The aim of this paper was to demonstrate the feasibility of using a Computational Fluid Dynamics tool for the design of a novel Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell and to investigate the performance of serpentine micro-channel flow fields. A three-dimensional steady state model consisting of momentum, heat, species and charge conservation equations in combination with electrochemical equations has been developed. The design of the PEMFC involved electrolyte membrane, anode and cathode catalyst layers, anode and cathode gas diffusion layers, two collectors and serpentine micro-channels of air and fuel. The distributions of mass fraction, temperature, pressure drop and gas flows through the PEMFC were studied. The current density was predicted in a wide scope of voltage. The current density – voltage curve and power characteristic of the analysed PEMFC design were obtained. A validation study showed that the developed model was able to assess the PEMFC performance.
Fast development of computation techniques for electrolyte activities contributed recently to introduction of a few substantial programmes for thermodynamic computing of multiphase systems. The presented study comprises useful information for practical computing using selected thermodynamic models of aqueous electrolyte solutions. Those models enable quantitative description of both phase and ionic equilibria and provide values of activity coefficients. The carried out analysis of individual models involved a comparison of their practical effectiveness features along with problems encountered in evaluation of the coefficients. The authors conclude that for the Solvay soda system the exUNIQUAC model for an in-house code or the MSE model for a commercial one can be used.
The present study deals with modelling and validation of a planar Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) design fuelled by gas mixture of partially pre-reformed methane. A 3D model was developed using the ANSYS Fluent Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tool that was supported by an additional Fuel Cell Tools module. The governing equations for momentum, heat, gas species, ion and electron transport were implemented and coupled to kinetics describing the electrochemical and reforming reactions. In the model, the Water Gas Shift reaction in a porous anode layer was included. Electrochemical oxidation of hydrogen and carbon monoxide fuels were both considered. The developed model enabled to predict the distributions of temperature, current density and gas flow in the fuel cell.
The aim of this work was to achieve a deeper understanding of the heat transfer in a microtubular Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (mSOFC) stack based on the results obtained by means of a Computational Fluid Dynamics tool. Stack performance predictions were based on simulations for a 16 anodesupported mSOFCs sub-stack, which was a component of the overall stack containing 64 fuel cells. The emphasis of the paper was put on steady-state modelling, which enabled identification of heat transfer between the fuel cells and air flow cooling the stack and estimation of the influence of stack heat losses. Analysis of processes for different heat losses and the impact of the mSOFC reaction heat flux profile on the temperature distribution in the mSOFC stack were carried out. Both radiative and convective heat transfer were taken into account in the analysis. Two different levels of the inlet air velocity and three different values of the heat losses were considered. Good agreement of the CFD model results with experimental data allowed to predict the operation trends, which will be a reliable tool for optimisation of the working setup and ensure sufficient cooling of the mSOFC stack.