Direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) systems are currently being developed for portable electronic applications. A DMFC system that uses neat methanol with energy content of near 5 Whr/cc along with a compact fuel cell and compact auxiliaries can result in energy densities higher than the Li-Ion battery. An optimized fuel cell design along with a compact structural and thermal system design is thus essential, in order to simultaneously minimize the volume of the system and maximize its energy content. The portable fuel cell system performance over a range of environmental conditions is also essential for both consumer and military applications. An optimization was carried out in order to determine the fuel cell optimal operating conditions. A structural and thermal design of a portable micro fuel cell system was presented which addressed the aforementioned challenges. Nonlinear structural and thermal finite element analysis was carried out in order to develop the successful design.

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