Energy, Vol.179, 762-770, 2019
Performance assessment of a combined system consisting of a high-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell and a thermoelectric generator
A new combined system consisting of a high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell (HT-PEMFC), a regenerator and a thermoelectric generator (TEG) is developed. The mathematical relationship between the HT-PEMFC operating current density and the TEG dimensionless current is derived, and the operating current density range of HT-PEMFC in which the TEG allowed to work is determined. Power output and efficiency of the combined system are formulated under different operating conditions. Compared with the stand-alone HT-PEMFC, the proposed combined system allows the equivalent power density to increase by 21%. The optimum criteria and general performance characteristics for the complete system are specified. Moreover, the effects of the operating current density, doping level, relative humidity, operating temperature, heat conductivity and figure of merit of the thermoelectric materials on the combined system performance characteristics are revealed. The obtained results may provide some theoretical insights into the design and integration of such an actual combined system. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.