Catalyst layer and membrane electrode assembly models
FCST contains several ready-to-use fuel cell models as well as toolboxes for electrical, ionic, and gas transport models
Extensive documentation
FCST comes with a detailed user manual and HTML documentation of every class in the code
Developer team
Developer team: M. Secanell, A. Putz, V. Zingan, M. Moore, M. Bhaiya, P. Wardlaw, K. Domican.

OpenFCST: The Open-source Fuel Cell Simulation Toolbox

The Fuel Cell Simulation Toolbox (FCST) is an open-source mathematical modelling package for polymer electrolyte fuel cells. FCST builds on top of the open-source finite element libraries deal.II, therefore many of its requirements in terms of operating systems and such are the same as for deal.II. FCST is distributed under the MIT License. FCST has been developed as a modular toolbox from which you can develop your own applications. It contains a database of physical phenomena equations, fuel cell layers and materials, and kinetics mathematical models. In addition, it already contains several applications that allow you to simulate different fuel cell components. For example, you can simulate a cathode electrode (using either a macrohomogeneous or an ionomer-filled agglomerate model), an anode electrode or a complete membrane electrode assembly. The applications already provided in FCST have been validated with respect to experimental data in the literature as well as numerical results from another model implemented in a commercial package.

FCST is being developed at the Energy Systems Design Laboratory at the University of Alberta in collaboration with the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation Corp. that, together with the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada has provided the majority of the funding required to develope this code. The goal of FCST is that research groups in academia and in industry use the current toolbox to better understand fuel cells and to develop new physics and material databases that can then be integrated in the current library.

FCST is an integrated open-source tool for fuel cell analysis and design. It has been developed primarly using the deal.II finite element libraries. It seamlessly integrates several open-source pre-processing, finite element and post-processing tools in order to analyze fuel cell systems. FCST contains a build-in mesh generator as well as it can import quadrilateral meshes generated with the open-source pre-processor Salome if your problem requires to simulate more complex geometries. The physics and material database in FCST allow you to setup the governing equations for the most important physical processes that take place in a fuel cell. FCST already implements the weak form for many governing equations that are finally solved using the finite element open-source libraries deal.II. In order to analyze your results, FCST can output your results to .vtk files that can easily be read with the open-source post-processor Paraview. FCST is not only an analysis tool. FCST also is also integrated with the design and optimization package Dakota. Therefore, it can be used for design and optimization as well as parameter estimation.

The following publications are based on FCST and provide information about the code:

  • M. Secanell, B. Carnes, A. Suleman and N. Djilali, "Numerical optimization of proton exchange membrane fuel cell cathodes", Electrochimica Acta, 52, 2007, 2668-2682
  • M. Secanell, K. Karan, A. Suleman and N. Djilali, "Multi-Variable Optimization of PEMFC Cathodes using an Agglomerate Model ", Electrochimica Acta, 52(22):6318-6337, 2007
  • M. Secanell, R. Songprakorp, A. Suleman and N. Djilali, "Multi-Objective Optimization of a Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Membrane Electrode Assembly", Energy and Environmental Sciences, 1(3) 378 - 388, 2008.
  • M. Secanell, K. Karan, A. Suleman and N. Djilali, "Optimal Design of Ultra-Low Platinum PEMFC Anode Electrodes", Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 155(2) B125-B134, 2008.
  • Dobson P., Lei C., Navessin T., Secanell M., "Characterization of the PEM fuel cell catalyst layer microstructure by nonlinear least-squares parameter estimation", Journal of the Electrochemical Society. 159:B514-B523, 2012.

 

Contact Us

Contact:Dr. Marc Secanell, Associate Professor, University of Alberta
Address: Univeristy of Alberta, 4-9 Mechanical Engineering Building, Edmonton, T6G 2G8, CANADA
Telephone: +1-780-492-6961
FAX: +1-780-492-2200
E-mail: secanell@ualberta.ca
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