Thermal management of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack with pyrolytic graphite sheets and fans combined

Chih-yung Wen, Yu Sheng Lin, Chien Heng Lu, Tei Wei Luo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


This work characterizes the thermal management of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stack with combined passive and active cooling. A 10-cell PEMFC stack with an active area of 100 cm2for each cell is constructed. Six thermally conductive 0.1-mm-thick Pyrolytic Graphite Sheets (PGSs) are cut into the shape of flow channels and bound to the six central cathode gas channel plates. These PGSs, which are lightweight and have high thermal conductivity, function as heat spreaders and fins and provide passive cooling in the fuel cell stack, along with two small fans for forced convection. Three other cooling configurations with differently sized fans are also tested for comparisons (without PGSs). Although the maximum power generated by the stack with the configuration combining PGSs and fans was 183 W, not the highest among all configurations, it significantly reduced the volume, weight, and cooling power of the thermal management system. Net power, specific power, volumetric power density, and back work ratio of this novel thermal management method are 179 W, 18.54 W kg-1, 38.9 kW m-3, and 2.1%, respectively, which are superior to those of the other three cooling configurations with fans. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6082-6089
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Back work ratio
  • Proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack
  • Pyrolytic graphite sheet
  • Specific power
  • Thermal management
  • Volumetric power density

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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