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CFD Simulation for Better Fuel Cell Design
Posted Thu November 20, 2003 @11:19AM
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News The CD adapco Group announces the release of its new "Expert System" software tool, es-pemfc, destined to play an important role in optimizing PEMFC (Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell) design for practical automotive and stationary applications. The new tool is “knowledge based”, carrying with it the essential electrochemistry, fluid flow, heat transfer, and geometrical modeling capabilities required for advanced PEMFC design.

es-pemfc works with STAR-CD (the Group's computational fluid dynamics, CFD, code) as a specialized virtual design, prototyping and testing environment. Typical issues that can be handled include: cooling channel design, water management to optimize humidity and avoid flooding, design and operation with safe pressure balance across the membrane, and more. These aspects together with gaining a better understanding of the electrochemistry and electrical properties involved enable a better overall balance between all parameters to be achieved, leading to optimized fuel cell performance.

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John Van Zee, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Director of the NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Fuel Cells at the University of South Carolina, says: “Our role is to assist industry in moving toward the commercialization of fuel cell technology and in educating well-qualified engineers and scientists. CFD helps us with this mission by allowing us to understand our experimental data. Our close collaboration with the CD adapco Group has led to the integration of the electrochemistry aspects of fuel cells with es-pemfc and STAR-CD. The result es-pemfc, has proven to be very useful for many companies”.

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