Experimental characterization of PEM fuel cells by micro-models for the prediction of on-site performance

Fabio Cardona, Antonio Piacentino, Giuseppe Scrivano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper presents the results of an experimental analysis performed on a miniaturized, 6We ProtonExchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) system, integrated with on-site hydrogen production by electrolysis;in particular, the effects of environmental parameters such as the external temperature and thehumidity on the performance of fuel cells are investigated. PEMFC systems are zero-emissions powertechnologies when they are fed with pure hydrogen (at concentration higher than 97%); also, being theonly results of system operation the produced electricity and some pure water, when produced by renewablesources hydrogen can be considered an attractive alternative to fossil fuels and may concur tothe reduction of pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions deriving by combustion processes. A miniaturized,few watts capacity system may represent a safe and unexpensive solution to perform analysisand predict the on-site performance of larger FC applications. The micro-model used for the experimentalcharacterization is a module of a flexible, larger scale system, which is briefly described in thepaper; the entire system is equipped with Nafion 112 membranes, two electrolysers, hydrogen storagedevices and a Photovoltaic (PV) panel. The results presented in this paper are only a first set of results;others are expected to be obtained in the future by an outdoor monitoring campaign of the entire system,needed to allow an effective prediction of the on-site performance for stand-alone PEMFC systems fed bysolar energy. After having simplified the analysis by excluding the parameters that the experimental datarevealed to be less influent, at the end of this paper the characterization of the PEMFC system is completedby introducing a semi-empirical model, derived by graphic analyses and data regressions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)634-639
Number of pages6
JournalRenewable Energy
Volume34
Publication statusPublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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