Control and Experimental Characterization of a Methanol Reformer for a 350 W High Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell system

Søren Juhl Andreasen, Søren Knudsen Kær, Hans-Christian Becker Jensen, Simon Lennart Sahlin

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This work involves the an experimental characterisation and the development of control strategies for the methanol reformer system used in the Serenergy Serenus H3 E-350 high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane (HTPEM) fuel cell system. The system consists of a fuel evaporator utilizing the high temperature waste gas from a cathode air cooled 45 cell HTPEM fuel cell stack. The MEAs used are BASF P2100 which use phosphoric acid doped polybenzimidazole type membranes; an MEA with high CO tolerance and no complex humidity requirements. The methanol reformer used is integrated into a compact unit that allows the use of waste heat from the fuel cell stack in the reformer system, and a burner unit is also integrated to supplement provide heat using the stack anode hydrogen. The reformer is initially placed in an experimental system capable of emulating the interfaces to the fuel cell system, i.e. cathode and anode gas flows and temperature by using mass flow controllers and controlled heaters.

Using this system the methanol reformer is characterized in its different operating points, both steady-state but also dynamically. Methanol steam reforming is a well known process, and provides good advantages when used together with HTPEM fuel cells. Many challenges exist in properly controlling such reformer systems and ensuring that key system states are controlled also during transients. The key system states monitored are different critical system temperatures in the evaporator, reformer and burner and the behaviour of the CO concentration of the reformate gas.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date3 Dec 2011
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2011
EventHydrogen and Fuel Cells Conference 2011 - Xcaret, Mexico
Duration: 1 Dec 20115 Dec 2011


ConferenceHydrogen and Fuel Cells Conference 2011

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