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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Eric M Stuve
CHEM E 445
Seattle Campus

Fuel Cell Engineering

Introduction to electrochemical fuel cells for use in transportation and stationary power applications. Topics covered include types of fuel cells, single cell operation, stack engineering, overall system design, and safety, with emphasis on proton exchange membrane and solid oxide fuel cells. Prerequisite: CHEM E 330.

Class description

In this class, students will examine the basic science and engineering of electrochemical energy systems, comprised of fuel cells and batteries. Lectures will cover electrical, electrochemical, material, and heat effects in fuel cells and batteries. These ideas will be illustrated with examples in practice. Fuel cells will be discussed by comparison of a low temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell and a high temperature solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC). Battery function will be illustrated with examples from the automotive, aviation, and electric grid industries.

Student learning goals

At the end of this course students should be able design fuel cells and batteries taking into account the following attributes:

Specified potential and current

Effects of temperature, pressure, and thermal characteristics

Use of hydrogen and hydrocarbon fuels or type of battery

Proton exchange membrane (PEM) and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC)

General method of instruction

Class lectures, weekly homework assignments, two midterm exams, and a group project.

Recommended preparation

Students should have at least one course dedicated to thermodynamics, knowledge of Excel spreadsheets, junior level engineering mathematics, and an understanding of heat and mass balance. This course is intended for seniors in engineering and the physical sciences and is open to juniors, seniors, and graduate students in engineering and the physical sciences. If in doubt as to the necessary background material, contact the instructor.

Class assignments and grading

As above for general method of instruction.

Grading will be on a traditional basis of 0.0-4.0, with an anticipated mean grade of 3.3.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Eric M Stuve
Date: 03/20/2014