Commun. Comput. Phys., 11 (2012), pp. 65-98.

Numerical Study of a 3D Two-Phase PEM Fuel Cell Model Via a Novel Automated Finite Element/Finite Volume Program Generator

Pengtao Sun 1*, Su Zhou 2, Qiya Hu 3, Guoping Liang 4

1 Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 4505 Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89154, USA.
2 Department of Fuel Cell Power Systems, Tongji University (Jiading campus), 4800 Caoan Road, Shanghai 201804, China.
3 Institute of Computational Mathematics and Scientific Engineering Computing, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100080, China.
4 Institute of Mathematics, Academy of Mathematics and Systems Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100080, China.

Received 5 October 2010; Accepted (in revised version) 18 March 2011
Available online 5 September 2011


Numerical methods of a 3D multiphysics, two-phase transport model of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is studied in this paper. Due to the coexistence of multiphase regions, the standard finite element/finite volume method may fail to obtain a convergent nonlinear iteration for a two-phase transport model of PEMFC [49, 50]. By indroducing Kirchhoff transformation technique and a combined finite element-upwind finite volume approach, we efficiently achieve a fast convergence and reasonable solutions for this multiphase, multiphysics PEMFC model. Numerical implementation is done by using a novel automated finite element/finite volume program generator (FEPG). By virtue of a high-level algorithm description language (script), component programming and human intelligence technologies, FEPG can quickly generate finite element/finite volume source code for PEMFC simulation. Thus, one can focus on the efficient algorithm research without being distracted by the tedious computer programming on finite element/finite volume methods. Numerical success confirms that FEPG is an efficient tool for both algorithm research and software development of a 3D, multiphysics PEMFC model with multicomponent and multiphase mechanism.

AMS subject classifications: 65B99, 65K05, 65K10, 65N08, 65N12, 65N22, 65N30, 65Z05

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Key words: Proton exchange membrane fuel cell, two-phase transport, Kirchhoff transformation, finite element, finite volume, automated program generator, algorithm description language, script.

*Corresponding author.
Email: (P. Sun), (S. Zhou), (Q. Hu), (G. Liang)

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