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Technical Paper

Start-Up Behavior of Fuel Processors for PEM Fuel Cell Applications

This paper focuses on start-up technology for fuel processing systems with special emphasis on gasoline fueled burners. Initially two different fuel processing systems, an autothermal reformer with preferential oxidation and a steam reformer with membrane, are introduced and their possible starting strategies are discussed. Energy consumption for preheating up to light-off temperature and the start-up time is estimated. Subsequently electrical preheating is compared with start-up burners and the different types of heat generation are rated with respect to the requirements on start-up systems. Preheating power for fuel cell propulsion systems necessarily reaches up to the magnitude of the electrical fuel cell power output. A gasoline fueled burner with thermal combustion has been build-up, which covers the required preheating power.
Technical Paper

Potentials of Variable Compressor Pre Swirl Devices in Consideration of Different Sealing Concepts

For turbocharged engines high specific power and torque output as well as a fast transient response are mandatory. This conflict of aims can be solved by different charging systems, for example 2-stage charging or variable turbine geometry. At the Institute for Combustion Engines (VKA) at RWTH Aachen University another alternative, the variable compressor pre swirl, was investigated for solving this conflict of aims. Based on theoretical fundamentals the potentials of a variable compressor pre swirl for transient response, low end torque, specific power output and fuel consumption were presented. These theoretical potentials were explored on turbocharger -, engine - and vehicle test bench. An extended compressor map with partial higher compressor efficiency of up to 2% was detected. The outcome of this is an increase of up to 6% in low end torque, found on engine test bench. This effect could also be validated in 1D simulation.
Technical Paper

Integrated Air Supply and Humidification Concepts for Fuel Cell Systems

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.
Technical Paper

Development of Fuel Cell System Air Management Utilizing HIL Tools

In this paper, boosting strategies are investigated for part load operation of typical fuel-cell-systems. The optimal strategy can mainly be obtained by simulation. The boosting strategy is one of the most essential parameters for design and operation of a fuel-cell-system. High pressure ratios enable high power densities, low size and weight. Simultaneously, the demands in humidification and water recovery for today's systems are reduced. But power consumption and design effort of the system increases strongly with the pressure level. Therefore, the main focus must be on the system efficiencies at part load. In addition, certain boundary conditions like the inlet temperature of the fuel-cell stack must be maintained. With high pressure levels the humidification of the intake air before, within or after the compressor is not sufficient to dissipate enough heat. Vaporization during the compression process shows efficiency advantages while the needs in heat dissipation decreases.
Technical Paper

Compressor Expander Units for Fuel Cell Systems

In this paper different compressor/expander concepts including mechanical superchargers, turbochargers and two-stage charging concepts are analysed with regard to their suitability for fuel cell applications. Special attention is focused on system designs which use the energy of the tail gases for driving the compressor. The net efficiencies of different system concepts at full load were calculated with a simulation model, based on Matlab/Simulink‘ and show, that with a single stage turbocharger in combination with a tail gas burner good efficiencies and high power densities can be obtained at a pressure level of more than 2.5 bar.