Model-based fuel cell design

Accelerated development, better-managed risk

PSE provides industry-leading multi-scale predictive models of fuel cell stack and system components to the automotive and power industries.

These are validated against experimental data then applied within a dynamic simulation and optimisation framework to explore the multi-dimensional decision space and address key design issues rapidly and effectively.

The result is faster time-to-market, better and more robust cell and system designs, reduced technology risk through elimination of technical challenges, and better integrated R&D experimentation and engineering design.

From experimental data to commercial cell

PSE's gFUELCELL software provides fuel cell stack and system designers with a comprehensive toolset that covers activities from rigorous model-based data analysis through detailed stack design to full commercial system design.

fucel cell system flowsheet

Key gFUELCELL application areas: from experimental data to commercial cell

For example, you can use gFUELCELL to:

  • Analyse data to determine system parameters and understand microscale phenomenathat cannot be determined from experimentation alone
  • Analyse phenomena such as liquid water production under different operating scenarios
  • Determine key stack KPIs under different drive cycle scenarios
  • Rapidly assess the performance of different system designs or materials
  • Perform detailed stack design using high-fidelity models that take into account all relevant phenomena

Key application areas

The application of high-fidelity models covers the entire fuel cell development lifecycle: from optimisation of the MEA materials and physical design to detailed design of the stack and the quantification and management of deactivation over the lifetime of the fuel cell.

1. Data analysis

Using high-fidelity models coupled with experimental data results in a significant improvement in the understanding of phenomena at both the macroscopic and microscopic level. This reduces R&D risk by allowing quantification of uncertainty, and makes it possible to determine accurate parameter values that can be used in subsequent stack and system design.

2. Conceptual system design

PSE's rigorous gFUELCELL models can be used in conjunction with system models to screen stack performance aspects such as water management and deactivation in a simple system under various scenarios. This allows designers to rapidly investigate the pros and cons of alternative system designs.

3. Commercial system design

A combined detailed fuel cell stack model and dynamic model of the entire power plant system provides an essential analysis tool for successful design and optimisation of commercial systems. It allows, for example, simulation of drive cycles in order to understand relevant interactions (e.g. the effect of recycle streams), and the design of operating procedures for start-up, shut-down and handling of emergency situations.

4. Detailed stack design

High-fidelity, first-principle stack models allow for rapid screening of new materials realistically evaluated in the context of a virtual 'working cell'. Models provide sufficient resolution to generate micro-scale information (for example, distribution of voltage loss over the components of the MEA) that cannot be obtained from the macro-scale experimental data.

How it works

gFUELCELL's model-based engineering approach deploys high-fidelity models validated against experimental data to provide a highly-accurate predictive capability.

This allows fuel cell system designers to explore the multi-dimensional decision space in order to screen and rank alternatives and address key design issues rapidly and effectively.

The result is faster time-to-market, better and more robust designs, reduced technology risk through elimination of technical challenges, more integrated R&D experimentation and engineering design, and better overall understanding of the fuel cell system.

PSE services

PSE provides extensive expert services to help companies with all of the areas described above, in order to accelerate commercialisation and manage the technology risk associated with fuel cell stack and system design.

We can help you make sense of your experimental data to understand microscale phenomena, determine key system parameters, and if necessary design further experiments to fill in the gaps as efficiently as possible.

We can then help construct high-fidelity stack and/or system models that will allow design and development engineers to investigate a range of design options and operational scenarios.


PSE works in a collaborative and consultative manner with customers. Though the company provides 'standard products' such as gFUELCELL, we are happy to tailor these (extensively if necessary) to meet particular requirements.

Our website uses cookies so that we can provide a better browsing experience. Continue to use the site as normal if you're happy with this or find out more about cookies