Exergy analysis of an ethanol fuelled proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system for automobile applications
An integrated ethanol fuelled proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) power system was investigated following a second law exergy analysis. The system was assumed to have the typical design for automobile applications and was comprised of a vaporizer/mixer, a steam reformer, a CO-shift reactor, a CO-remover (PROX) reactor, a PEMFC and a burner. The exergy analysis was applied for different PEMFC power and voltage outputs assuming the ethanol steam reforming at about 600 K and the CO-shift reaction at about 400 K. A detailed parametric analysis of the plant is presented and operation guidelines are suggested for effective performance. In every case, the exergy analysis method is proved to allow an accurate allocation of the deficiencies of the subsystems of the plant and serves as a unique tool for essential technical improvements. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.