The demand for small fuel cell systems is rapidly growing, as batteries today can no longer meet the high energy requirements of modern consumer electronics. The output power of direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) is strongly temperature-dependent (activity of reaction layers and convective heat transport of the anode). The aim of this project is to develop a preheating system for a silicium micro fuel cell based µDMFC to achieve a starting time of less than 5 minutes.  A non-intrusive temperature and velocity measurement technique based on fluorescent particles will be developed in order to investigate the heat transfer process in the small channels of a µDMFC, for the first time. For this task, the complementary expertise of the Center for Fuel Cell Technology (Zentrum für Brennstoffzellen Technik GmbH, ZBT) and the Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Aerodynamics at Bundeswehr University Munich will be combined.  A Si-µDMFC membrane is designed and manufactured, which will be used as a test cell. At the same time, the luminescence based measurement technology is developed. The flow and temperature fields measured in the Si-µDMFC are analyzed in order to design and test an adequate heating strategy by means of electrical heating, using the internal current. Due to the quick start capability of the µDMFC system, the high energy density of methanol can be used effectively. After completion of the project, it will be possible for KMUs, e. g. via the ZIM cooperation network of the ZBT, to set up a fast starting portable power supply with high energy capacity for e. g. mobile electronic devices. The new measuring system can be utilized by KMUs without expert knowledge of metrology and can also be used to optimize other heat transfer processes (e.g. cooling of microelectronics, microfluidic reactors for chemical and pharmaceutical process engineering).
Cooperations: Zentrum für Brennstoffzellen Technik GmbH (ZBT), Technische University of Ilmenau
Person in charge: M.Sc. Julian Massing
Funder: AiF Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen „Otto von Guericke“ e. V.