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Quasi-three dimensional dynamic model of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell for system and controls development


A first principles dynamic model of the physical, chemical, and electrochemical processes at work in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell has been developed. The model solves the dynamic equations that govern the physics, chemistry and electrochemistry for time scales greater than about 10 ms. The dynamic equations are solved for a typical but simplified quasi-three dimensional geometric representation of a single cell repeat unit of a fuel cell stack. The current approach captures spatial and temporal variations in the important physics of heat transfer and water transport in a manner that is simple enough to make the model amenable to PEMFC system simulations and controls development. Comparisons of model results to experimental data indicate that the model can well predict steady state voltage-current relationships as well as the oxygen, water, and nitrogen spatial distribution within the fuel cell. In addition, the model gives dynamic insight into the distribution of current, water flux, species mole fractions, and temperatures within the fuel cell. Finally, a control system test is demonstrated using the simplified dynamic model. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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