Week 5 – Fuel Cell Blog

gcobos 2015-2016, 2015-2016 Fuel Cell Data Center, Project Achievements, Project Learning

This week we are continuing our MATLAB fuel cell model. This model will be able to tell us how much electricity the fuel cell can output depending on the higher heating value (HHV) of our fuel cell and a varying efficiency. This efficiency depends on changing temperature and desired power output. This is the base load for the data center. Once we are able to complete the model for the fuel cell, we will be able to integrate all of the parts together. This will allow us to determine how renewable our system actually is and whether or not it is possible to power a 100 MW data center solely off of renewable energy.

In order to test the efficiency of our solar panels, we have designed a circuit system and have submitted purchase orders for these parts. They should arrive within 2 weeks or so, with the exception of one potentiometer coming from China. We are almost done with writing a computer program that will run the solar panel tests. We are still working on the purchase orders for the cooling system, but have found the high temperature water pump that we want.

We have read the fuel cell maintenance manual and the installation manual to determine how to run the PEMFC. Running through the calculations, using the system’s rated efficiency, we have determined that we need around 91.6 SLPM of H2 in order to receive about 10 kW of power. However, the fuel cell manual says we could need up to 190 SLPM.

Last quarter, a lower classman expressed interest in our project so we are considering adding him to our team. We have interviewed him and will consult with Professor Brouwer to ensure this is acceptable.

We submitted our TGIF application last week and we received a response from them. We were awarded $3486 which will be used towards purchasing supplies for our project.