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Lab4 - FAMU-FSU College of Engineering Department of...

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FAMU-FSU College of Engineering Department of Mechanical Engineering EML 4930/5930 Spring 2007 Lab 3: PEM Fuel Cell Characterization Prof. A. Krothapalli
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Introduction The majority of our electrical power is derived from the burning of fossil fuels. During combustion, chemical potential energy in fuel is converted to thermal energy. Using a heat engine, thermal energy is then converted into mechanical energy. Because of the inefficiencies in each step of this process, the useful electrical work output is much less than the chemical energy input. In contrast, fuel cells convert chemical energy directly into electrical energy. In this process, the electrons are transferred one at a time, thus resulting in less irreversibility and therefore greater useful work output. Objectives In this lab you will gain hands-on experience in the operation and performance of fuel cell power generators. You will characterize fuel cell performance by generating polarization (V-I) and power curves. In addition, you will also calculate the voltage, efficiency, and examine the effect of power output on cell efficiency.
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