes were prepared and tested in a PEMFC. The influences of reaction temperature on structural properties of synthesized polymers were investigated. Mechanical properties, acid-doping level, proton conductivity, and fuel cell performances of prepared phosphoric acid doped PBI membranes were evaluated. The maximum power density was found as 32.5 mW/cm² at 120ᵒC.

Keywords: Fuel Cell, polybenzimidazole, high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane, proton exchange membrane fuel cell

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4 Study on the Effect of Bolt Locking Method on the Deformation of Bipolar Plate in PEMFC

Authors: Tao Chen, ShiHua Liu, JiWei Zhang


Assembly of the proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) has a very important influence on its performance and efficiency. The various components of PEMFC stack are usually locked and fixed by bolts. Locking bolt will cause the deformation of the bipolar plate and the other components, which will affect directly the deformation degree of the integral parts of the PEMFC as well as the performance of PEMFC. This paper focuses on the object of three-cell stack of PEMFC. Finite element simulation is used to investigate the deformation of bipolar plate caused by quantity and layout of bolts, bolt locking pressure, and bolt locking sequence, etc. Finally, we made a conclusion that the optimal combination packaging scheme was adopted to assemble the fuel cell stack. The scheme was in use of 3.8 MPa locking pressure imposed on the fuel cell stack, type Ⅱ of four locking bolts and longitudinal locking method. The scheme was obtained by comparatively analyzing the overall displacement contour of PEMFC stack, absolute displacement curve of bipolar plate along the given three paths in the Z direction and the polarization curve of fuel cell. The research results are helpful for the fuel cell stack assembly.

Keywords: deformation, Fuel Cell, finite element simulation, bipolar plate, locking bolt

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3 Energy Harvesting and Storage System for Marine Applications

Authors: Sayem Zafar, Mahmood Rahi


Rigorous international maritime regulations are in place to limit boat and ship hydrocarbon emissions. The global sustainability goals are reducing the fuel consumption and minimizing the emissions from the ships and boats. These maritime sustainability goals have attracted a lot of research interest. Energy harvesting and storage system is designed in this study based on hybrid renewable and conventional energy systems. This energy harvesting and storage system is designed for marine applications, such as, boats and small ships. These systems can be utilized for mobile use or off-grid remote electrification. This study analyzed the use of micro power generation for boats and small ships. The energy harvesting and storage system has two distinct systems i.e. dockside shore-based system and on-board system. The shore-based system consists of a small wind turbine, photovoltaic (PV) panels, small gas turbine, hydrogen generator and high-pressure hydrogen storage tank. This dockside system is to provide easy access to the boats and small ships for supply of hydrogen. The on-board system consists of hydrogen storage tanks and fuel cells. The wind turbine and PV panels generate electricity to operate electrolyzer. A small gas turbine is used as a supplementary power system to contribute in case the hybrid renewable energy system does not provide the required energy. The electrolyzer performs the electrolysis on distilled water to produce hydrogen. The hydrogen is stored in high-pressure tanks. The hydrogen from the high-pressure tank is filled in the low-pressure tanks on-board seagoing vessels to operate the fuel cell. The boats and small ships use the hydrogen fuel cell to provide power to electric propulsion motors and for on-board auxiliary use. For shore-based system, a small wind turbine with the total length of 4.5 m and the disk diameter of 1.8 m is used. The small wind turbine dimensions make it big enough to be used to charge batteries yet small enough to be installed on the rooftops of dockside facility. The small dimensions also make the wind turbine easily transportable. In this paper, PV, sizing and solar flux are studied parametrically. System performance is evaluated under different operating and environmental conditions. The parametric study is conducted to evaluate the energy output and storage capacity of energy storage system. Results are generated for a wide range of conditions to analyze the usability of hybrid energy harvesting and storage system. This energy harvesting method significantly improves the usability and output of the renewable energy sources. It also shows that small hybrid energy systems have promising practical applications.

Keywords: Energy harvesting, Hydrogen, Fuel Cell, Wind turbine, hybrid energy system

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2 Modeling the Reliability of a Fuel Cell and the Influence of Mechanical Aspects on the Production of Electrical Energy

Authors: Raed Kouta


A fuel cell is a multi-physical system. Its electrical performance depends on chemical, electrochemical, fluid, and mechanical parameters. Many studies focus on physical and chemical aspects. Our study contributes to the evaluation of the influence of mechanical aspects on the performance of a fuel cell. This study is carried out as part of a reliability approach. Reliability modeling allows to consider the uncertainties of the incoming parameters and the probabilistic modeling of the outgoing parameters. The fuel cell studied is the one often used in land, sea, or air transport. This is the Low-Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC). This battery can provide the required power level. One of the main scientific and technical challenges in mastering the design and production of a fuel cell is to know its behavior in its actual operating environment. The study proposes to highlight the influence on the production of electrical energy: Mechanical design and manufacturing parameters and their uncertainties (Young module, GDL porosity, permeability, etc.). The influence of the geometry of the bipolar plates is also considered. An experimental design is proposed with two types of materials as well as three geometric shapes for three joining pressures. Other experimental designs are also proposed for studying the influence of uncertainties of mechanical parameters on cell performance. - Mechanical (static, dynamic) and thermal (tightening - compression, vibrations (road rolling and tests on vibration-climatic bench, etc.) loads. This study is also carried out according to an experimental scheme on a fuel cell system for vibration loads recorded on a vehicle test track with three temperatures and three expected performance levels. The work will improve the coupling between mechanical, physical, and chemical phenomena.

Keywords: Reliability, Fuel Cell, mechanic, uncertainties

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1 Fuel Cell Performance Predictions by Using Artificial Intelligence Techniques

Authors: Evgueniy Entchev, Libing Yang


Governments around the world are taking measures to minimize the humans’ impact on the climate and environment by reducing emissions and energy use in all sectors. Novel approaches featuring large introduction of renewables, improved efficiencies, smart grid, etc. will have potentials for significant impact on the way energy is generated, distributed and utilized. Microgeneration is a suitable approach to reduce costs and carbon emissions by offering high efficiency performance and offsetting the need for centrally - generated grid electricity and to avoid transmission and distribution losses associated with it. This study applies adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) techniques and artificial neural network (ANN) to predict the performance of 5kWel SOFC system under variety of operating and weather conditions. The ANN model was built on back propagation algorithm and the ANFIS model applied a combination of least squares method and back propagation gradient decent method. The system performance data were collected during the winter heating season and used for training both ANN and ANFIS models to predict selective SOFC performance parameters such as fuel cell stack current and stack voltage. The initial data set was subjected to detailed sensitivity analysis and statistically insignificant parameters were excluded from the training set. As a result, significant reduction of computational time was achieved without affecting models’ accuracy. The study indicated that both ANN and ANFIS models’ predictions agreed well with variety of experimental data sets representing steady-state, start-up and shut-down operations of the SOFC system. It demonstrated that by using ANN and ANFIS techniques PEM and SOFC microgeneration systems’ performance could be modelled with minimum time demand and with a high degree of accuracy.

Keywords: Modeling, Simulations, Fuel Cell, Artificial Neural Network, adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system, microgeneration

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