Title page for ETD etd-09302003-185853

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Evans, John P
URN etd-09302003-185853
Title Experimental Evaluation of the Effect of Inlet Gas Humidification on Fuel Cell Performance
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Ellis, Michael W. Committee Chair
Nelson, Douglas J. Committee Member
Von Spakovsky, Michael R. Committee Member
  • fuel cell
  • steam injection
  • flash evaporation
  • humidification
  • hydrogen
Date of Defense 2003-09-17
Availability unrestricted
The development and evaluation of a fuel cell test stand incorporating various methods for controlling the temperature and humidity of fuel cell reactants is described. The test stand is capable of accurately metering gas flows, controlling the temperature and humidity of the gases, and delivering the gases to the fuel cell in a safe manner. Additionally, the test stand can measure the voltage and current produced by the fuel cell during operation. Two test stands were constructed and evaluated, one using steam injection for fuel cell stacks and the other using flash evaporation for individual fuel cells. Both test stands were shown to provide adequate control at the upper end of the design range. The flash evaporation test apparatus was used to investigate the effect of inlet gas humidity on fuel cell performance. The results from this investigation showed that, for a fuel cell and reactant temperature of 75oC, the best performance was achieved with a high relative humidity (90%RH) for the hydrogen and a comparatively low relative humidity (60%) for the air.
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