Thermal and water management of low temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell in fork-lift truck power system

Elham Hosseinzadeh, Masoud Rokni, Raja Abid Rabbani, Henrik Hilleke Mortensen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


A general zero-dimensional Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) model has been developed for forklift truck application. The balance of plant (BOP) comprises of a compressor, an air humidifier, a set of heat exchangers and a recirculation pump. Water and thermal management of the fuel cell stack and BOP has been investigated in this study. The results show that humidification of the inlet air is of great importance. By decreasing the relative humidity of inlet air from 95% to 25%, the voltage can drop by 29%. In addition, elevated stack temperature can lead to a higher average cell voltage when membrane is fully hydrated otherwise it causes a drastic voltage drop in the stack. Furthermore, by substituting liquid water with water-ethylene glycol mixture of 50%, the mass flow of coolant increases by about 32-33% in the inner loop and 60-65% in the outer loop for all ranges of current. The system can then be started up at about -25. °C with negligible change in the efficiency. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Energy
Pages (from-to)434-444
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • PEM
  • Fuel cells
  • Thermal management
  • Water management
  • Forklift
  • Power system

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