Ansys CFD software supports fuel cell optimisation

By Julian Buckley06 April 2023

Globe XLP80 fuel cell Globe XLP80 fuel cell (Photo: Ansys)

Temperature regulation is a key function of hydrogen fuel cell systems. Any missteps can negatively impact energy conversion. Airflow is used to mediate any temperature fluctuations, a process which requires understanding of mass flow, possible temperature ranges and flow distribution.

To get this understanding, Globe Fuel Cell Systems uses Ansys simulation software. The software has helped to achieve carbon neutrality in fuel cell tech, while also cutting related development costs. A triple-stage simulation setup is reported to have reduced cell development costs at Globe by more than £150,000.

The computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software is used to speed up validation of cooling loop performance and reduce the number of system iterations needed to verify temperature requirements.

Simulating the cooling loop within the context of the entire fuel cell system also helps engineers to better understand what level of airflow is needed, while identifying those physical adaptations which could further optimise system performance. The process will help to accelerate system scaling.

“The transportation industry plays an outsized role in global decarbonization, where speed and reliability are critical,” said Dr. Bernhard Wienk-Borgert, co-founder and chief technical officer at Globe Fuel Cell Systems. He continued: “Globe’s R&D team relies on Ansys simulation combined with advice from CADFEM to accelerate the development of our novel solutions with the confidence that they will perform safely in the real world, while meeting customer objectives for carbon neutrality.”

Prith Banerjee, chief technical officer at Ansys, added: “Simulation presents immediate scaling opportunities for fuel cell technology that can drive down development times and fuel cell stack costs, and quickly open up numerous possibilities in markets that were once aspirational for our customers.”

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