The compressor for supplying air to a fuel cell stack is a critical component in the balance of plant (BoP), especially for mobile applications. The main requirements of the compressor are the performance concerning pressure ratio, mass flow and efficiency, while having a minimal size and weight. The turbo compressor technology is ideally suited to meet these requirements.
Air bearings are employed to meet the long lifetime requirement and the need of an oil- and particle-free air supply. The fuel cell air supply requirements conflict with the turbo compressor’s pressure ratio and mass flow characteristics. The possible solutions and their impact on the compressor design and fuel cell operation are described in this article.
The complete white paper can be found here.