This paper presents the development of a new comprehensive single-phase model for a flowing electrolyte-direct methanol fuel cell (FE-DMFC) to determine the operating range of key input parameters for the optimum performance of the fuel cell. These parameters include the inlet concentration of the FE, as well as the flow rate and thickness of the flowing electrolyte channel (FEC). In addition, in-house FE-DMFC experimental results were used to validate the model for the first time. It was found that the experimental and modeling results were in a good agreement. The results of the parametric studies showed that an FE concentration within the range of 1.5 and 3.2M would yield the best performance, while avoiding the corrosive nature of the liquid electrolyte. Furthermore, an FEC flow rate of 1mLmin-1, at an FEC channel thickness of 0.6mm, was deemed to be sufficiently high to remove adequate amounts of methanol from the crossover stream. It was also determined that the thinnest possible FEC thickness should be used to provide high power output.

Experiment, Flowing electrolyte, Fuel cell, Methanol, Model, Multiphysics
International Journal of Energy Research
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Ouellette, D. (David), Colpan, C.O. (C. Ozgur), Matida, E, Cruickshank, C, & Hamdullahpur, F. (Feridun). (2015). A comprehensive 1D model of a flowing electrolyte-direct methanol fuel cell with experimental validation. International Journal of Energy Research, 39(1), 33–45. doi:10.1002/er.3204