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Modeling of PEM Fuel Cells in MATLAB

Modeling of PEM Fuel Cells in MATLAB

Understanding PEMFC Operations

PEMFCs contain a catalyst layer, a proton exchange membrane, and two input sides: one for hydrogen and the other for oxygen. The hydrogen atoms are attracted to the catalyst, where they split into protons and electrons. The protons travel through the membrane to the cathode, while the electrons flow through an external circuit, generating electricity. At the cathode, protons and electrons combine with oxygen to form water (H2O). This process makes PEMFCs an efficient and clean energy source.

Modeling PEMFCs in MATLAB

To model PEMFCs, we'll use equations derived from research papers and experimental data. These equations consider factors like temperature, pressure, current density, and membrane properties. The model includes terms for voltage loss due to activation, ohmic, and concentration effects.

Setting Up the Simulation Environment

  1. Define parameters such as the number of cells, cell area, membrane thickness, temperature, and pressure.

  2. Calculate voltage losses using equations for activation, ohmic, and concentration voltages.

  3. Use a loop to iterate over different current values, simulating the fuel cell's response to varying loads.

Implementing the Simulation Logic

  1. Calculate activation voltage based on current and CO2 pressure.

  2. Compute ohmic voltage using contact resistance and current density.

  3. Determine concentration voltage based on current density and maximum current density.

  4. Combine voltage losses to calculate the fuel cell voltage.

  5. Plot the fuel cell voltage and power against current to analyze its characteristics.

Simulation Results

The simulation provides insights into the fuel cell's performance under different operating conditions. By analyzing the voltage-current and power-current characteristics, engineers can optimize PEMFC designs for efficiency and reliability.

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