Polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) has been developing as clean power generation technology. However, there are some subjects to spread PEFC among industries and homes in the world. The one of such subjects is drop in power generation performance and durability caused by heat and mass distribution in a single cell of PEFC. The purpose of this study is to point out the dominant factor of heat and mass transfer phenomena and clarify the reason for heat and mass distribution in a single cell. With the aid of observation window, the in-plane temperature distribution in single cell under power generation was measured by thermograph. The influence of operation conditions on temperature distribution was investigated. Moreover, to clarify the heat and mass transfer mechanism theoretically, the simulations to investigate the factor needed for the ideal reaction and evaluate the influence of separator structure on heat and mass distribution were carried out.
Several geometric types of the small scale catalytic combustors applying the pellet catalysts as both the heat source and the emitter for infrared ray generation were developed in order to investigate the catalytic combustion phenomenon and the effective operation conditions for the TPV generation system. The results of temperature measurements and exhaust gas analyses showed that there were the optimal width and length of the combustor geometry for the high combustion efficiency and the reduction of the residual CO concentration. The ultraviolet and visible spectral measurements showed that the surface chemical reaction was predominant in the catalytic combustion and the gas phase reaction which causes higher temperature and higher reaction rate than those of the surface reaction scarcely occurred in the developed combustor. The near infrared spectral measurements showed that the pellet catalysts in the combustor could play the role of the emitter for the TPV generation system.
In a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC), the current density through the polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) is distributed along the electrode on the membrane electrode assembly (MEA). To increase the electric power density of a PEFC, it is necessary to locate local decreases in current density where electric power generation decreases due to a lack of hydrogen, flooding, and so on. Therefore, achieving a higher current density in a PEFC requires monitoring the local current density. We developed a new method to estimate the spatial distribution of current flowing through the MEA in a polymer electrolyte water electrolysis equipment (PEWEE) and a PEFC using Nuclear-Magnetic-Resonance (NMR) sensors. The magnetic field strength induced by current through the MEA in a PEWEE is acquired as the frequency shift of the NMR signal which is measured by the NMR sensor. The spatial distributions of the frequency shifts occurring along the MEA in a PEWEE and a PEFC was measured. In order to verify the method, the magnetic field strength induced by the current through the gas diffusion layer (GDL) in a PEWEE was analyzed theoretically under the assumption that the current through MEA was uniform. The frequency shift was then calculated as a function of the geometry of the GDL, current, and the position of the NMR sensor. From experimental and theoretical results, the frequency shift of the NMR signal is proportional to current density and depends on the position of the sensors. Using the measurement system, we also obtained the current distribution through the GDL in a PEFC generating electric power. In these studies, the experimental and theoretical results agree.
A small and high performance heat exchanger for small size energy equipments such as fuel cells and CO2 heat pumps is required in these days. In author's previous studies, the heat exchanger consisted of microchannels stacked in layers has been developed. It has resistance to pressure of larger than 15 MPa since it is manufactured by diffusion bond technique. Thus this device can be applied for high flow rate and pressure fluctuation conditions as boiling and condensation. The objectives of the present study are to clarify the heat transfer performance of the prototype heat exchanger and to investigate the thermal hydraulic behavior in the microchannel for design optimization of the device. As the results, it is clarified that the present device attained high heat transfer as 7 kW at the steam condensation, despite its weight of only 230 g. Furthermore, steam condensation behavior in a glass capillary tube, as a simulated microchannel, in a cooling water pool was observed with various inlet pressure and temperature of surrounding water. Relation between steam-water two-phase flow structure and the overall heat transfer coefficient is discussed.
The partial thermal load performance tests of electric-motor driven multi-type air-conditioners for buildings, the rated cooling and heating capacities of which were 56 kW and 63 kW, respectively, were carried out using the air-enthalpy method testing apparatus. Based on the results of those tests, the applicability of JIS B 8616: 2006, which was developed for the estimation of the annual electricity consumption of packaged air-conditioners with rated cooling capacities less than 28 kW, to the multi-type air-conditioners with larger capacities were examined. It was found that JIS B 8616: 2006 generally overestimates COP under a relatively low thermal load operation. As a result, the annual electricity consumption is underestimated by JIS. The prediction error changes depending of the building uses, and it amounted to -17 % in the case of office and -6 % in the detached shop.
To clarify the mechanisms of combustion oscillation, combustion noise and their suppression by secondary fuel injection, simultaneous measurements of stereoscopic particle image velocimetry (SPIV) and pressure fluctuation in combustion chamber were conducted on several planes of a swirl-stabilized turbulent premixed flame for no control case and noise-controlled case by continuous secondary fuel injection. Velocities measured by SPIV were averaged in 8 phases of the pressure fluctuation and streamlines were obtained from the phase-averaged velocities. For no control case, large-scale vortical structures are generated in regions around the axial centerline of the combustor and outer edge of the swirl nozzle in the phase of low pressure. With increasing pressure, they move near the contour surface of mean progress variable c = 0.5 which have been obtained in the previous study. These large-scale vortical motions induce fluctuation of flame front and enhance entropy term in the acoustic sound source. The secondary fuel injection suppresses the velocity fluctuation in the inner recirculation zone, resulting in reduction of combustion noise. These results show that control of the large-scale vortical motion is important for reduction of combustion noise.
Enhancement of heat transfer by pin-fin channels with turbulence promoters has been investigated with an aim to improve the cooling efficiency of combustor liners in gas turbines. Time-mean local Nusselt number profiles were obtained by naphthalene sublimation technique based on the heat/mass transfer analogy for Reynolds numbers ranging from 1000-10000. Two oblique rib-type turbulence promoters were tested and compared with no-rib cases. In addition, steady three-dimensional numerical simulations using a RANS model were performed. Installation of turbulence promoters is found to be effective in increasing the endwall heat transfer rate widely and uniformly. In addition, the ribs enhance heat transfer, especially in developing regions at the first and second pin-fin rows. Local high heat transfer regions were obtained in front of the ribs due to horseshoe vortices and downstream of the pins due to a longitudinal vortex.