Energy, Vol.116, 978-985, 2016
Development of a micro direct methanol fuel cell with heat control
In this work, an active micro direct methanol fuel cell ( DMFC) system employing the catalytic combustor as the heating device is developed in order to maintain the optimum cell temperature and achieve the best cell performance. A passive feed method, combining both the saturator and the wick, is adopted to supply sufficient methanol into the micro combustor. The feasibility and the superiorities of the active DMFC system are validated experimentally. The experimental results show that the combustor can start spontaneously and quickly at the ambient temperature of 298 K and the control unit can efficiently keep the cell temperature around the optimum value. The proposed active DMFC system also performs much better than the conventional one at the ambient temperature of 298 K. Moreover, the performance and stability of the active DMFC system at 298 K and the conventional one at 338 K are compared and analyzed respectively. The results verify that the active DMFC system can real-time control the cell temperature and prevent overtemperature. Therefore, the active DMFC system greatly increases the cell performance and stability. The active DMFC system presented in this research also has great potential for portable applications. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.