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Perfomance indicators for the dynamics modeling and control of PEMFC systems

AutorHusar, Attila
DirectorSerra, Maria; Riera, Jordi
Fecha de publicación2012
EditorUniversidad Politécnica de Cataluña
ResumenSociety is gradually becoming aware that the current energy industry, based on the use of fossil fuels, is inefficient, highly polluting and has a finite supply. Within the scientific community, there are indications that hydrogen (H2) as an energy vector, obtained from renewable energy sources, can represent a viable option to mitigate the problems associated with hydrocarbon combustion. In this context, the change from the current energy industry to a new structure with a significant … [+]involvement of H2 facilitates the introduction of fuel cells as elements of energy conversion. Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC) are gaining increased attention as viable energy conversion devices for a wide range of applications from automotive, stationary to portable. In order to optimize performance, these systems require active control and thus in-depth knowledge of the system dynamics which include fluid mechanics, thermal dynamics and reaction kinetics. One of the main issues, with respect to proper control of these systems, is the understanding of the water transport mechanisms through the membrane and the liquid water distribution. The thesis is based on the publication of nine international journal articles that are divided into 4 sub-topics: Dynamic fuel cell modeling, fuel cell system control-oriented analysis, identification of parameters and performance indicators and finally, fault and failure detection and system diagnosis. In the sub-topic of Dynamic Fuel cell modeling, experimentally validated Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling is used to relate the effects of the physical phenomena associated with fluid mechanics and thermal dynamics, that occur inside the fuel cell [Alonso, 2009][Strahl, 2011], to water distribution. However, since these CFD models cannot be directly used for control, control-oriented models [Kunusch, 2008][Kunusch, 2011] have been developed in parallel. As well, another study is done in [Serra, 2006] which includes a controllability analysis of the system for future development and application of efficient controllers. The results of the above mentioned studies are limited because either they do not incorporate an electrochemical model or the model is not experimentally validated. Moreover, these models do not take into account the voltage losses due to liquid water inside the fuel cell. Therefore, there is a need to properly relate the relevant effects of fluid mechanics and thermal dynamics, including liquid water, to the fuel cell voltage. Primarily, methodologies are needed to determine the relevant indicators associated to the effect of water on the fuel cell performance.
The works published in [Husar, 2008] and [Husar, 2011] treats experimental parameter identification, mainly focused on water transport through the membrane and fuel cell voltage loss indicators respectively. The implementation of the indicators indirect measurement methodology provides an experimental way for the isolation of three main types of voltage losses in the fuel cell: activation, mass transport and ohmic losses. Additionally since these voltage loss indicators relate the fuel cell operating conditions to the fuel cell voltage, they can be utilized to calibrate and validate CFD models as well as employed in novel control strategies. On the other hand, to develop reliable systems, the controller should not only take into account performance variables during standard operation but should also be able to detect failures and take the appropriate actions. A preliminary study on failure indicators is presented in [Husar 2007] and fault detection methodologies are described in [de Lira 2011]. As a whole, the compilation of articles represented in this thesis applies a comprehensive experimental approach which describes the implementation of novel methodologies and experimental procedures to characterize and model the PEMFC and their associated systems taking into consideration control oriented goals.
DescripciónTesis Doctoral presentada por Attila Peter Husar en el programa de doctorado "Thermal Engineering" de la UPC.
Aparece en las colecciones: (IRII) Tesis
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