Experimental study on performance analysis of direct methanol fuel cell for efficient operation

Experimental study on performance analysis of direct methanol fuel cell for efficient operation
DMFC; performance; crossover
Issue Date
Grove Fuel Cell Symposium
, 1-1
The direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) is actively investigated as a portable device and micro power sources because it has simple system configuration and high energy density. Efficient operation of fuel cell system is very important for long-sustained power supply because of limited system and fuel tank size. The optimum operation of stack was studied through performance experiment of the stack. In this study, the DMFC stack is consisted of 20-cells which have active area of 4800㎟(80mm*60mm). The fuel consumption of stack includes crossover effect which consumes the fuel without electric energy generation. Therefore, the crossover has to be analyzed for calculating the stack efficiency. The direct methanol fuel cell performance curves were obtained as a function of three parameters; temperature, methanol concentration, and load current. And fuel consumption was also measured. A semi-empirical performance model was developed using experimental data. Performance simulation was carried out to determine the optimum operation conditions using developed semi-empirical stack performance model. The methanol concentration has to be varied with respect to the required power for efficient operation of the stack. The methanol solution is supposed to be supplied with concentration between 0.5 and 1 molarity. For increasing the electric power, the concentration of methanol has to be increased. This study adopted maximum power operating method and the constant voltage operating method for DMFC system control. The constant voltage operating method shows more efficient performance than maximum power operating method. For optimal operation of DMFC, it is recommended that methanol concentration should be controlled to meet load current maintaining constant voltage.
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