Welcome! Let’s grow the hydrogen economy together. Let’s grow the hydrogen community! Questions & Answers What are the factors that effect the efficiency of a fuel cell?

  • Roger Penn

    November 16, 2022 at 19:53

    For electrical efficiency (ACV/E°), it depends on the polarization curve (what Average Cell Voltage/ACV is the stack running at). If you operate at full power (near the concentration ‘knee’ of the pol curve) you will have lower electrical efficiency (0.60V/1.23V=49%) and have more heat rejection. If you operate higher up in the ohmic region of the pol curve, you have better electrical efficiency (0.75V/1.23V=61%), but you may need more cells (packaging space) to generate the required power (but have less heat rejection). For the fuel cell system, the efficiency calculation also needs to account for the parasitic loads (e.g. air compression, hydrogen recirculation blower, coolant pump, etc.) to determine the gross stack power vs the net system power delivered.

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