Integrated Air Supply and Humidification Concepts for Fuel Cell Systems 2001-01-0233
In this paper different air management system concepts including mechanical superchargers and turbochargers are analysed with regard to their suitability for fuel cell applications. Therefore a simulation model which takes the main mass, energy and heat flows in the fuel cell system including fuel evaporation, reformer, gas cleaning, humidification, burner and compressor/expander unit into account was setup. For a PEM system with methanol steam reformer the best system efficiencies at rated power can be achieved with a turbocharger in combination with a tailgas burner for operating pressures between 2.5 and 2.8 bar. For pure hydrogen systems the best system efficiency is obtained with an electric driven supercharger for a maximum pressure of 2 bar and an appropriate pressure strategy during part load operation in the complete operating range. The increase of system efficiency for pressurized stack operation is mainly attributed to advantages with regard to water management. The inertia of the compressor significantly affects the air flow after a load step and thereby the dynamic system behaviour. An integrated air supply and humidification concept offers significant potential with regard to the improvement of fuel cell systems.