Mebius is Enhancing Efficiency in Hydrogen Fuel Cell Manufacturing with COMSOL Multiphysics

Mebius has partnered with SciEngineer to optimize the design of bipolar plates using COMSOL Multiphysics software. COMSOL Multiphysics enabled the team to calculate electrochemical, thermal, and fluid dynamics simultaneously and allowed for iterative design refinement.

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A pioneer in hydrogen-based technology, Mebius is dedicated to advancing its membrane development. Currently, Mebius is refining the Gas Diffusion Electrode (GDE) component, which includes the Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) and catalyst. The GDL is purchased from manufacturers, while Mebius focuses on enhancing the catalyst application process onto the membrane. This process creates MEA 7, consisting of two GDLs, one membrane, catalyst application on both sides of the membrane, and two internal sealing.

Through its commitment to innovation and sustainability, Mebius aims to revolutionize the energy industry by developing cutting-edge solutions for the clean and efficient production of energy. Currently, Mebius is focused on the developmental phase of the fuel cell stack.

The market for hydrogen is experiencing rapid growth, as industries and governments worldwide recognize the importance of transitioning to clean energy sources. Hydrogen fuel cells have emerged as a promising technology for generating electricity with minimal environmental impact. The manufacturing process of hydrogen fuel cells entails various intricate steps, each presenting its own set of challenges.

Challenge

One big challenge in hydrogen fuel cell manufacturing is optimizing the efficiency of bipolar plates. Without advanced simulation tools, identifying the ideal geometric and physical parameters becomes an incredibly difficult, if not impossible, task. While manual calculations may be available, the results are merely rough estimates, due to their complexity, given that many different physical phenomena take place at the same time.

Solution

To address this challenge, Mebius partnered with SciEngineer, a leading provider of engineering simulation services, to optimize the design of bipolar plates using COMSOL Multiphysics software. Arpad Forberger, an expert in multiphysics simulations, spearheaded the collaboration, utilizing his expertise to model and optimize the design of the plates while also taking into consideration heat exchange dynamics.

COMSOL Multiphysics allowed the team to calculate and assess the complicated interplay of electrochemical, thermal, and fluid dynamics simultaneously. This capability allowed for iterative calculations, thus refining the design iteratively. Whether dealing with a single physical model or a complex multiphysics model, the software’s user-friendly interface facilitated seamless integration. Additionally, its ability to utilize all available CPU cores ensured efficient handling of even the most intricate models.

Images from COMSOL

Results

By leveraging the capabilities of COMSOL Multiphysics, Arpad Forberger efficiently set up a physical model of the bipolar plates, resulting in quicker preliminary results. The use of virtual prototypes not only streamlined the design process but also significantly reduced time to market. This approach enabled the team to identify and eliminate design errors early on, ensuring a more robust final product. Additionally, the flexibility to modify the material and operational properties of the model easily proved invaluable.

The plates optimized in this manner demonstrated improved hydrogen flow dynamics and a reduction in heat generation. These enhancements translated into a significant boost to the fuel cell stack’s performance and reliability. Now, Mebius is able to offer a more efficient and reliable hydrogen fuel cell solution that meets the growing demands of the energy industry.

Summary

Challenge

Optimizing the efficiency of bipolar plates is a significant challenge for hydrogen fuel cell manufacturing. Without advanced simulation tools, finding ideal geometric and physical parameters is not only difficult, but nearly impossible. Due to the complexity of simultaneous physical phenomena, many calculations only result in an imprecise approximation.

Solution

Using COMSOL Multiphysics enables simultaneous calculation of electrochemical, thermal, and fluid dynamics and allows for iterative design refinement.

Results

  • Improved hydrogen flow dynamics.
  • Reduction in heat generation.
  • Enhanced performance and reliability of the fuel cell stack.

Products Used

 

 

 

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