Analysis and comparison of high-temperature PEM fuel cells systems for hybrid vehicles application




Greater Copenhagen area

Environmental concerns stress the necessity of new solutions for energy supply both in the stationary and automotive field. In this context, fuel cells emerged as an interesting and promising solution, both for industrial and transport applications.

Among these latter ones, high temperature PEM fuel cells systems are likely to be the most versatile solution, due to the relative high level of operative temperature, absence of water management problems, high tolerance to CO content and flexibility in fuel composition. In comparison to conventional PEM fuel cells, which require almost pure hydrogen and water as inlet fuel, this new latter feature enables a wider range of possibilities in terms of fuel composition, which consistently increase the flexibility of the system.

Among the different kind of fuel cells, high-temperature polymeric electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells operate typically at low temperature, in a range within 120-200°C, and are thereby particularly suitable for automotive applications. Compared to traditional low-temperature fuel cells, the relatively high temperature significantly improves the cells' tolerance to CO, making it advantageous to run this kind of fuel cells on reformate gas.

The project will investigate the performance of a novel system coupling a 5 kW high temperature PEM fuel cell fed by a hydrogen-rich reformate mixture. The system is supposed to be employed as a battery-life extender for hybrid vehicles. Several fuels will be investigated for the steam reforming process, such as methanol, natural gas or ethanol.  In this work, the attention will be focused on the thermodynamic modeling, the analysis of the different steady state systems and the comparison of the different operative conditions and performances.

The project will help to reproduce the behavior of a real setup, which is currently under development for experimental tests.

In collaboration with

Danish Power System

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Company / Organization

DTU Mekanik


Marvin Mikael Rokni




Supervisor info

MSc in Sustainable Energy


Marvin Mikael Rokni


Angelo La Seta

ECTS credits



MSc thesis

Technical University of Denmark

For almost two centuries DTU, Technical University of Denmark, has been dedicated to fulfilling the vision of H.C. Ørsted – the father of electromagnetism – who founded the university in 1829 to develop and create value using the natural sciences and the technical sciences to benefit society.

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