The scientific objectives of this project are to investigate thermal behaviour of a fuel cell stack during start-up, steady state and variable power performance, and shut down. More specifically, the objective is to identify spatial and temporal temperature distribution, and their effect on the stack performance. A wider objective of this project is to get Croatian engineers and researchers involved in fuel cells R&D. The proposed research will include both experimental studies and numerical modelling and simulation. In the experimental part, a 1 kW stack will be run in constant and variable power mode with intermittent start-up and shut-down.
The temperatures will be measured on several strategic locations on the stack, as well as the temperatures of the gases coming in and out of the stack, including the cooling air. In addition, an infrared, high-resolution camera will be used to monitor temperature changes on the stack surface. Modelling will be conducted on several levels, namely a mass and heat balance model, a 2-D and a 3-D model of coolant air flow in a channel between the two fins, and a comprehensive 3-D model of the stack.
The results of experimental measurements will be compared to the results obtained from modelling, and will be used to adjust the modelling parameters and assumptions. It is expected that information obtained on the stack's thermal behaviour will be used to:
- suggest improvements in the stack design with respect to heat removal
- suggest optimal operational conditions that result in best performance
- suggest simplification of the fuel cell supporting system
- suggest control actions and mechanisms that may lead to better stack performance.
Call for proposal
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