International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol.43, No.29, 13521-13531, 2018
Dynamic analysis of a PEM fuel cell hybrid system with an on-board dimethyl ether (DME) steam reformer (SR)
Low-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) acts as a promising energy source due to the non-pollution and high-energy density. However, as hydrogen supply is a major constraint limiting the wide spread of fuel cell vehicles, a dimethyl ether (DME)-steam on-board reformer (SR) based on catalytic reforming via a catalytic membrane reactor with a channel structure is a possible solution to a direct hydrogen supply. The DME-SR reaction scheme and kinetics in the presence of a catalyst of CuO/ZnO/ Al2O3+ZSM-5 are functions of the temperature and hydrocarbon ratio in the hydrogen reforming reaction. An electric heater is provided to keep the temperature at a demanded value to produce hydrogen. As there is no available analysis tool for the fuel cell battery hybrid vehicle with on-board DME reformer, it is necessary to develop the tool to study the dynamic characteristics of the whole system. Matlab/Simulink is utilized as a dynamic simulation tool for obtaining the hydrogen production and the power distribution to the fuel cell. The model includes the effects of the fuel flow rate, the catalyst porosity, and the thermal conductivity of different subsystems. A fuel cell model with a battery as a secondary energy storage is built to validate the possible utilization of on-board reformer/fuel cell hybrid vehicle. In consideration of time-delay characteristic of the chemical reactions, the time constant obtained from the experiment is utilized for obtaining dynamic characteristics. The hydrogen supplied by the reformer and the hydrogen consumed in the PEMFC prove that DME reformer can supply the adequate hydrogen to the fuel cell hybrid vehicle to cope with the required power demands. (C) 2018 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.