Numerical Study to Understand the Conservation of Hydrogen Through a Dynamic Fuel Supply System in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs)
Reducing and conserving fuel usage is pivotal for any engineering system for the development of a sustainable energy solution. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are one of the promising renewable energy systems that consume hydrogen as their source of fuel to generate electricity. This paper investigate the necessity of the constant supply of fuel (hydrogen) in the PEMFC system to ensure stable operation. We propose that a dynamic supply of fuel could help achieve similar performance and reduce the amount of fuel used. The effect of the multiple dynamic fuel inlet rates (0.3 m/s, 0.2 m/s, and 0.1 m/s) was studied numerically using a validated CFD PEMFC model. A transient inlet condition was introduced to replicate the pulsating effect. It was observed that up to 66% of fuel could be conserved (compared to the constant fuel supply condition) while maintaining the stable performance of the PEMFC under conditions of a dynamic fuel profile. A drop of approximately 29% in PEMFC performance was observed under conditions of a low dynamic fuel profile. The results reveal that the concept of dynamic fuel supply can be exploited to sustain the performance of PEMFC and realize a threshold value of performance under conditions of reduced fuel input.
Journal/Conference/Book titleJournal of Energy and Power Technology