Proton exchange membrane fuel cell integrated with microchannel membrane-based absorption cooling for hydrogen vehicles

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)560-573
Journal / PublicationRenewable Energy
Online published26 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles pave a promising technological pathway to achieve carbon neutrality. Conventional electric air-conditioning greatly increases hydrogen consumption and thus reduces the driving range. To recover waste heat for vehicle air-conditioning, this study proposes an integrated proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) and microchannel membrane-based absorption cooling (MMAC) system. Using a validated model, the PEMFC-MMAC system is characterized under different vital parameters. The PEMFC parameters affect the performance of both PEMFC and MMAC. The coupled performance of the PEMFC-MMAC system increases under a higher operating temperature, a higher operating pressure, or a higher doping level. The MMAC parameters mainly affect the performance of MMAC. The coupled performance of the PEMFC-MMAC system increases under a lower microchannel width or a lower microchannel height. In the covered PEMFC and MMAC parameter ranges, the combined energy efficiencies are improved by 202–273% while the equivalent power efficiencies are improved by 11.4–14.8% with heat recovery. The cooling-to-electrical ratio is 2.02–2.73, the cooling capacity per volume is 129.4–345.9 kW/m3, while the cooling capacity per mass is 0.0439–0.1132 kW/kg. Compared to the existing falling-film absorption cooling technology, the MMAC improves the compactness by 165.1%, reduces the weight by 51.3%, and enhances the COP by 2.6%. This study can facilitate the development of highly-compact, light-weight, energy-efficient, and zero-GWP technology for waste-driven air-conditioning in hydrogen vehicles.

Research Area(s)

  • Absorption cooling, Hydrogen vehicle, Microchannel membrane, Proton exchange membrane fuel cell, Waste heat recovery