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Designing the cooling system of a fuel-cell, used for an electric vehicle

Vasileiou Chrysostomos-Iasonas

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Year 2023
Type of Item Master Thesis
Bibliographic Citation Chrysostomos-Iasonas Vasileiou, "Designing the cooling system of a fuel-cell, used for an electric vehicle", Master Thesis, School of Production Engineering and Management, Technical University of Crete, Chania, Greece, 2023
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The TUCER’s team of the Technical University of Crete manufactures and develops prototype electric vehicles, which utilize fuel cell technology, taking part more than a dozen times in fuel saving competitions. This thesis concerns the ER2022 prototype vehicle, which was presented and took part for the first time in 2022 in the competition and uses a PEM type hydrogen fuel cell which converts hydrogen energy into electricity through an electrochemical reaction, for power and propulsion of the vehicle. The object approached, concerns the design and study of cooling systems of the fuel cell in order to draw conclusions of the safe operation and increase of the performance of the fuel cell, given that this is directly related to its operating temperatures. Initially, a brief literature review-study of the characteristics of the fuel cell application, as well as the air intake geometries used to approach the issue, is carried out. Specifically, with the use of the CATIA V5R20 software, through the parametric design philosophy, a main atmospheric air intake and exhaust system is implemented in a CAD environment, for the supply of oxidant and coolant to the cell, as well as the assembly of this as a whole of the vehicle. During the design, all physical and theoretical parameters are taken into account, as well as all the (strong) limitations that arise from them and strongly limit the design, studying the possibilities in the existing vehicle system. From the main parametric model, six geometric models are implemented, in a CAD environment, which differ in terms of the flow input and management technique, as well as the corresponding volumes that describe the flow domains resulting from them. Air intake models, utilize Scoop and NACA air ducts in conjunction with an S-type duct. The management of the exhaust flow is limited to a fixed geometric diffuser model. The designed models followed the simulation results sequentially, to achieve a uniform flow. For the study of the geometries, the ANSYS 2019R2 CFX software was used, through the construction of computational grids, definition of problems and their resolution. The models and their simulations focus on the study and approximation of a uniform allocation of flow velocities, which can have a corresponding effect on the heat removal from the body of the fuel cell. Specifically, the evaluation of the efficiency of the models in the system is judged from the result of the allocation of flow speeds on the inlet surface of the cell and how this affects the heat removal, through the of the allocation of local temperatures on the outlet surface of the fuel cell. Finally, by comparing and evaluating the results, proposals are made for further study of the cooling system, which are based on the data and the results of the simulations.

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