Heat pipes to increase the efficiency of fuel cells

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Abstract

The goal of this work is to suggest, design and develop new heat pipe heat exchangers to increase the efficiency of fuel cells (FCs). At least two types of heat pipe coolers are considered. The first one is a heat pipe spreader used to equalize the temperature field inside the FC stack. The second one ensures the waste heat dissipation in the surrounding. Besides this main category of heat pipe application in FCs' thermal control, there are possibilities of applying heat pipes in ancillary systems, such as fuel cartridges thermal control and systems for FCs' heat recovery (co-generation and tri-generation). Heat pipes for FC thermal management ought to have highly effective thermal conductivity and be insensitive to the gravity forces. The vacant porous media for such micro/mini-heat pipes is a metal-sintered powder wick or a silicon/carbon porous wafer with biporous (micro/macropores) composition, saturated with working fluid.

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