Performance of the PEM fuel cell module. Part 2. Effect of excess ratio and stack temperature

Janusz T. Cieśliński, Tomasz Kaczmarczyk, Bartosz Dawidowicz


The paper describes a fuel cell based system performance under different thermal conditions. The system could be fed
with bottled hydrogen or with very high purity hydrogen obtained from reforming of methanol. The system is based on two
fuel cell units (1.2 kW each, produced by Ballard Power Systems Inc. and called Nexa), DC/DC converter, DC/AC inverter,
microprocessor control unit, load unit, bottled hydrogen supply system and a set of measurement instruments. In this study
steady-state operation of the PEM fuel cell system at different values of air excess ratio and different stack temperature was
investigated. The load of the system was provided with the aid of a set of resistors. The results obtained show that the net
power of the system does not depend on the air excess ratio within the range of O2 from 1.9 to 5.0. The polarization curves of
the fuel cell module showed that the fuel cell performance was improved with increased stack temperature within the range of
30C to 65C. It was established that the total efficiency of the tested system depends on the hydrogen source and is higher
when using bottled hydrogen of about 30% and 16%, for minimum and maximum load, respectively.

Full Text:



K. Kordesh, S. G, Fuel cells and their applications, VCH, Weinheim,

P. Corbo, F. Migliardini, O. Veneri, An experimental study of a pem fuel

cell power train for urban bus application, Journal of Power Sources

(2) (2008) 363–370.

P. Pei, Q. Chang, T. Tang, A quick evaluating method for automotive

fuel cell lifetime, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 33 (14)

(2008) 3829–3836.

W. Schmittinger, A. Vahidi, A review of the main parameters influencing

long-term performance and durability of pem fuel cells, Journal of

Power Sources 180 (1) (2008) 1–14.

J. Gruber, M. Doll, C. Bordons, Design and experimental validation of

a constrained mpc for the air feed of a fuel cell, Control Engineering

Practice 17 (8) (2009) 874–885.

J. T. Pukrushpan, A. G. Stefanopoulou, H. Peng, Control of fuel cell

breathing, Control Systems, IEEE 24 (2) (2004) 30–46.

W. Garcia-Gabin, F. Dorado, C. Bordons, Real-time implementation of

a sliding mode controller for air supply on a pem fuel cell, Journal of

process control 20 (3) (2010) 325–336.

M. Wendeker, A. Malek, J. Czarnigowski, R. Taccani, P. Boulet, F. Breaban,

Adaptive airflow control of the pem fuel cell system, Tech. rep.,

SAE Technical Paper (2007).

Q. Chen, L. Gao, R. A. Dougal, S. Quan, Multiple model predictive control

for a hybrid proton exchange membrane fuel cell system, Journal

of Power Sources 191 (2) (2009) 473–482.

Z. Zhang, X. Huang, J. Jiang, B. Wu, An improved dynamic model

considering effects of temperature and equivalent internal resistance

for pem fuel cell power modules, Journal of Power Sources 161 (2)

(2006) 1062–1068.

X. Xue, J. Tang, A. Smirnova, R. England, N. Sammes, System

level lumped-parameter dynamic modeling of pem fuel cell, Journal

of Power Sources 133 (2) (2004) 188–204.

A. Beicha, R. Zaamouche, Electrochemical model for proton exchange

membrane fuel cells systems, Journal of Power Technologies 93 (1)

(2013) 27.

R. O’Hayre, S. Cha,W. Colella, P. F, Fuel cell fundamentals, John Wiley

& Sons, Inc, New York, 2009.

J. Milewski, J. Lewandoski, Biofuels as fuels for high temperature fuel

cells, Journal of Power Technologies 93 (5) (2013) 347.

J. Milewski, K. Michalska, A. Kacprzak, Dairy biogas as fuel for a

molten carbonate fuel cell-initial study, Journal of Power Technologies

(3) (2013) 161.

R. Metkemeijer, P. Achard, Comparison of ammonia and methanol applied

indirectly in a hydrogen fuel cell, International journal of hydrogen

energy 19 (6) (1994) 535–542.

Valdez T.I. and Narayanan S.R.: Recent studies on methanol

crossover in liquid-feed direct methanol fuel cells, http://trsnew. stream /2014/20662/1/98-1710.pdf.

U. Krewer, Y. Song, K. Sundmacher, V. John, R. Lübke, G. Matthies,

L. Tobiska, Direct methanol fuel cell (dmfc): analysis of residence time

behaviour of anodic flow bed, Chemical Engineering Science 59 (1)

(2004) 119–130.

V. Oliveira, C. Rangel, A. Pinto, Modelling and experimental studies on

a direct methanol fuel cell working under low methanol crossover and

high methanol concentrations, international journal of hydrogen energy

(15) (2009) 6443–6451.

A. Trendewicz, J. Milewski, An innovative method of modeling direct

methanol fuel cells, Journal of Power Technologies 92 (1) (2012) 20.

D. Falcão, V. Oliveira, C. Rangel, A. Pinto, Experimental and modeling

studies of a micro direct methanol fuel cell, Renewable Energy 74

(2015) 464–470.

K. Geissler, E. Newson, F. Vogel, T. Truong, P. Hottinger, Kinetics and

systems analysis for producing hydrogen from methanol and hydrocarbons,

Volume V General Energy 5 (1) (2001) 8.

C.-H. Fu, J. C.Wu, Mathematical simulation of hydrogen production via

methanol steam reforming using double-jacketed membrane reactor,

International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 32 (18) (2007) 4830–4839.

Nexa Power Module User’s Manual, Ballard Power Systems, June

DeVries D.: Data Sets and Modeling Comparisons Model 20L Reformer,

Genesis Fueltech 2006.

D. Wecel, PEMFC cooperating with PV and hydrogen generator with

the use of waste heat. Systemy, technologie i urza˛dzenia energetyczne.,

Vol. 1, Kraków, in Polish.

J. Zhang, Y. Tang, C. Song, X. Cheng, J. Zhang, H. Wang, Pem fuel

cells operated at 0% relative humidity in the temperature range of 23–

c, Electrochimica Acta 52 (15) (2007) 5095–5101.

A. F. Ghenciu, Fuel processing catalysts for hydrogen reformate generation

for pem fuel cells, Fuel Cell (2004) 17–19.

F. Fernandes, A. Soares Jr, Modeling of methane steam reforming in a

palladium membrane reactor, Latin American applied research 36 (3)

(2006) 155–161.


  • There are currently no refbacks.