PEM fuel cells working with H2 and air as reactants can have efficiencies in excess of 60% and achieve high power densities while emitting zero atmospheric pollutants. As such they have a wide range of applicability in automotive, stationary and portable power generation market sectors. However, the present generation of designs are constrained by the effects of fluid flow and heat release to improve power density and reduce cost it is essential that the full available performance of each cell is achieved and fluid management (e.g. the gas transport properties - diffusion and gas flow) is vital to this goal. This innovative proposal combines advanced modelling and experimental study techniques aimed at improving the understanding of complex fluid dynamics within PEM fuel cells and to exploit this understanding to improve their design. CFD and Lattice-Boltzmann Equation (LBE) methods will be used to predict gas and fluid movement within the cell while X-ray tomography will be used to generate 2D and 3D images of its internal structure. Extended ex-situ material characterization work of the gas diffusion layer (GDL) will be undertaken.The GDL is - concerning gas transport - the most critical component of a PEMFC. A fundamentally improved understanding of the fluid dynamics within the cell will be applied to enhanced component design. The target of the work will be to double the existing specific power output of the PEMFC as to be used in this project of partner S1. This should be verified in setting up a high power density 48-cell PEMFC stack.
|Effective start/end date||1/04/07 → 31/03/09|
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