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EFFICIENT PARALLEL ALGORITHM FOR FUEL CELL STACK SIMULATION

A. A. KULIKOVSKY
SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics
Vol. 70, No. 2, Fuel Cells: Modeling, Analysis, and Computation (2009), pp. 531-542
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27798789
Page Count: 12
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EFFICIENT PARALLEL ALGORITHM FOR FUEL CELL STACK SIMULATION
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Abstract

A planar fuel cell stack is a layered structure consisting of repeated modules—membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs) separated by bipolar plates (BPs). Generally, the distributions of voltage and temperature over the BP volume are described by three-dimensional Laplace equations. However, the thickness of a BP is much smaller than its in-plane size. This enables us to reduce a three-dimensional Laplace equation to a two-dimensional Poisson equation and to develop an efficient parallel algorithm for stack simulation. In the simplest variant, each individual module "MEA + BP" is solved on a separate processor. Typically, the number of cells in a stack is 10 to 100; this algorithm is thus most suitable for small- and medium-scale parallel machines. A much faster method is to cut every module into a number of "stripes" and to solve each stripe on a separate processor. Numerical tests with this method show that with eight stripes per module the solution of the electric problem is obtained roughly ten times faster than expected. Evidently, the striping algorithm provides much faster convergence of the iterative Poisson solver. The effect is presumably due to fast damping of high-frequency modes of potential in the iteration process. This algorithm may open up possibilities for fast simulation of real 100-cell stacks using massively parallel machines.

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