Special Issue "Experimental Analysis and Numerical Simulation of Fuel Cells"

A special issue of Processes (ISSN 2227-9717). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 2022) | Viewed by 5856

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Alessandro D' Adamo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering “Enzo Ferrari”, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, 41121 Modena, Italy
Interests: CFD simulation of reactive flows; CFD simulation of fuel cells; combustion simulation in internal combustion engines; chemistry modelling
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Stefano Fontanesi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering “Enzo Ferrari”, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, 41121 Modena, Italy
Interests: CFD simulation; CFD simulation of fuel cells; combustion simulation in internal combustion engines; energy systems
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Thomas Lauer
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Powertrains and Automotive Technology, TU Wien Getreidemarkt 9, 1060 Vienna, Austria
Interests: numerical and basic experimental investigations on combustion; SCR-technology and fuel cells

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The advances witnessed in recent years in fuel cells technology have drawn the power engineering research community towards this attractive and environmentally friendly energy generation system. The ever-increasing need for a transition from carbon-based energy supply towards greener and more sustainable sources (especially for but not limited to the transportation sector) motivates the renovated interest in developing advanced fuel cell systems.

The fundamental understanding of the interaction between fluid mechanics (e.g., reactants delivery to the active backing layers) and electro-chemistry (e.g. current density, electric losses) is a mandatory step towards highly efficient fuel cell design. Moreover, the multiple directions in material properties, membrane and layer thickness, and gas channel design add complexity to identifying multiple optimal configurations.

Dedicated experiments and virtual multi-physics/multi-scale models offer unprecedented possibilities to investigate the interplay of all the governing phenomena, representing a key enabler towards the establishment of fuel cells-based systems in the next generation of sustainable power generation systems.

This Special Issue on “Experimental and Numerical Simulation of Fuel Cell” aims to collect advancements in the field of experimental and numerical study of fuel cell systems with a focus on high efficiency. Topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Fuel cell validation cases as well as complex MEA/stacks;
  • Specific applications for mobile as well as stationary power generation;
  • Advancements on innovative materials for membrane and catalyst layers;
  • Multi-phase modelling for liquid/gas water transport;
  • Heat generation problems and thermal management;
  • Small/large-scale system studies (g. single cell as well as full-stack studies).
Dr. Alessandro D'Adamo
Prof. Stefano Fontanesi
Prof. Thomas Lauer
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Processes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Fuel cells validation
  • Fuel cell simulation
  • Fuel cell materials
  • Fuel cells design
  • Fuel cells optimization
  • Water management in fuel cells
  • Heat generation in fuel cells

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Parameter Identification of a Quasi-3D PEM Fuel Cell Model by Numerical Optimization
Processes 2021, 9(10), 1808; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9101808 - 12 Oct 2021
Viewed by 635
Abstract
Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) supplied with green hydrogen from renewable sources are a promising technology for carbon dioxide-free energy conversion. Many mathematical models to describe and understand the internal processes have been developed to design more powerful and efficient PEMFCs. Parameterizing [...] Read more.
Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) supplied with green hydrogen from renewable sources are a promising technology for carbon dioxide-free energy conversion. Many mathematical models to describe and understand the internal processes have been developed to design more powerful and efficient PEMFCs. Parameterizing such models is challenging, but indispensable to predict the species transport and electrochemical conversion accurately. Many material parameters are unknown, or the measurement methods required to determine their values are expensive, time-consuming, and destructive. This work shows the parameterization of a quasi-3D PEMFC model using measurements from a stack test stand and numerical optimization algorithms. Differential evolution and the Nelder–Mead simplex algorithm were used to optimize eight material parameters of the membrane, cathode catalyst layer (CCL), and gas diffusion layer (GDL). Measurements with different operating temperatures and gas inlet pressures were available for optimization and validation. Due to the low operating temperature of the stack, special attention was paid to the temperature dependent terms in the governing equations. Simulations with optimized parameters predicted the steady-state and transient behavior of the stack well. Therefore, valuable data for the characterization of the membrane, the CCL and GDL was created that can be used for more detailed CFD simulations in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Experimental Analysis and Numerical Simulation of Fuel Cells)
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Article
Effect of Gas Diffusion Layer Thickness on the Performance of Anion Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells
Processes 2021, 9(4), 718; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9040718 - 19 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1003
Abstract
Gas diffusion layers (GDLs) play a critical role in anion exchange membrane fuel cell (AEMFC) water management. In this work, the effect of GDL thickness on the cell performance of the AEMFC was experimentally investigated. Three GDLs with different thicknesses of 120, 260, [...] Read more.
Gas diffusion layers (GDLs) play a critical role in anion exchange membrane fuel cell (AEMFC) water management. In this work, the effect of GDL thickness on the cell performance of the AEMFC was experimentally investigated. Three GDLs with different thicknesses of 120, 260, and 310 µm (denoted as GDL-120, GDL-260, and GDL-310, respectively) were prepared and tested in a single H2/O2 AEMFC. The experimental results showed that the GDL-260 employed in both anode and cathode electrodes exhibited the best cell performance. There was a small difference in cell performance for GDL-260 and GDL-310, while water flooding was observed in the case of using GDL-120 operated at current densities greater than 1100 mA cm−2. In addition, it was found that the GDL thickness had more sensitivity to the AEMFC performance as used in the anode electrode rather than in the cathode electrode, indicating that water removal at the anode was more challenging than water supply at the cathode. The strategy of water management in the anode should be different from that in the cathode. These findings can provide a further understanding of the role of GDLs in the water management of AEMFCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Experimental Analysis and Numerical Simulation of Fuel Cells)
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Article
Efficient Two-Step Parametrization of a Control-Oriented Zero-Dimensional Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Model Based on Measured Stack Data
Processes 2021, 9(4), 713; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9040713 - 18 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 966
Abstract
This paper proposes a new efficient two-step method for parametrizing control-oriented zero-dimensional physical polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) models with measured stack data. Parametrizations of these models are computationally intensive due to the numerous unknown parameters and the typically nonlinear, stiff model [...] Read more.
This paper proposes a new efficient two-step method for parametrizing control-oriented zero-dimensional physical polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) models with measured stack data. Parametrizations of these models are computationally intensive due to the numerous unknown parameters and the typically nonlinear, stiff model properties. This work reduces an existing model to decrease its stiffness for accelerated numerical simulations. Subdividing the parametrization into two consecutive subproblems (thermodynamic and electrochemical ones) reduces the solution space significantly. A parameter sensitivity analysis further reduces each sub-solution space by excluding non-significant parameters. The method results in an efficient parametrization process. The two-step approach minimizes each sub-solution space’s dimension by two-thirds, respectively three-fourths, compared to the global one. An achieved R2 value between simulation and measurement of 91% on average provides the required accuracy for control-oriented models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Experimental Analysis and Numerical Simulation of Fuel Cells)
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Article
CFD Modelling of a Hydrogen/Air PEM Fuel Cell with a Serpentine Gas Distributor
Processes 2021, 9(3), 564; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9030564 - 23 Mar 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1247
Abstract
Hydrogen-fueled fuel cells are considered one of the key strategies to tackle the achievement of fully-sustainable mobility. The transportation sector is paying significant attention to the development and industrialization of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) to be introduced alongside batteries, reaching the [...] Read more.
Hydrogen-fueled fuel cells are considered one of the key strategies to tackle the achievement of fully-sustainable mobility. The transportation sector is paying significant attention to the development and industrialization of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) to be introduced alongside batteries, reaching the goal of complete de-carbonization. In this paper a multi-phase, multi-component, and non-isothermal 3D-CFD model is presented to simulate the fluid, heat, and charge transport processes developing inside a hydrogen/air PEMFC with a serpentine-type gas distributor. Model results are compared against experimental data in terms of polarization and power density curves, including an improved formulation of exchange current density at the cathode catalyst layer, improving the simulation results’ accuracy in the activation-dominated region. Then, 3D-CFD fields of reactants’ delivery to the active electrochemical surface, reaction rates, temperature distributions, and liquid water formation are analyzed, and critical aspects of the current design are commented, i.e., the inhomogeneous use of the active surface for reactions, limiting the produced current and inducing gradients in thermal and reaction rate distribution. The study shows how a complete multi-dimensional framework for physical and chemical processes of PEMFC can be used to understand limiting processes and to guide future development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Experimental Analysis and Numerical Simulation of Fuel Cells)
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Review

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Review
Modelling Methods and Validation Techniques for CFD Simulations of PEM Fuel Cells
Processes 2021, 9(4), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9040688 - 14 Apr 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1210
Abstract
The large-scale adoption of fuel cells system for sustainable power generation will require the combined use of both multidimensional models and of dedicated testing techniques, in order to evolve the current technology beyond its present status. This requires an unprecedented understanding of concurrent [...] Read more.
The large-scale adoption of fuel cells system for sustainable power generation will require the combined use of both multidimensional models and of dedicated testing techniques, in order to evolve the current technology beyond its present status. This requires an unprecedented understanding of concurrent and interacting fluid dynamics, material and electrochemical processes. In this review article, Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC) are analysed. In the first part, the most common approaches for multi-phase/multi-physics modelling are presented in their governing equations, inherent limitations and accurate materials characterisation for diffusion layers, membrane and catalyst layers. This provides a thorough overview of key aspects to be included in multidimensional CFD models. In the second part, advanced diagnostic techniques are surveyed, indicating testing practices to accurately characterise the cell operation. These can be used to validate models, complementing the conventional observation of the current–voltage curve with key operating parameters, thus defining a joint modelling/testing environment. The two sections complement each other in portraying a unified framework of interrelated physical/chemical processes, laying the foundation of a robust and complete understanding of PEMFC. This is needed to advance the current technology and to consciously use the ever-growing availability of computational resources in the next future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Experimental Analysis and Numerical Simulation of Fuel Cells)
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