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Energies 2013, 6(10), 5426-5485; doi:10.3390/en6105426

An Innovative Hybrid 3D Analytic-Numerical Approach for System Level Modelling of PEM Fuel Cells

University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Aškerčeva 6, Ljubljana SI-1000, Slovenia
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Received: 2 September 2013 / Revised: 27 September 2013 / Accepted: 9 October 2013 / Published: 21 October 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells)
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Abstract

The PEM fuel cell model presented in this paper is based on modelling species transport and coupling electrochemical reactions to species transport in an innovative way. Species transport is modelled by obtaining a 2D analytic solution for species concentration distribution in the plane perpendicular to the gas-flow and coupling consecutive 2D solutions by means of a 1D numerical gas-flow model. The 2D solution is devised on a jigsaw puzzle of multiple coupled domains which enables the modelling of parallel straight channel fuel cells with realistic geometries. Electrochemical and other nonlinear phenomena are coupled to the species transport by a routine that uses derivative approximation with prediction-iteration. A hybrid 3D analytic-numerical fuel cell model of a laboratory test fuel cell is presented and evaluated against a professional 3D computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulation tool. This comparative evaluation shows very good agreement between results of the presented model and those of the CFD simulation. Furthermore, high accuracy results are achieved at computational times short enough to be suitable for system level simulations. This computational efficiency is owed to the semi-analytic nature of its species transport modelling and to the efficient computational coupling of electrochemical kinetics and species transport.
Keywords: fuel cells; species transport; electrochemical kinetics; analytic modelling; numerical modelling fuel cells; species transport; electrochemical kinetics; analytic modelling; numerical modelling
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Tavčar, G.; Katrašnik, T. An Innovative Hybrid 3D Analytic-Numerical Approach for System Level Modelling of PEM Fuel Cells. Energies 2013, 6, 5426-5485.

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