Fuel cells constructal optimization and research perspectives

The hydrogen economy is a possible alternative to the current oil based global economy. The technology to build and operate fuel cells is well advanced. However, cost is the reason why fuel cells are not being installed wherever there is a need for more power. Therefore, optimization is a natural alternative to reduce cost and make fuel cells increasingly more attractive for power generation. This paper discusses the process of determining the internal geometric configuration of a unit fuel cell for maximum power. The optimization of construction (architecture) starts at the smallest (elemental) fuel cell level. The optimization of system architecture must be subjected to a fixed volume constraint. There are several degrees of freedom in the fuel cell configuration, i.e., the thickness of two gas channels (fuel and oxidant), two diffusion layers and two reaction layers (anode and cathode) and the electrolyte solution space. Research perspectives for fuel cells are presented and discussed.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Vargas, JVC; Ordonez, JC; Bejan, A

Published Date

  • 2004

Published In

  • Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology - 2004

Start / End Page

  • 67 - 78

Citation Source

  • SciVal