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Energies 2017, 10(7), 839; doi:10.3390/en10070839

Technical Assessment of Different Operating Conditions of an On-Board Autothermal Reformer for Fuel Cell Vehicles

Department of Engineering, Niccolò Cusano University, via Don Carlo Gnocchi 3, 00166 Rome, Italy
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Academic Editor: Peter V. Schaeffer
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 20 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 23 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Electrical Power and Energy System)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [967 KB, uploaded 23 June 2017]   |  

Abstract

This paper evaluates the performance of a fuel cell/battery vehicle with an on-board autothermal reformer, fed by different liquid and gaseous hydrocarbon fuels. A sensitivity analysis is performed to investigate the system behavior under the variation of the steam to carbon and oxygen to carbon ratios. This is done in order to identify the most suitable operating conditions for a direct on-board production of hydrogen to be used in a high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. The same system should be able to process different fuels, to allow the end-user to freely decide which one to use to refuel the vehicle. Hence, the obtained operating conditions result in a trade-off between system flexibility as the feeding fuel changes, CO poisoning effect on the fuel cell and overall efficiency. The system is thus coupled to a high temperature fuel cell, modeled by means of a self-made tool, able to reproduce the polarization curve as the input syngas composition varies, and the overall system is afterwards tested on a plug-in fuel cell/battery vehicle simulator, in order to provide a thorough feasibility analysis, focusing on the entire system efficiency. Results show that a proper energy management strategy can mitigate the effect of the fuel variation on the reformer efficiency, allowing for good overall powertrain performance. View Full-Text
Keywords: on-board hydrogen production; hydrocarbons autothermal reforming; high temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell; fuel cell vehicle on-board hydrogen production; hydrocarbons autothermal reforming; high temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell; fuel cell vehicle
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Tribioli, L.; Cozzolino, R.; Chiappini, D. Technical Assessment of Different Operating Conditions of an On-Board Autothermal Reformer for Fuel Cell Vehicles. Energies 2017, 10, 839.

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