Thermal Integration and Cooling Strategies for Automotive Fuel Cell Systems

Project Details



Fuel cells are regarded a prospective system because they convert chemical energy into electrical energy directly. Among the many types of fuel cells, proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) have received more and more attention because of their zero pollution, low operating temperature and high efficiency, and they have been widely used in transportation and portable systems. However, on the road to commercialization of PEMFCs, thermal management is a problem that needs to be overcome.
Cooling techniques for PEM fuel cells mainly include liquid cooling, air cooling, heat pipe cooling, heat spreaders and phase change cooling. Generally, it is necessary to add a large air-cooled aisle for a stack in the power range of 200 W to 2 kW. However, high-power fuel cell vehicles are usually equipped with a liquid cooling system, due to its power range of 10-100 kW, because the liquid cooling system has an excellent heat dissipation capacity. Nevertheless, its disadvantages include leakage of coolant, high pumping power and other problems. The previous research on liquid cooling systems mainly focused on the design and optimization of the overall cooling channel of the bipolar plate. There are few optimizations for the internal structure of the cooling channel, especially when using two-phase cooling. The research on the internal flow channel of the bipolar plate can better explore its heat transfer and flow mechanism and guide the optimization of its internal structure. In addition, the application of two-phase cooling technology and the proposal of predictable thermal models can further improve the thermal management capabilities of PEMFCs.

China Scholarship Council
Effective start/end date01/03/202129/02/2024


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