M.S. Thesis Presentation by Michael J. Still
Monday, November 19, 2001

(Drs. Sheldon Jeter and Said Abdel-khalik, co-advisors)

"All-Air Moisture and Energy Recovery System for Fuel Cell Exhaust Stream"

Abstract

A turbocharger based system for removing moisture and energy from the exhaust stream of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell has been proposed.  To evaluate and develop this concept a test facility for modeling the fuel cell exhaust stream was constructed. The test apparatus allowed the variation of key exhaust stream parameters including pressure, temperature, relative humidity, and mass flow rate.  To achieve the desired conditions, compressed air is introduced into the system to provide the required flow rate using a pressure-regulating valve to control the system inlet pressure.  The air is then heated with a resistance heater and humidified by steam injection.  The heated, humidified, and pressurized air is then passed through the moisture and energy recovery system, consisting of an automotive type turbocharger and a centrifugal separator.  A data collection system was also developed to measure the conditions at various points and determine the overall system performance.  Testing was performed at the nominal design condition, as well as with varied mass flow rates to simulate partial load conditions.  Promising preliminary results will be presented.