A comparison of evaporative and liquid cooling methods for fuel cell vehicles

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Despite having efficiencies higher than internal combustion engines, heat rejection from fuel cells remains challenging due to lower operating temperatures and reduced exhaust heat flow. This work details a full system simulation which is then used to compare a conventional liquid cooled fuel cell system to two types of evaporatively cooled fuel cell systems. Both steady state and transient operation are considered. Results show the radiator frontal area required to achieve thermal and water balance for an evaporatively cooled system with an aluminium condensing radiator is 27% less than a conventional liquid cooled system at 1.25 A/cm2 steady state operation. The primary reason for the reduction is higher heat transfer coefficients in the condensing radiator due to phase change. It is also shown that the liquid water separation efficiency has a significant influence on the required radiator frontal area of the evaporatively cooled system.




Fly, A., & Thring, R. H. (2016). A comparison of evaporative and liquid cooling methods for fuel cell vehicles. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 41(32), 14217–14229. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhydene.2016.06.089

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