Analysis of Surrogate Models for Vapour Transport and Distribution in a Hollow Fibre Membrane Humidifier
To achieve high efficiency and low degradation of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEMFC), it is necessary to maintain an appropriate level of humidification in the fuel cell membrane. Thus, membrane humidifiers are typically used in PEMFC systems. Parameter studies are important to evaluate membrane humidifiers under various operating conditions to reduce the amount of physical tests. However, simulative studies are computationally expensive when using detailed models. To reduce the computational cost, surrogate models are set up. In our study, a 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of a hollow fibre membrane humidifier is presented and validated using measurement data. Based on the results of the validated CFD model, a surrogate model of the humidifier is constructed using proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) in combination with different interpolation methods. To evaluate the surrogate models, their results are compared against reference solutions from the CFD model. Our results show that a Halton design combined with a thin-plate-spline interpolation results in the most accurate surrogate humidifier model. Its normalised mean absolute error for 18 test points when predicting the water mass fraction in the membrane humidifier is 0.58%. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that the solutions of the POD model can be used to initialise CFD calculations and thus accelerate the calculation of steady state CFD solutions.