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Energies 2016, 9(1), 47; doi:10.3390/en9010047

Two-Dimensional Simulation of Mass Transfer in Unitized Regenerative Fuel Cells under Operation Mode Switching

1
Key Laboratory of Enhanced Heat Transfer and Energy Conservation, Ministry of Education and Beijing Key Laboratory of Heat Transfer and Energy Conversion, College of Environmental and Energy Engineering, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing 100124, China
2
Collaborative Innovation Center of Electric Vehicles in Beijing, Beijing 100081, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Peter N. Pintauro
Received: 16 October 2015 / Revised: 28 November 2015 / Accepted: 28 December 2015 / Published: 15 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methanol and Alcohol Fuel Cells)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3421 KB, uploaded 15 January 2016]   |  

Abstract

A two-dimensional, single-phase, isothermal, multicomponent, transient model is built to investigate the transport phenomena in unitized regenerative fuel cells (URFCs) under the condition of switching from the fuel cell (FC) mode to the water electrolysis (WE) mode. The model is coupled with an electrochemical reaction. The proton exchange membrane (PEM) is selected as the solid electrolyte of the URFC. The work is motivated by the need to elucidate the complex mass transfer and electrochemical process under operation mode switching in order to improve the performance of PEM URFC. A set of governing equations, including conservation of mass, momentum, species, and charge, are considered. These equations are solved by the finite element method. The simulation results indicate the distributions of hydrogen, oxygen, water mass fraction, and electrolyte potential response to the transient phenomena via saltation under operation mode switching. The hydrogen mass fraction gradients are smaller than the oxygen mass fraction gradients. The average mass fractions of the reactants (oxygen and hydrogen) and product (water) exhibit evident differences between each layer in the steady state of the FC mode. By contrast, the average mass fractions of the reactant (water) and products (oxygen and hydrogen) exhibit only slight differences between each layer in the steady state of the WE mode. Under either the FC mode or the WE mode, the duration of the transient state is only approximately 0.2 s. View Full-Text
Keywords: numerical simulation; regenerative fuel cell; operation mode switching; transport phenomenon; two-dimensional numerical simulation; regenerative fuel cell; operation mode switching; transport phenomenon; two-dimensional
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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Wang, L.; Guo, H.; Ye, F.; Ma, C. Two-Dimensional Simulation of Mass Transfer in Unitized Regenerative Fuel Cells under Operation Mode Switching. Energies 2016, 9, 47.

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