Effects of Key Operating Parameters on the Efficiency of Two Types of PEM Fuel Cell Systems (High-Pressure and Low-Pressure Operating) for Automotive Applications

  • Kim Han-Sang (School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Seoul National University) ;
  • Lee Dong-Hun (School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Seoul National University) ;
  • Min Kyoungdoug (School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Seoul National University) ;
  • Kim Minsoo (School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Seoul National University)
  • Published : 2005.04.01


The proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system consisting of stack and balance of plant (BOP) was modeled in a MATLAB/Simulink environment. High-pressure operating (compressor type) and low-pressure operating (air blower type) fuel cell systems were con­sidered. The effects of two main operating parameters (humidity and the pressure of the supplied gas) on the power distribution characteristics of BOP and the net system efficiency of the two systems mentioned above were compared and discussed. The simulation determines an optimum condition regarding parameters such as the cathode air pressure and the relative humidity for maximum net system efficiency for the operating fuel cell systems. This study contributes to get a basic insight into the fuel cell stack and BOP component sizing. Further research using muli­object variable optimization packages and the approach developed by this study can effectively contribute to an operating strategy for the practical use of fuel cell systems for vehicles.


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