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Thermal management of high-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells by using flattened heat pipes

ABSTRACT
High-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (HT-PEMFC) is a clean energy conversion device that generates electricity directly from the electrochemical reaction. Since the working temperature is about 160 ºC, the heating and cooling mechanisms are critical factors to maintain the optimal working condition and prevent the cell from degradation. Simulation models of HT-PEMFC were built for investigating the temperature distribution on the working area of fuel cells and temperature gradient across the stack. The ordinary method of heating by using heating pads and cooling by applying forced convection air was compared with the heat pipe heating and cooling technique. The results showed that heat pipe provided a more uniform temperature distribution and current density across the fuel cells stack. The temperature gradient of 0.214ºC/cell during heating and 0.054ºC/cell during cooling processes were observed. Meanwhile, only 0.44 mA cm-2/cell of current density gradient was found.
KEYWORDS
PAPER SUBMITTED: 2019-03-24
PAPER REVISED: 2020-02-14
PAPER ACCEPTED: 2020-03-05
PUBLISHED ONLINE: 2020-04-04
DOI REFERENCE: https://doi.org/10.2298/TSCI190324135S
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