PEMFC purging at low operating temperatures: An experimental approach

Omrani, R, Seif Mohammadi, S, Mafinejad, Y, Paul, B, Islam, R and Shabani, B 2019, 'PEMFC purging at low operating temperatures: An experimental approach', International Journal of Energy Research, vol. 43, no. 13, pp. 7496-7507.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title PEMFC purging at low operating temperatures: An experimental approach
Author(s) Omrani, R
Seif Mohammadi, S
Mafinejad, Y
Paul, B
Islam, R
Shabani, B
Year 2019
Journal name International Journal of Energy Research
Volume number 43
Issue number 13
Start page 7496
End page 7507
Total pages 12
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Abstract In this paper, the effect of operating temperature on optimal purge interval for maximum energy efficiency in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) with dead-ended anode (DEA) was experimentally investigated. The study was conducted with a focus on challenges associated with operation at temperatures lower than the recommended designed temperature. With DEA, gradual voltage drop happens due to the accumulation of water and impurities such as nitrogen. Hence, periodic purging of the anode side is required to remove excess water and impurities that are accumulated at the anode side over time. Short purge intervals increase hydrogen loss that translates into low fuel utilisation, whereas long purge intervals result in voltage drop due to high water and impurity accumulations. Therefore, an optimal purge strategy should be implemented to maximise the stack energy efficiency. Depending on the operating conditions and loads, there are instances that a fuel cell stack operates at temperatures lower than its recommended designed temperature. Considering the temperature effect on the cell water management, operating temperature is an important factor to consider for optimising the purge strategy in PEMFCs. At lower operating temperatures (ie, below 50°C), more water is formed in liquid form, which makes the optimisation of purge strategy more challenging. For a stack temperature of 40°C, it was observed that with an increase in stack current from 0.25 to 0.45 A cm−2, the optimal purge interval decreases from 90 seconds to around 45 seconds, respectively. Increasing the stack temperature from 40°C to 50°C resulted in an increase in the optimal purge interval to 120 seconds and 90 seconds for stack currents of 0.25 (ie, low current density) and 0.45 A cm−2, respectively. At lower operating temperatures, more frequent purging schedules are needed accordingly to remove the liquid water from the cell. These results indicated that at lower o
Subject Energy Generation, Conversion and Storage Engineering
Keyword(s) dead-ended anode
energy efficiency
fuel cell
purge interval
purge strategy
DOI - identifier 10.1002/er.4783
Copyright notice © 2019 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
ISSN 0363-907X
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