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  Design and performance optimization of Proton exchange membrane fuel cell for aviation application

   Faculty of Engineering, Computing and the Environment

   Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Commercial aviation currently accounts for approximately 2.6% of annual global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel combustion. With the depletion and pollution of fossil energy, the demand for environmentally friendly power technology and efficient and clean energy for aviation has increased steeply in recent years. Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are receiving increasing attention due to their good conversion efficiency, environmental characteristics, simple structure and low noise.  

One of the most important and effective elements in the improvement of efficiency and power density of fuel cells are the bipolar plates. These components supply fuel and oxidants, remove generated water, collect produced current and provide mechanical support for the brittle membrane electrode assembly in fuel cell stack. PEM fuel cell performance is directly related to the bipolar plate design and their channels pattern. Power enhancements can be achieved by optimal design of the type, size, or patterns of the channels. The proposed PhD project concentrates on improvements in the fuel cell performance for Aviation application by optimization of flow-field design and channels configurations through numerical simulation, which requires power density robustness, compactness, and etc. 


This project will require a sound understanding of aerospace propulsion system, computational technologies (CFD), as well as good modelling skills. It would particularly suit a graduate in Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or an equivalent area. Detailed background knowledge on fuel cell is not required, but enthusiasm, flexibility and motivation to success are essential. 

Engineering (12) Physics (29)

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