Experimental Analysis of Pulsing Techniques in a Proton Exchange Fuel cell

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Experimental Analysis of Pulsing Techniques in a Proton Exchange Fuel cell

* Department of Mechanical Engineering
** Department of Electrical Engineering

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of pulsing reactant flows on the performance of a PEMFC. This study considers a full range of pulsing flows and their effect in power performance over time. Pulsing amplitudes flow rates and pressure for each reactant were kept constant. The factors evaluated were normalized power performance and pulsing frequency of each reactant flow over time. The experiments were performed at lower flow rates and temperatures of reactants than in standard operating conditions. Operating a PEMFC at these conditions allows
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Water accumulation in channels and its correlation with pressure during imbibition and drainage process were studied by Bear [6]. Zhang [7] in 2008 presented a predictive control model of water management in PEMFC using the Simulink® software. It shows a complex method to control humidity and to avoid water build up in real time. Lu [8] shows a study of flow distribution, pressure drop, and two-phase flow pattern in gas channels. This study shows the influence of multiple airflow rates and its relationship with water build-up in cathode channels. In addition, Yu [9] shows that purging operations are an effective way to remove accumulated liquid water in the anode of PEMFCs. Furthermore, the experimental results presented in this paper investigate the impact of pulsing reactant flows on the performance of a PEMFC.
2. EXPERIMENTAL SYSTEM

This paper examines the supply of reactants under pulsing conditions varying from 5 Hz to 0.01 Hz and their effect in power performance over time. The experiments carried out using an EcoFC-6 fuel cell. This PEMFC has an active surface area of 14.5 cm2. Its maximum output voltage is 0.9 V per cell and has 6 cells. Design operating conditions for this PEMFC are a gas pressure of 20.2 psia H2 and 22.344 psia for 02. Acceptable ambient temperatures for operation are between 0 to 50 °C. The optimal working

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