Hydrogen technologies are seen as paving the way for climate-neutral mobility and as holding out hope for the climate-neutral design of the energy industry and the chemical industry. But to achieve this, the chemical processes of the cells need to be better understood. A team from the department »Transport Processes« led by Dr. Christian Leithäuser supports the design and optimization of the cells with novel simulation methods.
The fuel cell seems to be the ideal vehicle drive: quiet, clean and independent of oil. The hydrogen required for this can be obtained from green electricity via electrolysis. An electrolysis cell is similar to a fuel cell, except that the entire process is reversed: Using electrical energy, hydrogen is obtained by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. Among other things, a cell consists of two metallic plates (bipolar plates) and a membrane. The flow dynamics of the bipolar plate are quite crucial for the performance of the cell. Our team want to design these in such a way that the oxygen produced is discharged sufficiently quickly to make the cell more efficient. To do this, they simulate a multiphysics problem and use shape optimization methods.