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Performance Of A Pem Fuel Cell System

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Energy Projects and Laboratory Ideas

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.996.1 - 10.996.16

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Paper Authors

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Ahmad Pourmovahed

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3133 Performance of a PEM Fuel Cell System Ahmad Pourmovahed, Professor Mechanical Engineering Department Kettering University Flint, Michigan 48504


A PEM fuel cell system was recently added to the Energy Systems Laboratory at Kettering University (formerly GMI). The educational objectives of this experiment are to familiarize the students with the principles and operation of a PEM fuel cell, to compare the power output efficiency of the fuel cell with that of an IC engine, to determine the effect of current density on stack and individual cell voltages, to determine the effect of hydrogen flow rate on the stack power output and to determine the effect of stack temperature on the stack power output. The apparatus used is the TVN RU-2100 Test Stand which uses a three-cell stack. The stack consists of three membrane and electrode assemblies (MEA’s) in series. The maximum power output of this unit is about 25 Watts. It uses hydrogen and air to provide electrical power to a variable load. This system can be controlled and data can be acquired manually or through a computer. By using basic definitions as well as the first law of thermodynamics, current density, open-cell voltage and stack efficiency are determined for the fuel cell stack. This paper presents measured test data and analytical results obtained by using the principles of thermodynamics. Experimental results compare favorably with theoretical predictions and expectations.


At total electrode area A/F air-fuel ratio E reversible open circuit voltage e charge on one electron (1.602 x 10-19 C) F Faraday constant (Na .e = 96485 C/kmol) hRP (lower) enthalpy of combustion of hydrogen (119,953 kJ/kg) I current i current density Na Avogadro’s number (6.022 x 1023 molecules/kmol) m& mass flow rate P power V voltage Vc individual cell voltage x excess air ratio Δg f change in Gibbs free energy of formation (molar) η stack efficiency ηc individual cell efficiency µf fuel utilization coefficient

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Pourmovahed, A. (2005, June), Performance Of A Pem Fuel Cell System Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon.

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