Engineering >> Chemical & Biomedical Engineering

Optimization of a Fuel Cell

by Eduardo Gines


Submitted : Spring 2017

Fuel cells are devices that generate energy from a chemical reaction that takes place inside the cell. The main parts of these devices are two electrodes and an electrolyte solution. The electrodes are conductors inside the fuel cell. The negative electrode (anode) takes the electrons from the electrolyte solution and sends them to the positive electrode (cathode). This pass of electrons is what generates electricity. The project consists of determining the area of the electrodes of the fuel cell at which the cell produces its maximum amount of power. This was done with the performance curve of the fuel cell which was in terms of voltage vs current density. The performance curve was turned into terms of Power density vs current density, and through this curve the maximum power was determined by identifying the maximum point of the curve. Once the power was obtained, the area of the electrodes could be determined. The performance curves of the voltage of the load and the fuel cell were plotted in one graph, and the performance curves of the power density of the load and the cell were plotted in another graph. The graphs determine if the load works with the cell at its maximum power by determining the intersection points. The project concluded with fuel cell’s electrodes having an area of 4.218 cm2 which generates a maximum power of 0.058W and the load working perfectly at the cell’s maximum power.



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Advisors :
Arcadii Grinshpan, Mathematics and Statistics
Scott Campbell, Chemical & Biomedical Engineering
Suggested By :
Scott Campbell