Date of Degree
Dissertation - Open Access
Computational Engineering (program)
Doctor of Philosophy
James Worth Bagley College of Engineering
Fuel cells are promising technology to meet the energy need of the future. This alternative energy source is clean and efficient, and with the continuous decrease in fossil fuel resources, one of the best bets towards sustaining our power needs. Fuel cells are being used in automobiles as well as to fulfill portable power needs. In this work a computational model has been developed for fuel cells which can be used to simulate traditional as well as passive proton exchange membrane fuel cell behavior. The model is unsteady, two phase, nonisothermal in nature, and also capable of handling natural convection or buoyancy driven flows. The model also takes into account electrochemical reactions at catalyst sites. The model has been implemented and validated against experiments. It is used to carry out unsteady simulations to study start-up characteristic of proton exchange membrane fuel cells and to follow the behavior of liquid water as well as heat transfer within the cell. The buoyancy model is used to simulate a natural convection region and a passive fuel cell (used for portable applications). Design of passive fuel cells is driven by high temperature regimes and that issue has been further explored.
Mishra, Bikash, "Model development of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell to predict steady and unsteady behavior" (2008). Theses and Dissertations MSU. 3127.