In this study, the performance characteristics of a flowing electrolyte-direct methanol fuel cell (FE-DMFC) and a direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) are evaluated by computer simulations; and results are compared to experimental data found in the literature. Simulations are carried out to assess the effects of the operating parameters on the output parameters; namely, methanol concentration distribution, cell voltage, power density, and electrical efficiency of the cell. The operating parameters studied include the electrolyte flow rate, flowing electrolyte channel thickness, and methanol concentration at the feed stream. In addition, the effect of the circulation of the flowing electrolyte channel outlet stream on the performance is discussed. The results show that the maximum power densities that could be achieved do not significantly differ between these two fuel cells; however the electrical efficiency could be increased by 57% when FE-DMFC is used instead of DMFC.

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Journal of Power Sources
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Colpan, C.O. (C. Ozgur), Cruickshank, C, Matida, E, & Hamdullahpur, F. (Feridun). (2011). 1D modeling of a flowing electrolyte-direct methanol fuel cell. Journal of Power Sources, 196(7), 3572–3582. doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2010.12.013