Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Ismail B. Celik.


Fuel cell systems have garnered much attention recently as a possible source of clean, efficient energy. These systems are presently being designed in various arrangements to combine the use of fuel cells with other efficient power producing devices such as gas turbines, producing a system which is more efficient than either the fuel cell or gas turbine alone. The accurate modeling of these types of systems is an important contribution to the increasing development of such technologies. Of particular interest is the transient behavior of these systems, including the flow and thermal behavior of the air and fuel used. The contribution of this work is the development of a numerical, one-dimensional, variable-area duct model to predict the transient flow and thermal behavior of gasses moving through the system. Additional transient models for plenum, tee, and elbow components are created, and these parts are connected with the duct model to perform simulations of simple flow systems. Some thermal and flow characteristics of these systems are analyzed and discussed. As a verification of the models created, a portion of an actual fuel cell system is modeled and the results are compared with experimental data.