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Parametric study and estimation in CFD-based PEM fuel cell models



We propose an integrated modeling and optimization framework including detailed computational fluid dynamics based models and polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) systems. As an illustration, a multidimensional, multiphysics PEMFC model is constructed that accounts for major transport processes in the gas channels and the membrane electrode assembly. The resulting system of highly nonlinear partial differential-algebraic equations is fully discretized using a finite volume method, and the resulting large-scale nonlinear program is linked to a state-of-the-art interior point optimization algorithm. The framework is used for solving challenging parameter estimation problems resulting from incorporation of multiple experimental data points. Also, parametric studies are performed on detailed water transport mechanisms and distribution characteristics, and on overall system performance. Our proposed framework provides a robust and fast solution methodology, and is planned for modeling extensions and addressing other critical issues in PEMFC technology that require large-scale simulations. © 2008 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2008