The implementation and the validation of a mathematical
model of a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell are
illustrated. The model was created implementing in C-mex Sfunctions,
in Matlab and Simulink environment, theoretical
equations founded in literature, describing the common
behaviour of a fuel cell in terms of voltage drops and transient
phenomena. The dynamic behaviour of the reactant species
inside the flow channel and the effect of water content in the
membrane are also taken into account.
The equation parameters of the fuel cell were suited to
those of a 25 cm2 PEM single cell by means of fitting methods
in different operative conditions (temperature and inlet gas
composition). The model was fully validated by the comparison
with the experimental polarisation curves of the 25 cm2 PEM single cell.
In order to obtain a tool that described the transient
behaviour of a larger power system (e.g. For distributed
(co)generation or transportation application) a thermal
management unit was added referring to arcotronics penta h2, a
5 kw power system available in environment park hydrogen
system laboratory. The main parameters describing the fuel cell
behaviour were then suited to the new configuration and their
influence on the scaling-up was analysed obtaining a study of
the most critical factors in fuel cell operation.