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Analyzing the Effects of MEA Designs on Cold Start Behaviors of Automotive Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Stacks

자동차용 고분자전해질형연료전지 스택에서의 막-전극접합체 설계인자가 저온시동에 미치는 영향성 연구

  • Gwak, Geon-Hui (School of Mechanical Engineering, Inha University) ;
  • Ko, Jo-Han (School of Mechanical Engineering, Inha University) ;
  • Ju, Hyun-Chul (School of Mechanical Engineering, Inha University)
  • 곽건희 (인하대학교 기계공학과) ;
  • 고요한 (인하대학교 기계공학과) ;
  • 주현철 (인하대학교 기계공학과)
  • Received : 2012.01.30
  • Accepted : 2012.02.24
  • Published : 2012.02.28

Abstract

This paper presents a three-dimensional, transient cold-start polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) model to numerically evaluate the effects of membrane electrode assembly (MEA) design and cell location in a PEFC stack on PEFC cold start behaviors. The cold-start simulations show that the end cell experiences significant heat loss to the sub-freezing ambient and thus finally cold-start failure due to considerable ice filling in the cathode catalyst layer. On the other hand, the middle cells in the stack successfully start from $-30^{\circ}C$ sub-freezing temperature due to rapid cell temperature rise owing to the efficient use of waste heat generated during the cold-start. In addition, the simulation results clearly indicate that the cathode catalyst layer (CL) composition and thickness have an substantial influence on PEFC cold-start behaviors while membrane thickness has limited effect mainly due to inefficient water absorption and transport capability at subzero temperatures.

Keywords

Cold-start;Polymer electrolyte fuel cell;Catalyst layer;Fuel cell simulation;Ice formation

Acknowledgement

Supported by : 한국연구재단

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