PEM single fuel cell as a dedicated power source for superconducting coils

Abstract : Fuel cells are, in essence, low-voltage energy sources. Moreover, preliminary investigations led with a single proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) demonstrated its behavior as a DC current source, in which the current can be directly controlled by the H2 flow rate for sufficiently low voltage. In this paper, we propose to take advantage of both low voltage level and current source operating mode to supply energy to a high inductance superconducting coil. Due to sensitivity to current ripples among others, at present, superconducting coils supply is dealt with the use of specific electronic power supplies, exhibiting in most cases a huge volume and/or a low energy yield. Since resistance of superconducting coils is zero, this particular use of PEMFC requires to operate in short-circuit, which is unusual in regular approach. For this purpose, we first define requirements of such an application, by making use of a PEMFC electrical model based on a 1D analog representation of mass transport phenomena. This model, which is directly implemented in a standard simulation software used in electrical engineering, enables to take into account the influence of gas supply conditions, notably diffusion limit operation. Then, these theoretical principles are validated by supplying a 10 H superconducting coil cooled by liquid helium by means of a single 100 cm2 PEMFC.
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Submitted on : Thursday, June 15, 2017 - 6:01:42 PM
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Rafael-Antonio Linares-Lamus, Stéphane Raël, Kévin Berger, Melika Hinaje, Jean Lévêque. PEM single fuel cell as a dedicated power source for superconducting coils. 9th International Exergy, Energy and Environment Symposium (IEEES-9), May 2017, Split, Croatia. pp.415-421. ⟨hal-01540155⟩

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