The cogeneration of heat and electricity using small-scale fuel-cell devices may lead to reduced energy consumption, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and less reliance on the central electrical grid. Without accurate methods to simulate thermal and electrical production concurrently with the operation of coupled plant components and the demands of the host building and its occupants, these potential benefits can not be fully assessed nor can the deployment of fuel-cell micro-cogeneration be optimally configured. Enhancements are proposed to an existing fuel-cell micro-cogeneration model and then its calibration is demonstrated using empirical data gathered from experiments conducted with a 1.0 kW AC PEMFC micro-cogeneration device. The experimental configuration, types of instrumentation employed, and the operating scenarios examined are treated. The calibration coefficients necessary to accurately simulate the thermal and electrical performance of this device are presented and then the validity of the model's functional form and its calibration are assessed through the comparison of model predictions to measurements from a disjunct set of 10 tests.

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Journal of Power Sources
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Johnson, G. (Geoffrey), Beausoleil-Morrison, I, Strathearn, B. (Bruce), Thorsteinson, E. (Erik), & Mackintosh, T. (Tom). (2013). The calibration and validation of a model for simulating the thermal and electrical performance of a 1 kW AC proton-exchange membrane fuel-cell micro-cogeneration device. Journal of Power Sources, 221, 435–446. doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2012.08.035