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Sample records for pem fuel cell

  1. PEM regenerative fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swette, Larry L.; Laconti, Anthony B.; Mccatty, Stephen A.

    1993-01-01

    This paper will update the progress in developing electrocatalyst systems and electrode structures primarily for the positive electrode of single-unit solid polymer proton exchange membrane (PEM) regenerative fuel cells. The work was done with DuPont Nafion 117 in complete fuel cells (40 sq cm electrodes). The cells were operated alternately in fuel cell mode and electrolysis mode at 80 C. In fuel cell mode, humidified hydrogen and oxygen were supplied at 207 kPa (30 psi); in electrolysis mode, water was pumped over the positive electrode and the gases were evolved at ambient pressure. Cycling data will be presented for Pt-Ir catalysts and limited bifunctional data will be presented for Pt, Ir, Ru, Rh, and Na(x)Pt3O4 catalysts as well as for electrode structure variations.

  2. PEM/SPE fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Grot, S.A.

    1998-01-13

    A PEM/SPE fuel cell is described including a membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) having a plurality of oriented filament embedded the face thereof for supporting the MEA and conducting current therefrom to contiguous electrode plates. 4 figs.

  3. PEM/SPE fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Grot, Stephen Andreas

    1998-01-01

    A PEM/SPE fuel cell including a membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) having a plurality of oriented filament embedded the face thereof for supporting the MEA and conducting current therefrom to contiguous electrode plates.

  4. Corrosion resistant PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Li, Y.; Meng, W.J.; Swathirajan, S.; Harris, S.J.; Doll, G.L.

    1997-04-29

    The present invention contemplates a PEM fuel cell having electrical contact elements (including bipolar plates/septums) comprising a titanium nitride coated light weight metal (e.g., Al or Ti) core, having a passivating, protective metal layer intermediate the core and the titanium nitride. The protective layer forms a barrier to further oxidation/corrosion when exposed to the fuel cell`s operating environment. Stainless steels rich in Cr, Ni, and Mo are particularly effective protective interlayers. 6 figs.

  5. Corrosion resistant PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Fronk, Matthew Howard; Borup, Rodney Lynn; Hulett, Jay S.; Brady, Brian K.; Cunningham, Kevin M.

    2011-06-07

    A PEM fuel cell having electrical contact elements comprising a corrosion-susceptible substrate metal coated with an electrically conductive, corrosion-resistant polymer containing a plurality of electrically conductive, corrosion-resistant filler particles. The substrate may have an oxidizable metal first layer (e.g., stainless steel) underlying the polymer coating.

  6. Corrosion resistant PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Fronk, Matthew Howard; Borup, Rodney Lynn; Hulett, Jay S.; Brady, Brian K.; Cunningham, Kevin M.

    2002-01-01

    A PEM fuel cell having electrical contact elements comprising a corrosion-susceptible substrate metal coated with an electrically conductive, corrosion-resistant polymer containing a plurality of electrically conductive, corrosion-resistant filler particles. The substrate may have an oxidizable metal first layer (e.g., stainless steel) underlying the polymer coating.

  7. Corrosion resistant PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Li, Yang; Meng, Wen-Jin; Swathirajan, Swathy; Harris, Stephen J.; Doll, Gary L.

    1997-01-01

    The present invention contemplates a PEM fuel cell having electrical contact elements (including bipolar plates/septums) comprising a titanium nitride coated light weight metal (e.g., Al or Ti) core, having a passivating, protective metal layer intermediate the core and the titanium nitride. The protective layer forms a barrier to further oxidation/corrosion when exposed to the fuel cell's operating environment. Stainless steels rich in CR, Ni, and Mo are particularly effective protective interlayers.

  8. Corrosion resistant PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Li, Yang; Meng, Wen-Jin; Swathirajan, Swathy; Harris, Stephen Joel; Doll, Gary Lynn

    2001-07-17

    The present invention contemplates a PEM fuel cell having electrical contact elements (including bipolar plates/septums) comprising a titanium nitride coated light weight metal (e.g., Al or Ti) core, having a passivating, protective metal layer intermediate the core and the titanium nitride. The protective layer forms a barrier to further oxidation/corrosion when exposed to the fuel cell's operating environment. Stainless steels rich in CR, Ni, and Mo are particularly effective protective interlayers.

  9. Corrosion resistant PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Li, Yang; Meng, Wen-Jin; Swathirajan, Swathy; Harris, Stephen Joel; Doll, Gary Lynn

    2002-01-01

    The present invention contemplates a PEM fuel cell having electrical contact elements (including bipolar plates/septums) comprising a titanium nitride coated light weight metal (e.g., Al or Ti) core, having a passivating, protective metal layer intermediate the core and the titanium nitride. The protective layer forms a barrier to further oxidation/corrosion when exposed to the fuel cell's operating environment. Stainless steels rich in CR, Ni, and Mo are particularly effective protective interlayers.

  10. PEM fuel cell monitoring system

    DOEpatents

    Meltser, Mark Alexander; Grot, Stephen Andreas

    1998-01-01

    Method and apparatus for monitoring the performance of H.sub.2 --O.sub.2 PEM fuel cells. Outputs from a cell/stack voltage monitor and a cathode exhaust gas H.sub.2 sensor are corrected for stack operating conditions, and then compared to predetermined levels of acceptability. If certain unacceptable conditions coexist, an operator is alerted and/or corrective measures are automatically undertaken.

  11. PEM Fuel Cell Mechanisms and Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Mahlon

    2000-03-01

    A fuel cell produces electrical energy via an electrochemical reaction. Unlike a conventional battery, the "fuel" and oxidant are supplied to the device from external sources. The device can thus be operated until the fuel (or oxidant) supply is exhausted, which can provide very high energy densities for the overall system. Historically, fuel cells have been of principle interest to the space program because of their high intrinsic conversion efficiencies and benign reaction product (water). Because of these various advantages and ever increasing environmental concerns, most types of fuel cells are attracting greater commercial and government interest. However, the popularity of a relatively new type of fuel cell, the polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell, is rapidly outpacing the others. Unlike most other types of fuel cells, which use liquid electrolytes, the PEM fuel cell uses a quasi-solid electrolyte based on a polymer backbone with side-chains possessing acid-based groups. The numerous advantages of this family of electrolytes make the PEM fuel cell particularly attractive for smaller scale terrestrial applications such as transportation, home-based distributed power, and portable power applications. Despite the many advantages, the conventional PEM introduces some unique challenges that significantly impact the design and operation of PEM-based fuel cells. In this presentation, an overview of PEM fuel cells will be provided starting with the fundamental principles on through the contributions and characteristics of the key components, the basics of PEM fuel cell operation, the considerations of various applications and the ramifications on system design.

  12. Development of PEM fuel cell technology at international fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Wheeler, D.J.

    1996-04-01

    The PEM technology has not developed to the level of phosphoric acid fuel cells. Several factors have held the technology development back such as high membrane cost, sensitivity of PEM fuel cells to low level of carbon monoxide impurities, the requirement to maintain full humidification of the cell, and the need to pressurize the fuel cell in order to achieve the performance targets. International Fuel Cells has identified a hydrogen fueled PEM fuel cell concept that leverages recent research advances to overcome major economic and technical obstacles.

  13. Durability of PEM Fuel Cell Membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Xinyu; Reifsnider, Ken

    Durability is still a critical limiting factor for the commercialization of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, a leading energy conversion technology for powering future hydrogen fueled automobiles, backup power systems (e.g., for base transceiver station of cellular networks), portable electronic devices, etc. Ionic conducting polymer (ionomer) electrolyte membranes are the critical enabling materials for the PEM fuel cells. They are also widely used as the central functional elements in hydrogen generation (e.g., electrolyzers), membrane cell for chlor-alkali production, etc. A perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) polymer with the trade name Nafion® developed by DuPont™ is the most widely used PEM in chlor-alkali cells and PEM fuel cells. Similar PFSA membranes have been developed by Dow Chemical, Asahi Glass, and lately Solvay Solexis. Frequently, such membranes serve the dual function of reactant separation and selective ionic conduction between two otherwise separate compartments. For some applications, the compromise of the "separation" function via the degradation and mechanical failure of the electrolyte membrane can be the life-limiting factor; this is particularly the case for PEM in hydrogen/oxygen fuel cells.

  14. Brazed bipolar plates for PEM fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Neutzler, Jay Kevin

    1998-01-01

    A liquid-cooled, bipolar plate separating adjacent cells of a PEM fuel cell comprising corrosion-resistant metal sheets brazed together so as to provide a passage between the sheets through which a dielectric coolant flows. The brazement comprises a metal which is substantially insoluble in the coolant.

  15. Brazed bipolar plates for PEM fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Neutzler, J.K.

    1998-07-07

    A liquid-cooled, bipolar plate separating adjacent cells of a PEM fuel cell comprises corrosion-resistant metal sheets brazed together so as to provide a passage between the sheets through which a dielectric coolant flows. The brazement comprises a metal which is substantially insoluble in the coolant. 6 figs.

  16. Reversible (unitized) PEM fuel cell devices

    SciTech Connect

    Mitlitsky, F; Myers, B; Smith, W F; Weisberg, Molter, T M

    1999-06-01

    Regenerative fuel cells (RFCs) are enabling for many weight-critical portable applications, since the packaged specific energy (>400 Wh/kg) of properly designed lightweight RFC systems is several-fold higher than that of the lightest weight rechargeable batteries. RFC systems can be rapidly refueled (like primary fuel cells), or can be electrically recharged (like secondary batteries) if a refueling infrastructure is not conveniently available. Higher energy capacity systems with higher performance, reduced weight, and freedom from fueling infrastructure are the features that RFCs promise for portable applications. Reversible proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, also known as unitized regenerative fuel cells (URFCs), or reversible regenerative fuel cells, are RFC systems which use reversible PEM cells, where each cell is capable of operating both as a fuel cell and as an electrolyzer. URFCs further economize portable device weight, volume, and complexity by combining the functions of fuel cells and electrolyzers in the same hardware, generally without any system performance or efficiency reduction. URFCs are being made in many forms, some of which are already small enough to be portable. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has worked with industrial partners to design, develop, and demonstrate high performance and high cycle life URFC systems. LLNL is also working with industrial partners to develop breakthroughs in lightweight pressure vessels that are necessary for URFC systems to achieve the specific energy advantages over rechargeable batteries. Proton Energy Systems, Inc. (Proton) is concurrently developing and commercializing URFC systems (UNIGEN' product line), in addition to PEM electrolyzer systems (HOGEN' product line), and primary PEM fuel cell systems. LLNL is constructing demonstration URFC units in order to persuade potential sponsors, often in their own conference rooms, that advanced applications based on URFC s are feasible. Safety

  17. In situ PEM fuel cell water measurements

    SciTech Connect

    Borup, Rodney L; Mukundan, Rangachary; Davey, John R; Spendalow, Jacob S

    2008-01-01

    Efficient PEM fuel cell performance requires effective water management. The materials used, their durability, and the operating conditions under which fuel cells run, make efficient water management within a practical fuel cell system a primary challenge in developing commercially viable systems. We present experimental measurements of water content within operating fuel cells. in response to operational conditions, including transients and freezing conditions. To help understand the effect of components and operations, we examine water transport in operating fuel cells, measure the fuel cell water in situ and model the water transport within the fuel cell. High Frequency Resistance (HFR), AC Impedance and Neutron imaging (using NIST's facilities) were used to measure water content in operating fuel cells with various conditions, including current density, relative humidity, inlet flows, flow orientation and variable GDL properties. Ice formation in freezing cells was also monitored both during operation and shut-down conditions.

  18. Pattern recognition monitoring of PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Meltser, Mark Alexander

    1999-01-01

    The CO-concentration in the H.sub.2 feed stream to a PEM fuel cell stack is monitored by measuring current and voltage behavior patterns from an auxiliary cell attached to the end of the stack. The auxiliary cell is connected to the same oxygen and hydrogen feed manifolds that supply the stack, and discharges through a constant load. Pattern recognition software compares the current and voltage patterns from the auxiliary cell to current and voltage signature determined from a reference cell similar to the auxiliary cell and operated under controlled conditions over a wide range of CO-concentrations in the H.sub.2 fuel stream.

  19. Pattern recognition monitoring of PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Meltser, M.A.

    1999-08-31

    The CO-concentration in the H{sub 2} feed stream to a PEM fuel cell stack is monitored by measuring current and voltage behavior patterns from an auxiliary cell attached to the end of the stack. The auxiliary cell is connected to the same oxygen and hydrogen feed manifolds that supply the stack, and discharges through a constant load. Pattern recognition software compares the current and voltage patterns from the auxiliary cell to current and voltage signature determined from a reference cell similar to the auxiliary cell and operated under controlled conditions over a wide range of CO-concentrations in the H{sub 2} fuel stream. 4 figs.

  20. Technical cost analysis for PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bar-On, Isa; Kirchain, Randy; Roth, Richard

    The present cost of fuel cells estimated at about 200 kW -1 is a major barrier for commercialization and use in automotive applications. In the United States the target costs for fuel cell systems for the year 2004 as formulated by PNGV are 50 kW -1. Lomax et al. have estimated the costs of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells to be as low as 20 kW -1. These estimates are based on careful consideration of high volume manufacturing processes. Recently, Arthur D. Little (ADL) has estimated the cost of a fuel cell system for transportation at 294 kW -1. This estimate considers a fuel processor and directly related balance of plant components. The difference of the cost estimates results from the vastly different design assumptions. Both of these estimates are based on considering a single high volume of production, 500,000 fuel cells per year. This work builds on these earlier estimates by employing the methods of technical cost modeling and thereby including explicit consideration of design specifications, exogenous factor cost and processing and operational details. The bipolar plate is analyzed as a case study. The sensitivity of the costs to uncertainty in process conditions are explored following the ADL design. It is shown that the PNGV targets can only be achieved with design changes that reduce the quantity of material used. This might necessitate a reduction in efficiency from the assumed 80 mpg.

  1. Recent Progress in Nanostructured Electrocatalysts for PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Sheng; Shao, Yuyan; Yin, Geping; Lin, Yuehe

    2013-03-30

    Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells are attracting much attention as promising clean power sources and an alternative to conventional internal combustion engines, secondary batteries, and other power sources. Much effort from government laboratories, industry, and academia has been devoted to developing PEM fuel cells, and great advances have been achieved. Although prototype cars powered by fuel cells have been delivered, successful commercialization requires fuel cell electrocatalysts, which are crucial components at the heart of fuel cells, meet exacting performance targets. In this review, we present a brief overview of the recent progress in fuel cell electrocatalysts, which involves catalyst supports, Pt and Pt-based electrocatalysts, and non-Pt electrocatalysts.

  2. PEM fuel cell applications and their development at International Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Fuller, T.F.; Gorman, M.E.; Van Dine, L.L.

    1996-12-31

    International Fuel Cells (IFC) is involved with the full spectrum of fuel cell power plants including the development of Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell systems. The extensive background in systems, design, materials and manufacturing technologies has been brought to bear on the development of highly competitive PEM power plants. IFC is aggressively pursuing these opportunities and is developing low-cost designs for a wide variety of PEM fuel cell applications with special emphasis on portable power and transportation. Experimental PEM power plants for each of these applications have been successfully tested.

  3. Development of a Regenerative PEM Fuel Cell System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balomenou, Stella; Papazisi, Kalliopi-Maria; Tsiplakides, Dimitrios; Schrotti, Nivedita; Niakolas, Dimitrios; Geormezy, Maria; Theodorakopoulou, Eleni; Neophytides, Stylianos; Schautz, Max

    2014-08-01

    The objective of the current project was the development of a regenerative high temperature PEM fuel cell stack combined with a high pressure PEM water electrolyser. For that purpose, a complete closed loop system was designed and constructed, consisting of a storage system for reactants (H2, O2 and H2O), a fuel cell, and an electrolyser. The HT-PEM fuel cell stack was based on Advent's TPS® high temperature polymeric membranes (150-200oC). The electrolyser stack employed FuMA-Tech low temperature membranes and in-house synthesized high surface area IrO2 electrocatalyst as anode and Pt/C as cathode electrodes. The RPEMFC system delivered multiple cycles of fuel cell and electrolysis operation under the predefined load profile. This paper summarizes the results obtained during the long term testing of the RPEMFC system.

  4. Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells for Space Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bradley, Karla

    2004-01-01

    This presentation will provide a summary of the PEM fuel cell development at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Johnson Space Center (NASA, JSC) in support of future space applications. Fuel cells have been used for space power generation due to their high energy storage density for multi-day missions. The Shuttle currently utilizes the alkaline fuel cell technology, which has highly safe and reliable performance. However, the alkaline technology has a limited life due to the corrosion inherent to the alkaline technology. PEM fuel cells are under development by industry for transportation, residential and commercial stationary power applications. NASA is trying to incorporate some of this stack technology development in the PEM fuel cells for space. NASA has some unique design and performance parameters which make developing a PEM fuel cell system more challenging. Space fuel cell applications utilize oxygen, rather than air, which yields better performance but increases the hazard level. To reduce the quantity of reactants that need to be flown in space, NASA also utilizes water separation and reactant recirculation. Due to the hazards of utilizing active components for recirculation and water separation, NASA is trying to develop passive recirculation and water separation methods. However, the ability to develop recirculation components and water separators that are gravity-independent and successfully operate over the full range of power levels is one of the greatest challenges to developing a safe and reliable PEM fuel cell system. PEM stack, accessory component, and system tests that have been performed for space power applications will be discussed.

  5. Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel Cell for Space Shuttle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoffman, William C., III; Vasquez, Arturo; Lazaroff, Scott M.; Downey, Michael G.

    1999-01-01

    Development of a PEM fuel cell powerplant (PFCP) for use in the Space Shuttle offers multiple benefits to NASA. A PFCP with a longer design life than is delivered currently from the alkaline fuel will reduce Space Shuttle Program maintenance costs. A PFCP compatible with zero-gravity can be adapted for future NASA transportation and exploration programs. Also, the commercial PEM fuel cell industry ensures a competitive environment for select powerplant components. Conceptual designs of the Space Shuttle PFCP have resulted in identification of key technical areas requiring resolution prior to development of a flight system. Those technical areas include characterization of PEM fuel cell stack durability under operational conditions and water management both within and external to the stack. Resolution of the above issues is necessary to adequately control development, production, and maintenance costs for a PFCP.

  6. Advanced catalyst supports for PEM fuel cell cathodes

    SciTech Connect

    Du, Lei; Shao, Yuyan; Sun, Junming; Yin, Geping; Liu, Jun; Wang, Yong

    2016-11-01

    Electrocatalyst support materials are key components for polymer exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, which play a critical role in determining electrocatalyst durability and activity, mass transfer and water management. The commonly-used supports, e.g. porous carbon black, cannot meet all the requirements under the harsh operation condition of PEM fuel cells. Great efforts have been made in the last few years in developing alternative support materials. In this paper, we selectively review recent progress on three types of important support materials: carbon, non-carbon and hybrid carbon-oxides nanocomposites. A perspective on future R&D of electrocatalyst support materials is also provided.

  7. Cerium migration during PEM fuel cell accelerated stress testing

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, Andrew M.; Mukundan, Rangachary; Borup, Rodney L.; Spernjak, Dusan; Judge, Elizabeth J.; Advani, Suresh G.; Prasad, Ajay K.

    2016-01-01

    Cerium is a radical scavenger which improves polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell durability. During operation, however, cerium rapidly migrates in the PEM and into the catalyst layers (CLs). In this work, membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) were subjected to accelerated stress tests (ASTs) under different humidity conditions. Cerium migration was characterized in the MEAs after ASTs using X-ray fluorescence. During fully humidified operation, water flux from cell inlet to outlet generated in-plane cerium gradients. Conversely, cerium profiles were flat during low humidity operation, where in-plane water flux was negligible, however, migration from the PEM into the CLs was enhanced. Humidity cycling resulted in both in-plane cerium gradients due to water flux during the hydration component of the cycle, and significant migration into the CLs. Fluoride and cerium emissions into effluent cell waters were measured during ASTs and correlated, which signifies that ionomer degradation products serve as possible counter-ions for cerium emissions. Fluoride emission rates were also correlated to final PEM cerium contents, which indicates that PEM degradation and cerium migration are coupled. Lastly, it is proposed that cerium migrates from the PEM due to humidification conditions and degradation, and is subsequently stabilized in the CLs by carbon catalyst supports.

  8. Cerium migration during PEM fuel cell accelerated stress testing

    DOE PAGES

    Baker, Andrew M.; Mukundan, Rangachary; Borup, Rodney L.; ...

    2016-01-01

    Cerium is a radical scavenger which improves polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell durability. During operation, however, cerium rapidly migrates in the PEM and into the catalyst layers (CLs). In this work, membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) were subjected to accelerated stress tests (ASTs) under different humidity conditions. Cerium migration was characterized in the MEAs after ASTs using X-ray fluorescence. During fully humidified operation, water flux from cell inlet to outlet generated in-plane cerium gradients. Conversely, cerium profiles were flat during low humidity operation, where in-plane water flux was negligible, however, migration from the PEM into the CLs was enhanced. Humiditymore » cycling resulted in both in-plane cerium gradients due to water flux during the hydration component of the cycle, and significant migration into the CLs. Fluoride and cerium emissions into effluent cell waters were measured during ASTs and correlated, which signifies that ionomer degradation products serve as possible counter-ions for cerium emissions. Fluoride emission rates were also correlated to final PEM cerium contents, which indicates that PEM degradation and cerium migration are coupled. Lastly, it is proposed that cerium migrates from the PEM due to humidification conditions and degradation, and is subsequently stabilized in the CLs by carbon catalyst supports.« less

  9. A Two-Dimensional PEM Fuel Cell Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Zhongying; Wang, Xia; Zhang, Zhuqian

    2006-11-01

    Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell is a typical low temperature cell, where hydrogen and air are fed into the porous anodic electrode and cathodic electrode though the gas distributors on the bipolar plates, respectively. Activated by the catalyst on anode side, hydrogen will spilt into protons and electrons. Since only protons will be allowed to pass through the membrane, electrons must go through an external circuit. Electrons and protons meet air on cathode side to produce water and heat catalyzed by the catalyst on the cathode side. Numerical simulations are useful tools to describe the basic transport and electrochemical phenomena of PEM fuel cells. The goal of the present work is to develop 2-D computational models of PEM fuel cells, which take into account fluid flow, multi- species transport, current distribution and electrical potential. The velocity field in free channel described by Navier-Stokes equation and the velocity field in porous media described by Darcy’s Law are coupled along the channel-MEA interface. The governing differential equations are solved over a single computational domain, which consists of two gas channel layers, two gas diffusion layers, two catalyst layers as well as a membrane. The model is solved with commercial software COMSOL Multiphysics 3.2b. Parametric study will be conducted to analyze the effects of various parameters on the performance of PEM fuel cells. The results, including the mass concentration, the polarization curve and the velocity distribution, will be presented.

  10. Degradation mechanisms and accelerated testing in PEM fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Borup, Rodney L; Mukundan, Rangachary

    2010-01-01

    The durability of PEM fuel cells is a major barrier to the commercialization of these systems for stationary and transportation power applications. Although there has been recent progress in improving durability, further improvements are needed to meet the commercialization targets. Past improvements have largely been made possible because of the fundamental understanding of the underlying degradation mechanisms. By investigating component and cell degradation modes; defining the fundamental degradation mechanisms of components and component interactions new materials can be designed to improve durability. Various factors have been shown to affect the useful life of PEM fuel cells. Other issues arise from component optimization. Operational conditions (such as impurities in either the fuel and oxidant stream), cell environment, temperature (including subfreezing exposure), pressure, current, voltage, etc.; or transient versus continuous operation, including start-up and shutdown procedures, represent other factors that can affect cell performance and durability. The need for Accelerated Stress Tests (ASTs) can be quickly understood given the target lives for fuel cell systems: 5000 hours ({approx} 7 months) for automotive, and 40,000 hrs ({approx} 4.6 years) for stationary systems. Thus testing methods that enable more rapid screening of individual components to determine their durability characteristics, such as off-line environmental testing, are needed for evaluating new component durability in a reasonable turn-around time. This allows proposed improvements in a component to be evaluated rapidly and independently, subsequently allowing rapid advancement in PEM fuel cell durability. These tests are also crucial to developers in order to make sure that they do not sacrifice durability while making improvements in costs (e.g. lower platinum group metal [PGM] loading) and performance (e.g. thinner membrane or a GDL with better water management properties). To

  11. Degradation Mechanisms and Accelerated Testing in PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Borup, Rodney L.

    2011-01-01

    The durability of PEM fuel cells is a major barrier to the commercialization of these systems for stationary and transportation power applications. Although there has been recent progress in improving durability, further improvements are needed to meet the commercialization targets. Past improvements have largely been made possible because of the fundamental understanding of the underlying degradation mechanisms. By investigating component and cell degradation modes; defining the fundamental degradation mechanisms of components and component interactions new materials can be designed to improve durability. Various factors have been shown to affect the useful life of PEM fuel cells. Other issues arise from component optimization. Operational conditions (such as impurities in either the fuel or oxidant stream), cell environment, temperature (including subfreezing exposure), pressure, current, voltage, etc.; or transient versus continuous operation, including start-up and shutdown procedures, represent other factors that can affect cell performance and durability.

  12. PEM fuel cell bipolar plate material requirements for transportation applications

    SciTech Connect

    Borup, R.L.; Stroh, K.R.; Vanderborgh, N.E.

    1996-04-01

    Cost effective bipolar plates are currently under development to help make proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells commercially viable. Bipolar plates separate individual cells of the fuel cell stack, and thus must supply strength, be electrically conductive, provide for thermal control of the fuel stack, be a non-porous materials separating hydrogen and oxygen feed streams, be corrosion resistant, provide gas distribution for the feed streams and meet fuel stack cost targets. Candidate materials include conductive polymers and metal plates with corrosion resistant coatings. Possible metals include aluminium, titanium, iron/stainless steel and nickel.

  13. PEM Fuel Cells Redesign Using Biomimetic and TRIZ Design Methodologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fung, Keith Kin Kei

    Two formal design methodologies, biomimetic design and the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving, TRIZ, were applied to the redesign of a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell. Proof of concept prototyping was performed on two of the concepts for water management. The liquid water collection with strategically placed wicks concept demonstrated the potential benefits for a fuel cell. Conversely, the periodic flow direction reversal concepts might cause a potential reduction water removal from a fuel cell. The causes of this water removal reduction remain unclear. In additional, three of the concepts generated with biomimetic design were further studied and demonstrated to stimulate more creative ideas in the thermal and water management of fuel cells. The biomimetic design and the TRIZ methodologies were successfully applied to fuel cells and provided different perspectives to the redesign of fuel cells. The methodologies should continue to be used to improve fuel cells.

  14. The Characterisation of a PEM Fuel-Cell System with a Focus on UAS Applications

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-01-01

    MITE Micro Tactical Expendable NRL (US) National Research Laboratory PEM Polymer- electrolyte membrane SOFC Solid -oxide fuel cell UAS...fundamental knowledge of polymer- electrolyte membrane fuel- cell characteristics and the methodology used to characterise fuel-cell systems. Given the...authors developed fundamental knowledge of polymer- electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells through experiments conducted on a commercially available

  15. Numerical Simulations of Droplet Dynamics in PEM Fuel Cell Microchannels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cauble, Eric; Owkes, Mark

    2015-11-01

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are of beneficial interest due to their capability of producing clean energy with zero emissions. An important design challenge hindering the performance of fuel cells is controlling water removal to maintain a hydrated membrane while avoiding excess water that may lead to channel blockage. Fuel cell water management requires a detailed knowledge of multiphase flow dynamics within microchannels. Direct observation of gas-liquid flows is difficult due to the small scale and viewing obstructions of the channels within the fuel cell. Instead, this work uses a CFD approach to compute the formation and dynamics of droplets in fuel cell channels. The method leverages a conservative volume-of-fluid (VOF) formulation coupled with a novel methodology to track dynamic contact angles. We present details of the numerical approach and simulation results relevant to water management in PEM fuel cells. In particular, it is shown that variation of the contact hysteresis angle influences the wetting properties of the droplet and significantly impacts water transport throughout the a fuel cell channel.

  16. The importance of water control to PEM fuel cell performance

    SciTech Connect

    Cisar, A.; Murphy, O.J.; Simpson, S.F.

    1996-12-31

    All membranes currently in use in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells have sulfonate (-SO{sub 3}{sup -}) groups as the anionic functionalities attached to the backbone of the polymer electrolyte. As a consequence of this fact, all PEM membranes depend on the presence of water in the electrolyte to facilitate proton transport. This includes perfluorinated membranes, such as Nafion{reg_sign} (DuPont), and Gore Select{trademark} (W. L. Gore), partially fluorinated membranes, such as the Ballard membrane, which is a derivatized trifluorostyrene, non-fluorinated membranes, including both sulfonated polyparaphenylene (Maxdem`s Poly-X{trademark}) and sulfonated styrene-butadiene (DAIS), and the various grafted materials that have been described in the literature. In every case, without water, the proton conductivity of the membrane is insufficient to support fuel cell operation.

  17. Metal bipolar plates for PEM fuel cell-A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tawfik, H.; Hung, Y.; Mahajan, D.

    The polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) based fuel cells are clean alternative energy systems that hold excellent potential for cost effectiveness, durability, and relatively high overall efficiency. PEM fuel cell is recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as the main candidate to replace the internal combustion engine in transportation applications. Metallic bipolar plates and membrane electrode assembly (MEA) are two crucial components of a PEM power stack and their durability and fabrication cost must be optimized to allow fuel cells to penetrate the commercial market and compete with other energy sources. The bipolar plates perform as the current conductors between cells, provide conduits for reactant gases flow, and constitute the backbone of a power stack. They are commonly made of graphite composite for high corrosion resistance and good surface contact resistance; however their manufacturability, permeability, and durability for shock and vibration are unfavorable in comparison to metals. On the other hand, various methods and techniques must be developed to combat metallic corrosion and eliminate the passive layer that causes unacceptable reduction in contact resistance and possible fouling of the catalyst and the ionomer. Thus recently metallic bipolar plates have received considerable attention in the research community. This paper offers a comprehensive review of the research work conducted on metal bipolar plates to prevent corrosion while maintaining a low contact resistance.

  18. Process simulation of a PEM fuel cell system

    SciTech Connect

    Ledjeff-Hey, K.; Roes, J.; Formanski, V.; Gieshoff, J.; Vogel, B.

    1996-01-01

    The thermodynamic performance of a PEM fuel cell system for producing electrical power from natural gas is investigated by considering the flows of energy and energy through the various steps of the whole system. The flows of energy are evaluated using a computer code for energy and energy analyses. The fuel cell system is designed to produce a hydrogen volumetric flow of nearly 5.0 m{sup 3} {sub NTP}/h, provided to the fuel cell at an absolute pressure of 2.9 bar. The fuel cell itself is working with an efficiency of about 60 % at an operating temperature of 65 - 75{degrees} C with an air ratio of four and provides a maximum electric power of 9 kW. Taking into consideration only the produced electric power as useful output of the fuel cell system a total efficiency of 42.2 % is calculated using the simulation results.

  19. Hydrogen-Oxygen PEM Regenerative Fuel Cell Energy Storage System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bents, David J.; Scullin, Vincent J.; Chang, Bei-Jiann; Johnson, Donald W.; Garcia, Christopher P.

    2005-01-01

    An introduction to the closed cycle hydrogen-oxygen polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) regenerative fuel cell (RFC), recently constructed at NASA Glenn Research Center, is presented. Illustrated with explanatory graphics and figures, this report outlines the engineering motivations for the RFC as a solar energy storage device, the system requirements, layout and hardware detail of the RFC unit at NASA Glenn, the construction history, and test experience accumulated to date with this unit.

  20. Commercial ballard PEM fuel cell natural gas power plant development

    SciTech Connect

    Watkins, D.S.; Dunnison, D.; Cohen, R.

    1996-12-31

    The electric utility industry is in a period of rapid change. Deregulation, wholesale and retail wheeling, and corporate restructuring are forcing utilities to adopt new techniques for conducting their business. The advent of a more customer oriented service business with tailored solutions addressing such needs as power quality is a certain product of the deregulation of the electric utility industry. Distributed and dispersed power are fundamental requirements for such tailored solutions. Because of their modularity, efficiency and environmental benefits, fuel cells are a favored solution to implement distributed and dispersed power concepts. Ballard Power Systems has been working to develop and commercialize Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell power plants for stationary power markets. PEM`s capabilities of flexible operation and multiple market platforms bodes well for success in the stationary power market. Ballard`s stationary commercialization program is now in its second phase. The construction and successful operation of a 10 kW natural gas fueled, proof-of-concept power plant marked the completion of phase one. In the second phase, we are developing a 250 kW market entry power plant. This paper discusses Ballard`s power plant development plan philosophy, the benefits from this approach, and our current status.

  1. Gold Nanoparticles-Enhanced Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Hongfei; Pan, Cheng; Liu, Ping; Zhu, Yimei; Adzic, Radoslav; Rafailovich, Miriam

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells have drawn great attention and been taken as a promising alternated energy source. One of the reasons hamper the wider application of PEM fuel cell is the catalytic poison effect from the impurity of the gas flow. Haruta has predicted that gold nanoparticles that are platelet shaped and have direct contact with the metal oxide substrate to be the perfect catalysts of the CO oxidization, yet the synthesis method is difficult to apply in the Fuel Cell. In our approach, thiol-functionalized gold nanoparticles were synthesized through two-phase method developed by Brust et al. We deposit these Au particles with stepped surface directly onto the Nafion membrane in the PEM fuel cell by Langmuir-Blodgett method, resulting in over 50% enhancement of the efficiency of the fuel cell. DFT calculations were conducted to understand the theory of this kind of enhancement. The results indicated that only when the particles were in direct surface contact with the membrane, where AuNPs attached at the end of the Nafion side chains, it could reduce the energy barrier for the CO oxidation that could happen at T<300K.

  2. PEM fuel cell stack development for automotive applications

    SciTech Connect

    Ernst, W.D.

    1996-12-31

    Presently, the major challenges to the introduction of fuel cell power systems for automotive applications are to maximize the effective system power density and minimize cost. The material cost, especially for Platinum, had been a significant factor until recent advances by Los Alamos National Laboratory and others in low Platinum loading electrode design has brought these costs within control. Since the initiation of its PEM stack development efforts, MTI has focused on applying its system and mechanical engineering heritage on both increasing power density and reducing cost. In May of 1995, MTI was selected (along with four other companies) as a subcontractor by the Ford Motor Company to participate in Phase I of the DOE Office of Transportation Technology sponsored PNGV Program entitled: {open_quotes}Direct-Hydrogen-Fueled Proton-Exchange-Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell System for Transportation Applications{close_quotes}. This Program was instituted to: (1) Advance the performance and economic viability of a direct-hydrogen-fueled PEM fuel cell system, (2) Identify the critical problems that must be resolved before system scale-up and vehicle integration, and (3) Integrate the fuel cell power system into a sub-scale vehicle propulsion system. The Phase I objective was to develop and demonstrate a nominal 10 kW stack meeting specific criteria. Figure I is a photograph of the stack used for these demonstrations. After completion of Phase I, MTI was one of only two companies selected to continue into Phase II of the Program. This paper summarizes Phase I stack development and results.

  3. The use of experimental design to find the operating maximum power point of PEM fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Crăciunescu, Aurelian; Pătularu, Laurenţiu; Ciumbulea, Gloria; Olteanu, Valentin; Pitorac, Cristina; Drugan, Elena

    2015-03-10

    Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells are difficult to model due to their complex nonlinear nature. In this paper, the development of a PEM Fuel Cells mathematical model based on the Design of Experiment methodology is described. The Design of Experiment provides a very efficient methodology to obtain a mathematical model for the studied multivariable system with only a few experiments. The obtained results can be used for optimization and control of the PEM Fuel Cells systems.

  4. Method of making MEA for PEM/SPE fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Hulett, Jay S.

    2000-01-01

    A method of making a membrane-electrode-assembly (MEA) for a PEM/SPE fuel cell comprising applying a slurry of electrode-forming material directly onto a membrane-electrolyte film. The slurry comprises a liquid vehicle carrying catalyst particles and a binder for the catalyst particles. The membrane-electrolyte is preswollen by contact with the vehicle before the electrode-forming slurry is applied to the membrane-electrolyte. The swollen membrane-electrolyte is constrained against shrinking in the "x" and "y" directions during drying. Following assembly of the fuel cell, the MEA is rehydrated inside the fuel cell such that it swells in the "z" direction for enhanced electrical contact with contiguous electrically conductive components of the fuel cell.

  5. Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells Modeling and Optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Zhuqian; Wang, Xia; Shi, Zhongying; Zhang, Xinxin; Yu, Fan

    2006-11-01

    Performance of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells is dependent on operating parameters and designing parameters. Operating parameters mainly include temperature, pressure, humidity and the flow rate of the inlet reactants. Designing parameters include reactants distributor patterns and dimensions, electrodes dimensions, and electrodes properties such as porosity, permeability and so on. This work aims to investigate the effects of various designing parameters on the performance of PEM fuel cells, and the optimum values will be determined under a given operating condition.A three-dimensional steady-state electrochemical mathematical model was established where the mass, fluid and thermal transport processes are considered as well as the electrochemical reaction. A Powell multivariable optimization algorithm will be applied to investigate the optimum values of designing parameters. The objective function is defined as the maximum potential of the electrolyte fluid phase at the membrane/cathode interface at a typical value of the cell voltage. The robustness of the optimum design of the fuel cell under different cell potentials will be investigated using a statistical sensitivity analysis. By comparing with the reference case, the results obtained here provide useful tools for a better design of fuel cells.

  6. Fatigue and Mechanical Damage Propagation in Automotive PEM Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banan, Roshanak

    Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells are generally exposed to high magnitude road-induced vibrations and impact loads, frequent humidity-temperature loading cycles, and freeze/thaw stresses when employed in automotive applications. The resultant mechanical stresses can play a significant role in the evolution of mechanical defects in the membrane electrode assembly (MEA). The focus of this research is to investigate fatigue challenges due to humidity-temperature (hygrothermal) cycles and vibrations and their effects on damage evolution in PEM fuel cells. To achieve this goal, this thesis is divided into three parts that provide insight into damage propagation in the MEA under i) hygrothermal cycles, ii) external applied vibrations, and iii) a combination of both to simulate realistic automotive conditions. A finite element damage model based on cohesive zone theory was developed to simulate the propagation of micro-scale defects (cracks and delaminations) in the MEA under fuel cell operating conditions. It was found that the micro-defects can propagate to critical states under start-up and shut-down cycles, prior to reaching the desired lifespan of the fuel cell. The simultaneous presence of hygrothermal cycles and vibrations severely intensified damage propagation and resulted in considerably large defects within 75% of the fuel cell life expectancy. However, the order of generated damage was found to be larger under hygrothermal cycles than vibrations. Under hygrothermal cycles, membrane crack propagation was more severe compared to delamination propagation. Conversely, the degrading influence of vibrations was more significant on delaminations. The presence of an anode/cathode channel offset under the combined loadings lead to a 2.5-fold increase in the delamination length compared to the aligned-channel case. The developed model can be used to investigate the damage behaviour of current materials employed in fuel cells as well as to evaluate the

  7. Method of monitoring CO concentrations in hydrogen feed to a PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Grot, Stephen Andreas; Meltser, Mark Alexander; Gutowski, Stanley; Neutzler, Jay Kevin; Borup, Rodney Lynn; Weisbrod, Kirk

    2000-01-01

    The CO concentration in the H.sub.2 feed stream to a PEM fuel cell stack is monitored by measuring current and/or voltage behavior patterns from a PEM-probe communicating with the reformate feed stream. Pattern recognition software may be used to compare the current and voltage patterns from the PEM-probe to current and voltage telltale outputs determined from a reference cell similar to the PEM-probe and operated under controlled conditions over a wide range of CO concentrations in the H.sub.2 fuel stream. The PEM-probe is intermittently purged of any CO build-up on the anode catalyst (e.g., by (1) flushing the anode with air, (2) short circuiting the PEM-probe, or (3) reverse biasing the PEM-probe) to keep the PEM-probe at peak performance levels.

  8. Hydrogen PEM Fuel Cells: A Market Need Provides Research Opportunities

    SciTech Connect

    Payne, Terry L; Brown, Gilbert M; Bogomolny, David

    2010-01-01

    It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention. Another way this can be stated is that market demands create research opportunities. Because of the increasing demand for oil (especially for fueling vehicles utilizing internal combustion engines) and the fact that oil is a depleting (not renewable) energy source, a market need for a renewable source of energy has created significant opportunities for research. This paper addresses the research opportunities associated with producing a market competitive (i.e., high performance, low cost and durable) hydrogen proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. Of the many research opportunities, the primary ones to be addressed directly are: Alternative membrane materials, Alternative catalysts, Impurity effects, and Water transport. A status of Department of Energy-sponsored research in these areas will be summarized and the impact of each on the ability to develop a market-competitive hydrogen PEM fuel cell powered vehicle will be discussed. Also, activities of the International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy in areas such as advanced membranes for fuel cells and materials for storage will be summarized.

  9. Small Portable PEM Fuel Cell Systems for NASA Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, Kenneth A.

    2005-01-01

    Oxygen-Hydrogen PEM-based fuel cell systems are being examined as a portable power source alternative in addition to advanced battery technology. Fuel cell power systems have been used by the Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle programs. These systems have not been portable, but have been integral parts of their spacecraft, and have used reactants from a separate cryogenic supply. These systems typically have been higher in power. They also have had significant ancillary equipment sections that perform the pumping of reactants and coolant through the fuel cell stack and the separation of the product water from the unused reactant streams. The design of small portable fuel cell systems will be a significant departure from these previous designs. These smaller designs will have very limited ancillary equipment, relying on passive techniques for reactant and thermal management, and the reactant storage will be an integral part of the fuel cell system. An analysis of the mass and volume for small portable fuel cell systems was done to evaluate and quantify areas of technological improvement. A review of current fuel cell technology as well as reactant storage and management technology was completed to validate the analysis and to identify technology challenges

  10. Novel Hydrogen Purification Device Integrated with PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Joseph Schwartz; Hankwon Lim; Raymond Drnevich

    2010-12-31

    A prototype device containing twelve membrane tubes was designed, built, and demonstrated. The device produced almost 300 scfh of purified hydrogen at 200 psig feed pressure. The extent of purification met the program target of selectively removing enough impurities to enable industrial-grade hydrogen to meet purity specifications for PEM fuel cells. An extrusion process was developed to produce substrate tubes. Membranes met several test objectives, including completing 20 thermal cycles, exceeding 250 hours of operating life, and demonstrating a flux of 965 scfh/ft2 at 200 psid and 400 C.

  11. Cerium migration during PEM fuel cell assembly and operation

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, Andrew M.; Torraco, Dennis; Judge, Elizabeth J.; Spernjak, Dusan; Mukundan, Rangachary; Borup, Rod L.; Advani, Suresh G.; Prasad, Ajay K.

    2015-09-14

    Cerium migration between PEM fuel cell components is influenced by potential-driven mobility, ionic diffusion, and gradients in water content. These factors were investigated in ex situ experiments and in operating fuel cells. Potential-induced migration was measured ex situ in hydrated window cells. Cerium-containing MEAs were also fabricated and tested under ASTs. MEA disassembly and subsequent XRF analysis were used to observe rapid cerium migration during cell assembly and operation. During MEA hot pressing, humidification, and low RH operation at OCV, ionic diffusion causes uniform migration from the membrane into the catalyst layers. During high RH operation at OCV, in-plane cerium gradients arise due to variations in water content. These gradients may diminish the scavenging efficacy of cerium by reducing its proximity to generated radicals.

  12. Cerium migration during PEM fuel cell assembly and operation

    DOE PAGES

    Baker, Andrew M.; Torraco, Dennis; Judge, Elizabeth J.; ...

    2015-09-14

    Cerium migration between PEM fuel cell components is influenced by potential-driven mobility, ionic diffusion, and gradients in water content. These factors were investigated in ex situ experiments and in operating fuel cells. Potential-induced migration was measured ex situ in hydrated window cells. Cerium-containing MEAs were also fabricated and tested under ASTs. MEA disassembly and subsequent XRF analysis were used to observe rapid cerium migration during cell assembly and operation. During MEA hot pressing, humidification, and low RH operation at OCV, ionic diffusion causes uniform migration from the membrane into the catalyst layers. During high RH operation at OCV, in-plane ceriummore » gradients arise due to variations in water content. These gradients may diminish the scavenging efficacy of cerium by reducing its proximity to generated radicals.« less

  13. A portable power system using PEM fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Long, E.

    1997-12-31

    Ball has developed a proof-of-concept, small, lightweight, portable power system. The power system uses a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack, stored hydrogen, and atmospheric oxygen as the oxidant to generate electrical power. Electronics monitor the system performance to control cooling air and oxidant flow, and automatically do corrective measures to maintain performance. With the controller monitoring the system health, the system can operate in an ambient environment from 0 C to +50 C. The paper describes system testing, including load testing, thermal and humidity testing, vibration and shock testing, field testing, destructive testing of high-pressure gas tanks, and test results on the fuel cell power system, metal hydride hydrogen storage, high-pressure hydrogen gas storage, and chemical hydride hydrogen storage.

  14. A general formulation for a mathematical PEM fuel cell model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baschuk, J. J.; Li, Xianguo

    A general formulation for a comprehensive fuel cell model, based on the conservation principle is presented. The model formulation includes the electro-chemical reactions, proton migration, and the mass transport of the gaseous reactants and liquid water. Additionally, the model formulation can be applied to all regions of the PEM fuel cell: the bipolar plates, gas flow channels, electrode backing, catalyst, and polymer electrolyte layers. The model considers the PEM fuel cell to be composed of three phases: reactant gas, liquid water, and solid. These three phases can co-exist within the gas flow channels, electrode backing, catalyst, and polymer electrolyte layers. The conservation of mass, momentum, species, and energy are applied to each phase, with the technique of volume averaging being used to incorporate the interactions between the phases as interfacial source terms. In order to avoid problems arising from phase discontinuities, the gas and liquid phases are considered as a mixture. The momentum interactions between the fluid and solid phases are modeled by the Darcy-Forchheimer term. The electro-oxidation of H and CO, the reduction of O, and the heterogeneous oxidation of H and CO are considered in the catalyst layers. Due to the small pore size of the polymer electrolyte layer, the generalized Stefan-Maxwell equations, with the polymer considered as a diffusing species, are used to describe species transport. One consequence of considering the gas and liquid phases as a mixture is that expressions for the velocity of the individual phases relative to the mixture must be developed. In the gas flow channels, the flow is assumed homogeneous, while the Darcy and Schlögl equations are used to describe liquid water transport in the electrode backing and polymer electrolyte layers. Thus, two sets of equations, one for the mixture and another for the solid phase, can be developed to describe the processes occurring within a PEM fuel cell. These equations are in

  15. Development of Novel PEM Membrane and Multiphase CD Modeling of PEM Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    K. J. Berry; Susanta Das

    2009-12-30

    To understand heat and water management phenomena better within an operational proton exchange membrane fuel cell's (PEMFC) conditions, a three-dimensional, two-phase computational fluid dynamic (CFD) flow model has been developed and simulated for a complete PEMFC. Both liquid and gas phases are considered in the model by taking into account the gas flow, diffusion, charge transfer, change of phase, electro-osmosis, and electrochemical reactions to understand the overall dynamic behaviors of species within an operating PEMFC. The CFD model is solved numerically under different parametric conditions in terms of water management issues in order to improve cell performance. The results obtained from the CFD two-phase flow model simulations show improvement in cell performance as well as water management under PEMFCs operational conditions as compared to the results of a single phase flow model available in the literature. The quantitative information obtained from the two-phase model simulation results helped to develop a CFD control algorithm for low temperature PEM fuel cell stacks which opens up a route in designing improvement of PEMFC for better operational efficiency and performance. To understand heat and water management phenomena better within an operational proton exchange membrane fuel cell's (PEMFC) conditions, a three-dimensional, two-phase computational fluid dynamic (CFD) flow model has been developed and simulated for a complete PEMFC. Both liquid and gas phases are considered in the model by taking into account the gas flow, diffusion, charge transfer, change of phase, electro-osmosis, and electrochemical reactions to understand the overall dynamic behaviors of species within an operating PEMFC. The CFD model is solved numerically under different parametric conditions in terms of water management issues in order to improve cell performance. The results obtained from the CFD two-phase flow model simulations show improvement in cell performance as well

  16. Characterization of PEM fuel cell degradation by polarization change curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bezmalinovic, Dario; Simic, Boris; Barbir, Frano

    2015-10-01

    Polarization change curves, defined as a difference between the polarization curve at the beginning of life and the actual polarization curve after the cell has been operational for some time, were used to analyze degradation of a PEM fuel cell exposed to voltage cycling as an accelerated stress test for electrocatalyst degradation. Degradation, i.e., loss of voltage was due to increase of activation losses and increase of resistance in the catalyst layer, both most likely due to the loss of catalyst electrochemically active area. The results of the polarization change curves analysis correspond to the findings of the periodic individual tests performed during the accelerated stress test, such as electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, cyclic voltammetry and linear sweep voltammetry. Therefore, this method has potential to be used as a relatively quick and simple, yet effective, degradation diagnostic tool.

  17. Real life testing of a Hybrid PEM Fuel Cell Bus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Folkesson, Anders; Andersson, Christian; Alvfors, Per; Alaküla, Mats; Overgaard, Lars

    Fuel cells produce low quantities of local emissions, if any, and are therefore one of the most promising alternatives to internal combustion engines as the main power source in future vehicles. It is likely that urban buses will be among the first commercial applications for fuel cells in vehicles. This is due to the fact that urban buses are highly visible for the public, they contribute significantly to air pollution in urban areas, they have small limitations in weight and volume and fuelling is handled via a centralised infrastructure. Results and experiences from real life measurements of energy flows in a Scania Hybrid PEM Fuel Cell Concept Bus are presented in this paper. The tests consist of measurements during several standard duty cycles. The efficiency of the fuel cell system and of the complete vehicle are presented and discussed. The net efficiency of the fuel cell system was approximately 40% and the fuel consumption of the concept bus is between 42 and 48% lower compared to a standard Scania bus. Energy recovery by regenerative braking saves up 28% energy. Bus subsystems such as the pneumatic system for door opening, suspension and brakes, the hydraulic power steering, the 24 V grid, the water pump and the cooling fans consume approximately 7% of the energy in the fuel input or 17% of the net power output from the fuel cell system. The bus was built by a number of companies in a project partly financed by the European Commission's Joule programme. The comprehensive testing is partly financed by the Swedish programme "Den Gröna Bilen" (The Green Car). A 50 kW el fuel cell system is the power source and a high voltage battery pack works as an energy buffer and power booster. The fuel, compressed hydrogen, is stored in two high-pressure stainless steel vessels mounted on the roof of the bus. The bus has a series hybrid electric driveline with wheel hub motors with a maximum power of 100 kW. Hybrid Fuel Cell Buses have a big potential, but there are

  18. Novel Polyoxometalate Containing Membranes for PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Mason K. Harrup; Frederick F. Stewart; Thomas A Luther; Tammy Trowbridge

    2009-03-01

    Current proton exchange membrane (PEM) technologies are inadequate to address the projected needs for fuel cell performance above 80 ºC. Continuing research into traditional ion carriers in novel membrane materials offers the promise of marginal improvement, representing only an evolutionary increase in performance. This conclusion is supported by the role of water in conduction. Thus, the key to better PEMs is not to eliminate water, but to change the role of water by developing ion carriers that will bind water more tightly than traditional sulfur or phosphorus based carriers resulting in materials that will conduct at higher temperatures. This change entails having a carrier structure that interacts more intimately with water and by increasing the ion carrier anionic charge to result in more tightly held inner shell protonated waters of hydration. Both of these factors synergistically act to maintain a critical water concentration at the carrier necessary for conduction. In this work, polyoxometalate (POM) clusters were selected to serve as these different proton carriers.

  19. Engineered nano-scale ceramic supports for PEM fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Brosha, Eric L; Blackmore, Karen J; Burrell, Anthony K; Henson, Neil J; Phillips, Jonathan

    2010-01-01

    Catalyst support durability is currently a technical barrier for commercialization of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, especially for transportation applications. Degradation and corrosion of the conventional carbon supports leads to losses in active catalyst surface area and, consequently, reduced performance. As a result, the major aim of this work is to develop support materials that interact strongly with Pt, yet sustain bulk-like catalytic activities with very highly dispersed particles. This latter aspect is key to attaining the 2015 DOE technical targets for platinum group metal (PGM) loadings (0.20 mg/cm{sup 2}). The benefits of the use of carbon-supported catalysts to drastically reduce Pt loadings from the early, conventional Pt-black technology are well known. The supported platinum catalyzed membrane approach widely used today for fabrication of membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) was developed shortly thereafter these early reports. Of direct relevance to this present work, are the investigations into Pt particle growth in PEM fuel cells, and subsequent follow-on work showing evidence of Pt particles suspended free of the support within the catalyst layer. Further, durability work has demonstrated the detrimental effects of potential cycling on carbon corrosion and the link between electrochemical surface area and particle growth. To avoid the issues with carbon degradation altogether, it has been proposed by numerous fuel cell research groups to replace carbon supports with conductive materials that are ceramic in nature. Intrinsically, these many conductive oxides, carbides, and nitrides possess the prerequisite electronic conductivity required, and offer corrosion resistance in PEMFC environments; however, most reports indicate that obtaining sufficient surface area remains a significant barrier to obtaining desirable fuel ceU performance. Ceramic materials that exhibit high electrical conductivity and necessary stability under fuel

  20. Final Report - MEA and Stack Durability for PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Yandrasits, Michael A.

    2008-02-15

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells are expected to change the landscape of power generation over the next ten years. For this to be realized one of the most significant challenges to be met for stationary systems is lifetime, where 40,000 hours of operation with less than 10% decay is desired. This project conducted fundamental studies on the durability of membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) and fuel cell stack systems with the expectation that knowledge gained from this project will be applied toward the design and manufacture of MEAs and stack systems to meet DOE’s 2010 stationary fuel cell stack systems targets. The focus of this project was PEM fuel cell durability – understanding the issues that limit MEA and fuel cell system lifetime, developing mitigation strategies to address the lifetime issues and demonstration of the effectiveness of the mitigation strategies by system testing. To that end, several discoveries were made that contributed to the fundamental understanding of MEA degradation mechanisms. (1) The classically held belief that membrane degradation is solely due to end-group “unzipping” is incorrect; there are other functional groups present in the ionomer that are susceptible to chemical attack. (2) The rate of membrane degradation can be greatly slowed or possibly eliminated through the use of additives that scavenge peroxide or peroxyl radicals. (3) Characterization of GDL using dry gases is incorrect due to the fact that fuel cells operate utilizing humidified gases. The proper characterization method involves using wet gas streams and measuring capillary pressure as demonstrated in this project. (4) Not all Platinum on carbon catalysts are created equally – the major factor impacting catalyst durability is the type of carbon used as the support. (5) System operating conditions have a significant impact of lifetime – the lifetime was increased by an order of magnitude by changing the load profile while all other variables remain

  1. Transient response of high temperature PEM fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, J.; Shin, J. Y.; Song, T. W.

    A transient three-dimensional, single-phase and non-isothermal numerical model of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell with high operating temperature has been developed and implemented in computational fluid dynamic (CFD) code. The model accounts for transient convective and diffusive transport, and allows prediction of species concentration. Electrochemical charge double-layer effect is considered. Heat generation according to electrochemical reaction and ohmic loss are involved. Water transportation across membrane is ignored due to low water electro-osmosis drag force of polymer polybenzimidazole (PBI) membrane. The prediction shows transient in current density which overshoots (undershoots) the stabilized state value when cell voltage is abruptly decreased (increased). The result shows that the peak of overshoot (undershoot) is related with cathode air stoichiometric mass flow rate instead of anode hydrogen stoichiometric mass flow rate. Current is moved smoothly and there are no overshoot or undershoot with the influence of charge double-layer effect. The maximum temperature is located in cathode catalyst layer and both fuel cell average temperature and temperature deviation are increased with increasing of current load.

  2. A review of PEM fuel cell durability: Degradation mechanisms and mitigation strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Jinfeng; Yuan, Xiao Zi; Martin, Jonathan J.; Wang, Haijiang; Zhang, Jiujun; Shen, Jun; Wu, Shaohong; Merida, Walter

    This paper reviews publications in the literature on performance degradation of and mitigation strategies for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells. Durability is one of the characteristics most necessary for PEM fuel cells to be accepted as a viable product. In this paper, a literature-based analysis has been carried out in an attempt to achieve a unified definition of PEM fuel cell lifetime for cells operated either at a steady state or at various accelerated conditions. Additionally, the dependence of PEM fuel cell durability on different operating conditions is analyzed. Durability studies of the individual components of a PEM fuel cell are introduced, and various degradation mechanisms are examined. Following this analysis, the emphasis of this review shifts to applicable strategies for alleviating the degradation rate of each component. The lifetime of a PEM fuel cell as a function of operating conditions, component materials, and degradation mechanisms is then established. Lastly, this paper summarizes accelerated stress testing methods and protocols for various components, in an attempt to prevent the prolonged test periods and high costs associated with real lifetime tests.

  3. High resolution neutron imaging of water in PEM fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Mukundan, Rangachary; Borup, Rodney L; Davey, John R; Spendelow, Jacob S

    2008-01-01

    Optimal water management in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells is critical to improving the performance and durability of fuel cell systems especially during transient, start-up and shut-down operations. For example, while a high water content is desirable for improved membrane and catalyst ionomer conductivity, high water content can also block gas access to the triple-phase boundary resulting in lowered performance due to catalyst and gas diffusion layer (GDL) flooding. Visualizing liquid water by neutron imaging has been used over the past decade to study the water distribution inside operating fuel cells. In this paper, the results from our imaging at NIST using their recently installed higher resolution ({approx} 25 mm) Microchannel Plate (MCP) detector with a pixel pitch of 14.7 mm are presented. This detector is capable of quantitatively imaging the water inside the MEA (Membrane Electrode Assembly)/GDL (Gas Diffusion Layer) of working fuel cells and can provide the water profiles within these various components in addition to the channel water. Specially designed fuel cells (active area = 2.25 cm{sup 2}) have been used in order to take advantage of the full detector resolution. The cell design is illustrated in a figure where one of the current collector/end plates is shown. The serpentine pattern was machined into a block of aluminum and plated with nickel and then gold to form the flow field. The measurements were performed using beam no. 1 and aperture no. 2 with a fluence rate of 1.9 x 10{sup 6} neutrons cm{sup -2} sec{sup -1}. The cells were assembled with Gore{sup TM} Primea{sup R} MEAs and SGL Sigracet {sup R} 24 series GDLs (PRIMEA, GORE-SELECT and GORE are trademarks of W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc). All the cells were tested at 80 {sup o}C with 1.2 stoichiometry H{sub 2} and 2.0 stoichiometry air flows.

  4. Understanding of ammonia transport in PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Myunghee

    This dissertation investigates ammonia (NH3) as a fuel contaminant to the anode in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs). Since NH 3 is fed to the anode in a gas phase and transferred to the cathode, the effect of a contaminant is distributed through MEA and quite complicated. This study is focused on the investigation of mechanism of NH3 transport and the isolation of multiple effects to degrade the performance of fuel cell. An External Reference Electrode (ERE) was employed to decouple the effect of individual electrode and explain the mechanism of NH3 contamination. A mechanism of NH3 transport is proposed and supported by data for various inlet conditions in a N2/N2 laboratory-scale fuel cell at Open Circuit Conditions (OCC). With a commercialized GORE(TM) PRIMEA RTM 5631 MEAs at 70°C, data were obtained utilizing a material balance technique, which uses an ion selective electrode (ISE) to determine the concentration of ammonium ion in the process streams. The results indicate that ammonia is not transported across the membrane when the feeds to both electrodes are dry. However, with humidified feeds ammonia was transported from the anode to the cathode. The data also indicate the water content of in the MEA is the critical factor that causes NH3 crossover in the MEA. Diffusion coefficients of NH3 in MEA are also calculated at different relative humilities. An ERE was developed for PEM fuel cell by using a NafionRTM strip which was used to understand contamination mechanism. The voltage of anode electrode relative to ERE was measured during a polarization curve. The data showed the measurement of individual electrode potential was extremely affected by the misalignment between two electrodes. We compare the overpotential measured from the reference electrode and the calculated overpotential from subtracting the cell voltages between neat hydrogen and a 25 ppm CO in H 2 stream at same current. The studies indicated that the overpotentials obtained from

  5. Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell Status and Remaining Challenges for Manned Space-Flight Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reaves, Will F.; Hoberecht, Mark A.

    2003-01-01

    The Fuel Cell has been used for manned space flight since the Gemini program. Its power output and water production capability over long durations for the mass and volume are critical for manned space-flight requirements. The alkaline fuel cell used on the Shuttle, while very reliable and capable for it s application, has operational sensitivities, limited life, and an expensive recycle cost. The PEM fuel cell offers many potential improvements in those areas. NASA Glenn Research Center is currently leading a PEM fuel cell development and test program intended to move the technology closer to the point required for manned space-flight consideration. This paper will address the advantages of PEM fuel cell technology and its potential for future space flight as compared to existing alkaline fuel cells. It will also cover the technical hurdles that must be overcome. In addition, a description of the NASA PEM fuel cell development program will be presented, and the current status of this effort discussed. The effort is a combination of stack and ancillary component hardware development, culminating in breadboard and engineering model unit assembly and test. Finally, a detailed roadmap for proceeding fiom engineering model hardware to qualification and flight hardware will be proposed. Innovative test engineering and potential payload manifesting may be required to actually validate/certify a PEM fuel cell for manned space flight.

  6. Comparison of temperature distributions inside a PEM fuel cell with parallel and interdigitated gas distributors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hwang, J. J.; Liu, S. J.

    A comparison of the temperature distributions in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell between the parallel-flow gas distributors and the interdigitated gas distributor has been discussed in detail. An electrochemical-thermal coupled numerical model in a five-layer membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) is developed. The temperatures for the reactant fuels as well as the carbon fibers in the porous electrode are predicted by using a CFD technique. The overpotential across the MEA is varied to examine its effect on the temperature distributions of the PEM fuel cell. It is found that both the fuel temperature and the carbon fiber temperature are increased with increasing the total overpotential. In addition, the fuel and carbon-fiber temperature distributions are significantly affected by the flow pattern that cast on the gas distributor. Replacing the parallel-flow gas distributor by the interdigitated gas distributor will increase the local maximum temperature inside the PEM fuel cell.

  7. Fast test for the durability of PEM fuel cell catalysts

    SciTech Connect

    Shao, Yuyan; Kou, Rong; Wang, Jun; Kwak, Ja Hun; Viswanathan, Vilayanur V.; Wang, Yong; Liu, Jun; Lin, Yuehe

    2008-10-12

    ETek Pt/C catalyst was used as standard materials to develop a new test protocol for fast screening durable catalyst for PEM fuel cells. Potential step (Pstep) method with the upper potential of 1.4V and the potential-static (Pstat) holding at 1.4 V or 1.2V are used to degrade the catalyst. The degradation in the electrochemical surface area (ESA) for Pt/C under Pstep conditions is greatly accelerated as compared with other conditions. The durability of Pt/Vulcan and Pt/CNT were studied using the new protocol with the electrochemical stressing of Pstep(1.4V/0.6V), which provided the same results as those tested using conventional protocols: Pt/CNT is more durable than Pt/Vulcan. This confirms that the new protocol works well in screening catalyst in terms of durability. The new protocol can differentiate the durability of electrocatalysts by shortening the test time to several hours. It is reliable and time-efficient.

  8. Modeling of PEM fuel cell Pt/C catalyst degradation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bi, Wu; Fuller, Thomas F.

    Pt/C catalyst degradation remains as one of the primary limitations for practical applications of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. Pt catalyst degradation mechanisms with the typically observed Pt nanoparticle growth behaviors have not been completely understood and predicted. In this work, a physics-based Pt/C catalyst degradation model is proposed with a simplified bi-modal particle size distribution. The following catalyst degradation processes were considered: (1) dissolution of Pt and subsequent electrochemical deposition on Pt nanoparticles in cathode; (2) diffusion of Pt ions in the membrane electrode assembly (MEA); and (3) Pt ion chemical reduction in membrane by hydrogen permeating through the membrane from the negative electrode. Catalyst coarsening with Pt nanoparticle growth was clearly demonstrated by Pt mass exchange between small and large particles through Pt dissolution and Pt ion deposition. However, the model is not adequate to predict well the catalyst degradation rates including Pt nanoparticle growth, catalyst surface area loss and cathode Pt mass loss. Additional catalyst degradation processes such as new Pt cluster formation on carbon support and neighboring Pt clusters coarsening was proposed for further simulative investigation.

  9. Advanced Materials for PEM-Based Fuel Cell Systems

    SciTech Connect

    James E. McGrath

    2005-10-26

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are quickly becoming attractive alternative energy sources for transportation, stationary power, and small electronics due to the increasing cost and environmental hazards of traditional fossil fuels. Two main classes of PEMFCs include hydrogen/air or hydrogen/oxygen fuel cells and direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). The current benchmark membrane for both types of PEMFCs is Nafion, a perfluorinated sulfonated copolymer made by DuPont. Nafion copolymers exhibit good thermal and chemical stability, as well as very high proton conductivity under hydrated conditions at temperatures below 80 °C. However, application of these membranes is limited due to their high methanol permeability and loss of conductivity at high temperatures and low relative humidities. These deficiencies have led to the search for improved materials for proton exchange membranes. Potential PEMs should have good thermal, hydrolytic, and oxidative stability, high proton conductivity, selective permeability, and mechanical durability over long periods of time. Poly(arylene ether)s, polyimides, polybenzimidazoles, and polyphenylenes are among the most widely investigated candidates for PEMs. Poly(arylene ether)s are a promising class of proton exchange membranes due to their excellent thermal and chemical stability and high glass transition temperatures. High proton conductivity can be achieved through post-sulfonation of poly(arylene ether) materials, but this most often results in very high water sorption or even water solubility. Our research has shown that directly polymerized poly(arylene ether) copolymers show important advantages over traditional post-sulfonated systems and also address the concerns with Nafion membranes. These properties were evaluated and correlated with morphology, structure-property relationships, and

  10. Advanced Materials for PEM-Based Fuel Cell Systems

    SciTech Connect

    James E. McGrath; Donald G. Baird; Michael von Spakovsky

    2005-10-26

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are quickly becoming attractive alternative energy sources for transportation, stationary power, and small electronics due to the increasing cost and environmental hazards of traditional fossil fuels. Two main classes of PEMFCs include hydrogen/air or hydrogen/oxygen fuel cells and direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). The current benchmark membrane for both types of PEMFCs is Nafion, a perfluorinated sulfonated copolymer made by DuPont. Nafion copolymers exhibit good thermal and chemical stability, as well as very high proton conductivity under hydrated conditions at temperatures below 80 degrees C. However, application of these membranes is limited due to their high methanol permeability and loss of conductivity at high temperatures and low relative humidities. These deficiencies have led to the search for improved materials for proton exchange membranes. Potential PEMs should have good thermal, hydrolytic, and oxidative stability, high proton conductivity, selective permeability, and mechanical durability over long periods of time. Poly(arylene ether)s, polyimides, polybenzimidazoles, and polyphenylenes are among the most widely investigated candidates for PEMs. Poly(arylene ether)s are a promising class of proton exchange membranes due to their excellent thermal and chemical stability and high glass transition temperatures. High proton conductivity can be achieved through post-sulfonation of poly(arylene ether) materials, but this most often results in very high water sorption or even water solubility. Our research has shown that directly polymerized poly(arylene ether) copolymers show important advantages over traditional post-sulfonated systems and also address the concerns with Nafion membranes. These properties were evaluated and correlated with morphology, structure-property relationships, and states of water in the membranes. Further improvements in properties were achieved through incorporation of inorganic

  11. Next Generation Bipolar Plates for Automotive PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Adrianowycz, Orest; Norley, Julian; Stuart, David J; Flaherty, David; Wayne, Ryan; Williams, Warren; Tietze, Roger; Nguyen, Yen-Loan H; Zawodzinski, Tom; Pietrasz, Patrick

    2010-04-15

    The results of a successful U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) funded two-year $2.9 MM program lead by GrafTech International Inc. (GrafTech) are reported and summarized. The program goal was to develop the next generation of high temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell bipolar plates for use in transportation fuel cell applications operating at temperatures up to 120 °C. The bipolar plate composite developed during the program is based on GrafTech’s GRAFCELL resin impregnated flexible graphite technology and makes use of a high temperature Huntsman Advanced Materials resin system which extends the upper use temperature of the composite to the DoE target. High temperature performance of the new composite is achieved with the added benefit of improvements in strength, modulus, and dimensional stability over the incumbent resin systems. Other physical properties, including thermal and electrical conductivity of the new composite are identical to or not adversely affected by the new resin system. Using the new bipolar plate composite system, machined plates were fabricated and tested in high temperature single-cell fuel cells operating at 120 °C for over 1100 hours by Case Western Reserve University. Final verification of performance was done on embossed full-size plates which were fabricated and glued into bipolar plates by GrafTech. Stack testing was done on a 10-cell full-sized stack under a simulated drive cycle protocol by Ballard Power Systems. Freeze-thaw performance was conducted by Ballard on a separate 5-cell stack and shown to be within specification. A third stack was assembled and shipped to Argonne National Laboratory for independent performance verification. Manufacturing cost estimate for the production of the new bipolar plate composite at current and high volume production scenarios was performed by Directed Technologies Inc. (DTI). The production cost estimates were consistent with previous DoE cost estimates performed by DTI for the

  12. PEM fuel cell catalyst degradation mechanism and mathematical modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bi, Wu

    The durability of carbon-supported platinum oxygen reduction electrocatalysts is one of the limiting factors for their commercial applications in PEM fuel cell cathodes. In this work, we applied both experimental and numerical tools to study Pt/C catalyst degradation mechanisms. An accelerated catalyst degradation protocol through cycling the cathode potential in a square-wave profile was applied to study cell performances, Pt/C catalyst ORR activity, and active surface area losses. Post-mortem analyses of cathode Pt particle size were conducted by X-ray diffraction. Changes of platinum distributions in CCMs were studied by SEM/EDS analyses with surface coated Au as the reference element. The mechanisms of platinum deposition in membrane were investigated. It was confirmed by the SEM/EDS Pt distribution analyses that the deposited Pt atoms originated from the cathode. It was hypothesized that dissolved Pt ions from the cathode diffused into the membrane and were reduced by the permeated hydrogen from the anode. These deposited Pt atoms catalyzed the combustion of permeated oxygen and hydrogen. Pt band was predicted and experimentally confirmed at the location where the permeated hydrogen and oxygen completely reacted with each other. An active research thrust for PEM fuel cells is the development of membranes for high temperature (above 80°C) and low humidity operations. However a large tradeoff the benefits running fuel cell at relatively high temperatures was observed due to the accelerated cathode degradation processes. And at low humidity conditions, the cathode degradation rate decreased due to the slow transport of soluble platinum ions in possible narrowed/limited water (or ionic) channel networks in polymer electrolytes. From the Pt dissolution experiments in 0.5 M HClO4 solution, large positive effects of holding potentials on dissolution rates and soluble Pt concentrations were observed. Without an external holding potential, Pt dissolution rate was

  13. Heat sources in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramousse, Julien; Lottin, Olivier; Didierjean, Sophie; Maillet, Denis

    In order to model accurately heat transfer in PEM fuel cell, a particular attention had to be paid to the assessment of heat sources in the cell. Although the total amount of heat released is easily computed from its voltage, local heat sources quantification and localization are not simple. This paper is thus a discussion about heat sources/sinks distribution in a single cell, for which many bold assumptions are encountered in the literature. The heat sources or sinks under consideration are: (1) half-reactions entropy, (2) electrochemical activation, (3) water sorption/desorption at the GDL/membrane interfaces, (4) Joule effect in the membrane and (5) water phase change in the GDL. A detailed thermodynamic study leads to the conclusion that the anodic half-reaction is exothermic (Δ Sr ev a = - 226 J mo l-1 K-1) , instead of being athermic as supposed in most of the thermal studies. As a consequence, the cathodic half-reaction is endothermic (Δ Sr ev c = + 62.8 J mo l-1 K-1) , which results in a heat sink at the cathode side, proportional to the current. In the same way, depending on the water flux through the membrane, sorption can create a large heat sink at one electrode and an equivalent heat source at the other. Water phase change in the GDL - condensation/evaporation - results in heat sources/sinks that should also be taken into account. All these issues are addressed in order to properly set the basis of heat transfer modeling in the cell.

  14. NASA Non-Flow-Through PEM Fuel Cell System for Aerospace Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Araghi, Koorosh R.

    2011-01-01

    NASA is researching passive NFT Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell technologies for primary fuel cell power plants in air-independent applications. NFT fuel cell power systems have a higher power density than flow through systems due to both reduced parasitic loads and lower system mass and volume. Reactant storage still dominates system mass/volume considerations. NFT fuel cell stack testing has demonstrated equivalent short term performance to flow through stacks. More testing is required to evaluate long-term performance.

  15. PEM fuel cell cost minimization using ``Design For Manufacture and Assembly`` techniques

    SciTech Connect

    Lomax, F.D. Jr.; James, B.D.; Mooradian, R.P.

    1997-12-31

    Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells fueled with direct hydrogen have demonstrated substantial technical potential to replace Internal Combustion Engines (ICE`s) in light duty vehicles. Such a transition to a hydrogen economy offers the potential of substantial benefits from reduced criteria and greenhouse emissions as well as reduced foreign fuel dependence. Research conducted for the Ford Motor Co. under a US Department of Energy contract suggests that hydrogen fuel, when used in a fuel cell vehicle (FCV), can achieve a cost per vehicle mile less than or equal to the gasoline cost per mile when used in an ICE vehicle. However, fuel cost parity is not sufficient to ensure overall economic success: the PEM fuel cell power system itself must be of comparable cost to the ICE. To ascertain if low cost production of PEM fuel cells is feasible, a powerful set of mechanical engineering tools collectively referred to as Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA) has been applied to several representative PEM fuel cell designs. The preliminary results of this work are encouraging, as presented.

  16. Experimental analysis, modeling, and optimal control of PEM fuel cell electrochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dhanda, Abhishek

    Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells are touted to play a major role in the green hydrogen based economy. However performance issues need to be addressed for mass commercialization of fuel cells. Besides other factors, slow chemical and electrochemical surface reactions on Pt based catalysts cause large potential loss, and are the primary cause of performance degradation in PEM fuel cells. The kinetics of the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at the cathode and the hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR) at the anode depend on the crystal orientation. Accurate modeling of PEM electrochemistry at the Pt/electrolyte interface requires study of reaction mechanisms on well defined Pt surfaces. In this thesis, electrochemistry on single crystal Pt/Nafion interfaces was studied using a novel experimental setup. Steady state and transient impedance spectroscopy experiments were performed at different operating temperatures. These results are used to derive a kinetic model of the adsorbed species and the overall reaction. Based on such a kinetic model of electrochemical reactions, an approach is presented to improve the time-average performance of PEM fuel cells. Electrochemical kinetic rates depend on operating voltage and current signals. Optimal time varying profile of operating current were derived using variational calculus. Simulation results are presented for demonstrating the application of optimal control approach in reducing carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in PEM fuel cells.

  17. PEM Fuel Cell System Replacement for BA-559O Battery

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    H Power Corp. developed a fuel cell system to demonstrate that fuel cells can be effectively designed for missions requiring a high degree of...equivalent in size to that of a BA-5590 battery. The system comprised an air-cooled fuel cell stack, a metal-hydride-based fuel storage section, and a

  18. The Corrosion of PEM Fuel Cell Catalyst Supports and Its Implications for Developing Durable Catalysts

    SciTech Connect

    Shao, Yuyan; Wang, Jun; Kou, Rong; Engelhard, Mark H.; Liu, Jun; Wang, Yong; Lin, Yuehe

    2009-01-03

    Studying the corrosion behavior of catalyst support materials is of great significance for understanding the degradation of PEM fuel cell performance and developing durable catalysts. The oxidation of Vulcan carbon black (the most widely-used catalyst support for PEM fuel cells) was investigated using various electrochemical stressing methods (fixed-potential holding vs. potential step cycling), among which the potential step cycling was considered to mimic more closely the real drive cycle operation of vehicle PEM fuel cells. The oxidation of carbon was accelerated under potential step conditions as compared with the fixed-potential holding condition. Increasing potential step frequency or decreasing the lower potential limit in the potential step can further accelerate the corrosion of carbon. The accelerated corrosion of carbon black was attributed to the cycle of consumption/regeneration of some easily oxidized species. These findings are being employed to develop a test protocol for fast screening durable catalyst support.

  19. NASA's PEM Fuel Cell Power Plant Development Program for Space Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoberecht, Mark A.

    2008-01-01

    A three-center NASA team led by the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio is completing a five-year PEM fuel cell power plant development program for future space applications. The focus of the program has been to adapt commercial PEM fuel cell technology for space applications by addressing the key mission requirements of using pure oxygen as an oxidant and operating in a multi-gravity environment. Competing vendors developed breadboard units in the 1 to 5 kW power range during the first phase of the program, and a single vendor developed a nominal 10-kW engineering model power pant during the second phase of the program. Successful performance and environmental tests conducted by NASA established confidence that PEM fuel cell technology will be ready to meet the electrical power needs of future space missions.

  20. Three-wheel air turbocompressor for PEM fuel cell systems

    DOEpatents

    Rehg, Tim; Gee, Mark; Emerson, Terence P.; Ferrall, Joe; Sokolov, Pavel

    2003-08-19

    A fuel cell system comprises a compressor and a fuel processor downstream of the compressor. A fuel cell stack is in communication with the fuel processor and compressor. A combustor is downstream of the fuel cell stack. First and second turbines are downstream of the fuel processor and in parallel flow communication with one another. A distribution valve is in communication with the first and second turbines. The first and second turbines are mechanically engaged to the compressor. A bypass valve is intermediate the compressor and the second turbine, with the bypass valve enabling a compressed gas from the compressor to bypass the fuel processor.

  1. Phase 1 feasibility study of an integrated hydrogen PEM fuel cell system. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Luczak, F.

    1998-03-01

    Evaluated in the report is the use of hydrogen fueled proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells for devices requiring less than 15 kW. Metal hydrides were specifically analyzed as a method of storing hydrogen. There is a business and technical part to the study that were developed with feedback from each other. The business potential of a small PEM product is reviewed by examining the markets, projected sales, and required investment. The major technical and cost hurdles to a product are also reviewed including: the membrane and electrode assembly (M and EA), water transport plate (WTP), and the metal hydrides. It was concluded that the best potential stationary market for hydrogen PEM fuel cell less than 15 kW is for backup power use in telecommunications applications.

  2. Transient operation and shape optimization of a single PEM fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Sheng; Ordonez, Juan C.; Vargas, Jose V. C.; Gardolinski, Jose E. F.; Gomes, Maria A. B.

    Geometric design, including the internal structure and external shape, considerably affect the thermal, fluid, and electrochemical characteristics of a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell, which determine the polarization curves as well as the thermal and power inertias. Shape optimization is a natural alternative to improve the fuel cell performance and make fuel cells more attractive for power generation. This paper investigates the internal and external structure effects on the fuel cell steady and transient operation with consideration of stoichiometric ratios, pumping power, and working temperature limits. The maximal steady state net power output and the fuel cell start-up time under a step-changed current load characterize the fuel cell steady and transient performance respectively. The one-dimensional PEM fuel cell (PEMFC) thermal model introduced in a previous work [J.V.C. Vargas, J.C. Ordonez, A. Bejan, Constructal flow structure for a PEM fuel cell, Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer 47 (2004) 4177-4193] is amended to simulate the fuel cell transient start-up process. The shape optimization consists of the internal and external PEMFC structure optimization. The internal optimization focuses on the optimal allocation of fuel cell compartment thicknesses. The external optimization process seeks the PEM fuel cell optimal external aspect ratios. These two levels of optimizations pursue the optimal geometric design with quick response to the step loads and large power densities. Appropriate dimensionless groups are identified and the numerical results are presented in dimensionless charts for general engineering design. The universality of the general optimal shape found is also discussed.

  3. Modelling a PEM fuel cell stack with a nonlinear equivalent circuit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reggiani, U.; Sandrolini, L.; Giuliattini Burbui, G. L.

    A nonlinear circuit model of a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack is presented. The model allows the simulation of both steady-state and dynamic behaviour of the stack on condition that the values of some of its parameters are changed in the two operating conditions. The circuit parameters can be obtained by means of simple experimental tests and calculations. A commercial PEM fuel cell stack is modelled as seen from the power conditioning system side, without requiring parameters necessary for complex mathematical models and not easily obtainable by the majority of users. A procedure of parameter determination is developed and a comparison between the simulated and experimental results for both steady-state and dynamic behaviour of the PEM stack is shown.

  4. Water Transport Characteristics of Gas Diffusion Layer in a PEM Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    Damle, Ashok S; Cole, J Vernon

    2008-12-01

    A presentation addressing the following: Water transport in PEM Fuel Cells - a DoE Project 1. Gas Diffusion Layer--Role and Characteristics 2. Capillary Pressure Determinations of GDL Media 3. Gas Permeability Measurements of GDL Media 4. Conclusions and Future Activities

  5. Intergovernmental Advanced Stationary PEM Fuel Cell System Demonstration Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Rich Chartrand

    2011-08-31

    A program to complete the design, construction and demonstration of a PEMFC system fuelled by Ethanol, LPG or NG for telecom applications was initiated in October 2007. Early in the program the economics for Ethanol were shown to be unfeasible and permission was given by DOE to focus on LPG only. The design and construction of a prototype unit was completed in Jun 2009 using commercially available PEM FC stack from Ballard Power Systems. During the course of testing, the high pressure drop of the stack was shown to be problematic in terms of control and stability of the reformer. Also, due to the power requirements for air compression the overall efficiency of the system was shown to be lower than a similar system using internally developed low pressure drop FC stack. In Q3 2009, the decision was made to change to the Plug power stack and a second prototype was built and tested. Overall net efficiency was shown to be 31.5% at 3 kW output. Total output of the system is 6 kW. Using the new stack hardware, material cost reduction of 63% was achieved over the previous Alpha design. During a November 2009 review meeting Plug Power proposed and was granted permission, to demonstrate the new, commercial version of Plug Power's telecom system at CERL. As this product was also being tested as part of a DOE Topic 7A program, this part of the program was transferred to the Topic 7A program. In Q32008, the scope of work of this program was expanded to include a National Grid demonstration project of a micro-CHP system using hightemperature PEM technology. The Gensys Blue system was cleared for unattended operation, grid connection, and power generation in Aug 2009 at Union College in NY state. The system continues to operate providing power and heat to Beuth House. The system is being continually evaluated and improvements to hardware and controls will be implemented as more is learned about the system's operation. The program is instrumental in improving the efficiency and

  6. Cost Analysis of Fuel Cell Systems for Transportation Compressed Hydrogen and PEM Fuel Cell System

    SciTech Connect

    Eric J. Carlson

    2004-10-20

    PEMFC technology for transportation must be competitive with internal combustion engine powertrains in a number of key metrics, including performance, life, reliability, and cost. Demonstration of PEMFC cost competitiveness has its own challenges because the technology has not been applied to high volume automotive markets. The key stack materials including membranes, electrodes, bipolar plates, and gas diffusion layers have not been produced in automotive volumes to the exacting quality requirements that will be needed for high stack yields and to the evolving property specifications of high performance automotive stacks. Additionally, balance-of-plant components for air, water, and thermal management are being developed to meet the unique requirements of fuel cell systems. To address the question of whether fuel cells will be cost competitive in automotive markets, the DOE has funded this project to assess the high volume production cost of PEM fuel cell systems. In this report a historical perspective of our efforts in assessment of PEMFC cost for DOE is provided along with a more in-depth assessment of the cost of compressed hydrogen storage is provided. Additionally, the hydrogen storage costs were incorporated into a system cost update for 2004. Assessment of cost involves understanding not only material and production costs, but also critical performance metrics, i.e., stack power density and associated catalyst loadings that scale the system components. We will discuss the factors influencing the selection of the system specification (i.e., efficiency, reformate versus direct hydrogen, and power output) and how these have evolved over time. The reported costs reflect internal estimates and feedback from component developers and the car companies. Uncertainty in the cost projection was addressed through sensitivity analyses.

  7. PEM fuel cells for transportation and stationary power generation applications

    SciTech Connect

    Cleghorn, S.J.; Ren, X.; Springer, T.E.; Wilson, M.S.; Zawodzinski, C.; Zawodzinski, T.A. Jr.; Gottesfeld, S.

    1996-05-01

    We describe recent activities at LANL devoted to polymer electrolyte fuel cells in the contexts of stationary power generation and transportation applications. A low cost/high performance hydrogen or reformate/air stack technology is being developed based on ultralow Pt loadings and on non-machined, inexpensive elements for flow-fields and bipolar plates. On board methanol reforming is compared to the option of direct methanol fuel cells because of recent significant power density increases demonstrated in the latter.

  8. Analysis of on-board fuel processing designs for PEM fuel cell vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Kartha, S.; Fischer, S.; Kreutz, T.

    1996-12-31

    As a liquid fuel with weight and volume energy densities comparable to those of gasoline, methanol is an attractive energy carrier for mobile power systems. It is available without contaminants such as sulfur, and can be easily reformed at relatively low temperatures with inexpensive catalysts. This study is concerned with comparing the net efficiencies of PEM fuel cell vehicles fueled with methanol and hydrogen, using fuel cell system models developed using ASPEN chemical process simulation software. For both the methanol and hydrogen systems, base case designs are developed and several variations are considered that differ with respect to the degree of system integration for recovery of heat and compressive work. The methanol systems are based on steam reforming with the water-gas shift reaction and preferential oxidation, and the hydrogen systems are based on compressed hydrogen. This analysis is an exercise in optimizing the system design for each fuel, which ultimately entails balancing system efficiency against a host of other considerations, including system complexity, performance, cost, reliability, weight and volume.

  9. Modeling and simulation of a PEM fuel cell stack considering temperature effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shan, Yuyao; Choe, Song-Yul

    Management of the water and heat ejected as byproducts in an operating PEM fuel cell stack are crucial factors in their optimal design and safe operations. Models currently available for a PEM fuel cell are based on either empirical or 3-D computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Both models do not fully meet the need to represent physical behavior of a stack because of either their simplicity or complexity. We propose a highly dynamic PEM fuel cell stack model, taking into account the most influential property of temperature affecting performance and dynamics. Simulations have been conducted to analyze start-up behaviors and the performance of the stack in conjunction with the cells. Our analyses demonstrate static and dynamic behaviors of a stack. Major results presented are as follows: (1) operating dependent temperature gradient across through-plane direction of the fuel cell stack, (2) endplate effects on the temperature profile during start-up process, (3) temperature profile influences on the output voltage of individual cells and the stack, (4) temperature influence on the water content in membranes of different cells, and (5) cathode inlet relative humidity influence on the temperature profile of the stack.

  10. Low Cost PEM Fuel Cell Metal Bipolar Plates

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Conghua

    2013-05-30

    Bipolar plate is an important component in fuel cell stacks and accounts for more than 75% of stack weight and volume. The technology development of metal bipolar plates can effectively reduce the fuel cells stack weight and volume over 50%. The challenge is the metal plate corrosion protection at low cost for the broad commercial applications. This project is aimed to develop innovative technological solutions to overcome the corrosion barrier of low cost metal plates. The feasibility of has been demonstrated and patented (US Patent 7,309,540). The plan is to further reduce the cost, and scale up the technology. The project is built on three pillars: 1) robust experimental evidence demonstrating the feasibility of our technology, 2) a team that consists of industrial leaders in fuel cell stack application, design, and manufactures; 3) a low-risk, significant-milestone driven program that proves the feasibility of meeting program objectives The implementation of this project will reduce the fuel cell stack metal bipolar separator plate cost which accounts 15-21% of the overall stack cost. It will contribute to the market adoption of fuel cell technologies. In addition, this corrosion protection technology can be used similar energy devices, such as batteries and electrolyzers. Therefore, the success of the project will be benefit in broad markets.

  11. The effect of material properties on the performance of a new geometry PEM fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khazaee, Iman; Ghazikhani, Mohsen

    2012-05-01

    In this paper a computational dynamics model for duct-shaped geometry proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell was used to investigate the effect of changing gas diffusion layer and membrane properties on the performances, current density and gas concentration. The proposed model is a full cell model, which includes all the parts of the PEM fuel cell, flow channels, gas diffusion electrodes, catalyst layers and the membrane. Coupled transport and electrochemical kinetics equations are solved in a single domain; therefore no interfacial boundary condition is required at the internal boundaries between cell components. This computational fluid dynamics code is used as the direct problem solver, which is used to simulate the 2-dimensional mass, momentum and species transport phenomena as well as the electron- and proton-transfer process taking place in a PEMFC that cannot be investigated experimentally. The results show that by increasing the thickness and decreasing the porosity of GDL the performance of the cell enhances that it is different with planner PEM fuel cell. Also the results show that by increasing the thermal conductivity of the GDL and membrane, the overall cell performance increases.

  12. PEM fuel cell stack heat and mass management

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vanderborgh, Nicholas E.; Kimble, Michael C.; Huff, James R.; Hedstrom, James C.

    1992-01-01

    PEM stacks are under evaluation as candidates for future space power technology. Results of long-term operation on a set of contemporary stacks fitted with different proton exchange membrane materials are given. Data on water balances show effects of membrane materials on stack performance.

  13. Final Scientific Report, New Proton Conductive Composite Materials for PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Lvov, Serguei

    2010-11-08

    This project covered one of the main challenges in present-day PEM fuel cell technology: to design a membrane capable of maintaining high conductivity and mechanical integrity when temperature is elevated and water vapor pressure is severely reduced. The DOE conductivity milestone of 0.1 S cm-1 at 120 degrees C and 50 % relative humidity (RH) for designed membranes addressed the target for the project. Our approach presumed to develop a composite membrane with hydrophilic proton-conductive inorganic material and the proton conductive polymeric matrix that is able to “bridge” the conduction paths in the membrane. The unique aspect of our approach was the use of highly functionalized inorganic additives to benefit from their water retention properties and high conductivity as well. A promising result turns out that highly hydrophilic phosphorsilicate gels added in Nafion matrix improved PEM fuel cell performance by over 50% compared with bare Nafion membrane at 120 degrees C and 50 % RH. This achievement realizes that the fuel cell operating pressure can be kept low, which would make the PEM fuel cell much more cost efficient and adaptable to practical operating conditions and facilitate its faster commercialization particularly in automotive and stationary applications.

  14. Final Report: Development of a Thermal and Water Management System for PEM Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    Zia Mirza, Program Manager

    2011-12-06

    This final program report is prepared to provide the status of program activities performed over the period of 9 years to develop a thermal and water management (TWM) system for an 80-kW PEM fuel cell power system. The technical information and data collected during this period are presented in chronological order by each calendar year. Balance of plant (BOP) components of a PEM fuel cell automotive system represents a significant portion of total cost based on the 2008 study by TIAX LLC, Cambridge, MA. The objectives of this TWM program were two-fold. The first objective was to develop an advanced cooling system (efficient radiator) to meet the fuel cell cooling requirements. The heat generated by the fuel cell stack is a low-quality heat (small difference between fuel cell stack operating temperature and ambient air temperature) that needs to be dissipated to the ambient air. To minimize size, weight, and cost of the radiator, advanced fin configurations were evaluated. The second objective was to evaluate air humidification systems which can meet the fuel cell stack inlet air humidity requirements. The moisture from the fuel cell outlet air is transferred to inlet air, thus eliminating the need for an outside water source. Two types of humidification devices were down-selected: one based on membrane and the other based on rotating enthalpy wheel. The sub-scale units for both of these devices have been successfully tested by the suppliers. This project addresses System Thermal and Water Management.

  15. Transport Studies and Modeling in PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Mittelsteadt, Cortney K.; Xu, Hui; Brawn, Shelly

    2014-07-30

    This project’s aim was to develop fuel cell components (i.e. membranes, gas-diffusion media (GDM), bipolar plates and flow fields) that possess specific properties (i.e. water transport and conductivity). A computational fluid dynamics model was developed to elucidate the effect of certain parameters on these specific properties. Ultimately, the model will be used to determine sensitivity of fuel cell performance to component properties to determine limiting components and to guide research. We have successfully reached our objectives and achieved most of the milestones of this project. We have designed and synthesized a variety of hydrocarbon block polymer membranes with lower equivalent weight, structure, chemistry, phase separation and process conditions. These membranes provide a broad selection with optimized water transport properties. We have also designed and constructed a variety of devices that are capable of accurately measuring the water transport properties (water uptake, water diffusivity and electro-osmatic drag) of these membranes. These transport properties are correlated to the membranes’ structures derived from X-ray and microscopy techniques to determine the structure-property relationship. We successfully integrated hydrocarbon membrane MEAs with a current distribution board (CBD) to study the impact of hydrocarbon membrane on water transport in fuel cells. We have designed and fabricated various GDM with varying substrate, diffusivity and micro-porous layers (MPL) and characterized their pore structure, tortuosity and hydrophobicity. We have derived a universal chart (MacMullin number as function of wet proofing and porosity) that can be used to characterize various GDM. The abovementioned GDMs have been evaluated in operating fuel cells; their performance is correlated to various pore structure, tortuosity and hydrophobicity of the GDM. Unfortunately, determining a universal relationship between the MacMullin number and these properties

  16. Online soft sensor of humidity in PEM fuel cell based on dynamic partial least squares.

    PubMed

    Long, Rong; Chen, Qihong; Zhang, Liyan; Ma, Longhua; Quan, Shuhai

    2013-01-01

    Online monitoring humidity in the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell is an important issue in maintaining proper membrane humidity. The cost and size of existing sensors for monitoring humidity are prohibitive for online measurements. Online prediction of humidity using readily available measured data would be beneficial to water management. In this paper, a novel soft sensor method based on dynamic partial least squares (DPLS) regression is proposed and applied to humidity prediction in PEM fuel cell. In order to obtain data of humidity and test the feasibility of the proposed DPLS-based soft sensor a hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) test system is constructed. The time lag of the DPLS-based soft sensor is selected as 30 by comparing the root-mean-square error in different time lag. The performance of the proposed DPLS-based soft sensor is demonstrated by experimental results.

  17. Online Soft Sensor of Humidity in PEM Fuel Cell Based on Dynamic Partial Least Squares

    PubMed Central

    Long, Rong; Chen, Qihong; Zhang, Liyan; Ma, Longhua; Quan, Shuhai

    2013-01-01

    Online monitoring humidity in the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell is an important issue in maintaining proper membrane humidity. The cost and size of existing sensors for monitoring humidity are prohibitive for online measurements. Online prediction of humidity using readily available measured data would be beneficial to water management. In this paper, a novel soft sensor method based on dynamic partial least squares (DPLS) regression is proposed and applied to humidity prediction in PEM fuel cell. In order to obtain data of humidity and test the feasibility of the proposed DPLS-based soft sensor a hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) test system is constructed. The time lag of the DPLS-based soft sensor is selected as 30 by comparing the root-mean-square error in different time lag. The performance of the proposed DPLS-based soft sensor is demonstrated by experimental results. PMID:24453923

  18. 2004 DOE Hydrogen, Fuel Cells & Infrastructure Technologies Program Review Presentation: Cost and Performance Enhancements for a PEM Fuel Cell Turbocompressor

    SciTech Connect

    Gee, Mark K.

    2004-05-26

    The objective is to assist the Department of Energy in the development of a low cost, reliable and high performance air compressor/expander. Technical Objective 1: Perform a turbocompressor systems PEM fuel cell trade study to determine the enhanced turbocompressor approach. Technical Objective 2: Using the results from technical objective 1, an enhanced turbocompressor will be fabricated. The design may be modified to match the flow requirements of a selected fuel cell system developer. Technical Objective 3: Design a cost and performance enhanced compact motor and motor controller. Technical Objective 4: Turbocompressor/motor controller development.

  19. A three-dimensional PEM fuel cell model with consistent treatment of water transport in MEA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meng, Hua

    In this paper, a three-dimensional PEM fuel cell model with a consistent water transport treatment in the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) has been developed. In this new PEM fuel cell model, the conservation equation of the water concentration is solved in the gas channels, gas diffusion layers, and catalyst layers while a conservation equation of the water content is established in the membrane. These two equations are connected using a set of internal boundary conditions based on the thermodynamic phase equilibrium and flux equality at the interface of the membrane and the catalyst layer. The existing fictitious water concentration treatment, which assumes thermodynamic phase equilibrium between the water content in the membrane phase and the water concentration, is applied in the two catalyst layers to consider water transport in the membrane phase. Since all the other conservation equations are still developed and solved in the single-domain framework without resort to interfacial boundary conditions, the present new PEM fuel cell model is termed as a mixed-domain method. Results from this mixed-domain approach have been compared extensively with those from the single-domain method, showing good accuracy in terms of not only cell performances and current distributions but also water content variations in the membrane.

  20. Carbon composite for a PEM fuel cell bipolar plate

    SciTech Connect

    Besmann, T.M.; Klett, J.W.; Burchell, T.D.

    1997-12-01

    The current major cost component for proton exchange membrane fuel cells is bipolar plate. An option being explored for replacing the current, nominal machined graphite component is a molded carbon fiber material. One face and the volume of the component will be left porous, while the opposite surface and sides are hermetically sealed via chemical vapor infiltration of carbon. This paper will address initial work on the concept.

  1. Improved Membrane Materials for PEM Fuel Cell Application

    SciTech Connect

    Kenneth A. Mauritz; Robert B. Moore

    2008-06-30

    The overall goal of this project is to collect and integrate critical structure/property information in order to develop methods that lead to significant improvements in the durability and performance of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) materials. This project is focused on the fundamental improvement of PEMFC membrane materials with respect to chemical, mechanical and morphological durability as well as the development of new inorganically-modified membranes.

  2. Process for recycling components of a PEM fuel cell membrane electrode assembly

    DOEpatents

    Shore, Lawrence [Edison, NJ

    2012-02-28

    The membrane electrode assembly (MEA) of a PEM fuel cell can be recycled by contacting the MEA with a lower alkyl alcohol solvent which separates the membrane from the anode and cathode layers of the assembly. The resulting solution containing both the polymer membrane and supported noble metal catalysts can be heated under mild conditions to disperse the polymer membrane as particles and the supported noble metal catalysts and polymer membrane particles separated by known filtration means.

  3. PEM Fuel Cell Freeze Durability and Cold Start Project

    SciTech Connect

    Patterson, T.; O'Neill, Jonathan

    2008-01-02

    UTC has taken advantage of the unique water management opportunities inherent in micro-porous bipolar-plates to improve the cold-start performance of its polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC). Diagnostic experiments were used to determine the limiting factors in micro-porous plate PEFC freeze performance and the causes of any performance decay. Alternative cell materials were evaluated for their freeze performance. Freeze-thaw cycling was also performed to determine micro-porous plate PEFC survivability. Data from these experiments has formed the basis for continuing development of advanced materials capable of supporting DOE's cold-start and durability objectives.

  4. On-board removal of CO and other impurities in hydrogen for PEM fuel cell applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Cunping; Jiang, Ruichun; Elbaccouch, Mohamed; Muradov, Nazim; Fenton, James M.

    Carbon monoxide (CO) in the hydrogen (H 2) stream can cause severe performance degradation for an H 2 polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell. The on-board removal of CO from an H 2 stream requires a process temperature less than 80 °C, and a fast reaction rate in order to minimize the reactor volume. At the present time, few technologies have been developed that meet these two requirements. This paper describes a concept of electrochemical water gas shift (EWGS) process to remove low concentration CO under ambient conditions for on-board applications. No on-board oxygen or air supply is needed for CO oxidation. Experimental work has been carried out to prove the concept of EWGS and the results indicate that the process can completely remove low level CO and improve the performance of a PEM fuel cell to the level of a pure H 2 stream. Because the EWGS electrolyzer can be modified from a humidifier for a PEM fuel cell system, no additional device is needed for the CO removal. More experimental data are needed to determine the rate of CO electrochemical removal and to explore the mechanism of the proposed process.

  5. The Effects of Reforming Byproducts on PEM Fuel Cell Performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Craft, Justin Thomas

    One of the main goals of the Thermodynamics and Sustainable Energy Laboratory at Duke University is to create a Hybrid Solar System (HSS). The HSS is to consist of four main processes: solar steam reformation, fuel cleaning via a preferential oxidation reactor (PROX), hydrogen storage, and a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC). The key goal of this research is to determine whether it is feasible to run this PEMFC on the expected gas mixture from the solar steam reformer after it is cleaned by the PROX (75% H2 and 25% CO2) with no significant power loss and no long-term damage to the fuel cell catalyst. Findings were that even if the gas mixture input to the PEMFC consisted of 30% carbon dioxide and 70% hydrogen, the PEMFC would continue to operate as if the flow were 100% hydrogen with no negative long term effects to the PEMFC. The PROX was then added to the setup and the expected gas mixture (from the solar collector) was run through the system. The results demonstrated that if the PROX achieves the expected 100% conversion (removal of the carbon monoxide to the necessary level of < 10 ppm), the PEMFC should handle the expected cleaned flow as if it were 100% hydrogen. The findings in this research provide validation of the overall concept of the HSS.

  6. On-board diesel autothermal reforming for PEM fuel cells: Simulation and optimization

    SciTech Connect

    Cozzolino, Raffaello Tribioli, Laura

    2015-03-10

    Alternative power sources are nowadays the only option to provide a quick response to the current regulations on automotive pollutant emissions. Hydrogen fuel cell is one promising solution, but the nature of the gas is such that the in-vehicle conversion of other fuels into hydrogen is necessary. In this paper, autothermal reforming, for Diesel on-board conversion into a hydrogen-rich gas suitable for PEM fuel cells, has investigated using the simulation tool Aspen Plus. A steady-state model has been developed to analyze the fuel processor and the overall system performance. The components of the fuel processor are: the fuel reforming reactor, two water gas shift reactors, a preferential oxidation reactor and H{sub 2} separation unit. The influence of various operating parameters such as oxygen to carbon ratio, steam to carbon ratio, and temperature on the process components has been analyzed in-depth and results are presented.

  7. Modeling efficiency and water balance in PEM fuel cell systems with liquid fuel processing and hydrogen membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearlman, Joshua B.; Bhargav, Atul; Shields, Eric B.; Jackson, Gregory S.; Hearn, Patrick L.

    Integrating PEM fuel cells effectively with liquid hydrocarbon reforming requires careful system analysis to assess trade-offs associated with H 2 production, purification, and overall water balance. To this end, a model of a PEM fuel cell system integrated with an autothermal reformer for liquid hydrocarbon fuels (modeled as C 12H 23) and with H 2 purification in a water-gas-shift/membrane reactor is developed to do iterative calculations for mass, species, and energy balances at a component and system level. The model evaluates system efficiency with parasitic loads (from compressors, pumps, and cooling fans), system water balance, and component operating temperatures/pressures. Model results for a 5-kW fuel cell generator show that with state-of-the-art PEM fuel cell polarization curves, thermal efficiencies >30% can be achieved when power densities are low enough for operating voltages >0.72 V per cell. Efficiency can be increased by operating the reformer at steam-to-carbon ratios as high as constraints related to stable reactor temperatures allow. Decreasing ambient temperature improves system water balance and increases efficiency through parasitic load reduction. The baseline configuration studied herein sustained water balance for ambient temperatures ≤35 °C at full power and ≤44 °C at half power with efficiencies approaching ∼27 and ∼30%, respectively.

  8. Development Status of PEM Non-Flow-Through Fuel Cell System Technology for NASA Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoberecht, Mark A.; Jakupca, Ian J.

    2011-01-01

    Today s widespread development of proton-exchange-membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology for commercial users owes its existence to NASA, where fuel cell technology saw its first applications. Beginning with the early Gemini and Apollo programs, and continuing to this day with the Shuttle Orbiter program, fuel cells have been a primary source of electrical power for many NASA missions. This is particularly true for manned missions, where astronauts are able to make use of the by-product of the fuel cell reaction, potable water. But fuel cells also offer advantages for unmanned missions, specifically when power requirements exceed several hundred watts and primary batteries are not a viable alternative. In recent years, NASA s Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP) funded the development of fuel cell technology for applications that provide both primary power and regenerative fuel cell energy storage for planned Exploration missions that involved a return to the moon. Under this program, the Altair Lunar Lander was a mission requiring fuel cell primary power. There were also various Lunar Surface System applications requiring regenerative fuel cell energy storage, in which a fuel cell and electrolyzer combine to form an energy storage system with hydrogen, oxygen, and water as common reactants. Examples of these systems include habitat modules and large rovers. In FY11, the ETDP has been replaced by the Enabling Technology Development and Demonstration Program (ETDDP), with many of the same technology goals and requirements applied against NASA s revised Exploration portfolio.

  9. PEM fuel cell stack performance using dilute hydrogen mixture. Implications on electrochemical engine system performance and design

    SciTech Connect

    Inbody, M.A.; Vanderborgh, N.E.; Hedstrom, J.C.; Tafoya, J.I.

    1996-12-31

    Onboard fuel processing to generate a hydrogen-rich fuel for PEM fuel cells is being considered as an alternative to stored hydrogen fuel for transportation applications. If successful, this approach, contrasted to operating with onboard hydrogen, utilizes the existing fuels infrastructure and provides required vehicle range. One attractive, commercial liquid fuels option is steam reforming of methanol. However, expanding the liquid methanol infrastructure will take both time and capital. Consequently technology is also being developed to utilize existing transportation fuels, such as gasoline or diesel, to power PEM fuel cell systems. Steam reforming of methanol generates a mixture with a dry gas composition of 75% hydrogen and 25% carbon dioxide. Steam reforming, autothermal reforming, and partial oxidation reforming of C{sub 2} and larger hydrocarbons produces a mixture with a more dilute hydrogen concentration (65%-40%) along with carbon dioxide ({approx}20%) and nitrogen ({approx}10%-40%). Performance of PEM fuel cell stacks on these dilute hydrogen mixtures will affect the overall electrochemical engine system design as well as the overall efficiency. The Los Alamos Fuel Cell Stack Test facility was used to access the performance of a PEM Fuel cell stack over the range of gas compositions chosen to replicate anode feeds from various fuel processing options for hydrocarbon and alcohol fuels. The focus of the experiments was on the anode performance with dilute hydrogen mixtures with carbon dioxide and nitrogen diluents. Performance with other anode feed contaminants, such as carbon monoxide, are not reported here.

  10. Novel, low-cost separator plates and flow-field elements for use in PEM fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Edlund, D.J.

    1996-12-31

    PEM fuel cells offer promise for a wide range of applications including vehicular (e.g., automotive) and stationary power generation. The performance and cost targets that must be met for PEM technology to be commercially successful varies to some degree with the application. However, in general the cost of PEM fuel cell stacks must be reduced substantially if they are to see widespread use for electrical power generation. A significant contribution to the manufactured cost of PEM fuel cells is the machined carbon plates that traditionally serve as bipolar separator plates and flow-field elements. In addition, carbon separator plates are inherently brittle and suffer from breakage due to shock, vibration, and improper handling. This report describes a bifurcated separator device with low resistivity, low manufacturing cost, compact size and durability.

  11. Evaluation of ultralow platinum loaded electrodes in PEM fuel cell at ambient conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Swathirajan, S.; Mikhail, Y.M.

    1994-12-31

    A Nafion{reg_sign} slurry coating method was used to prepare thin film electrode-membrane assemblies with ultralow platinum loadings in the range 0.025--0.09 mg/cm{sup 2} for a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. This assembly, evaluated at ambient conditions, showed a catalyst utilization that was considerably higher by a factor of 7 when compared to an assembly prepared from the commercially available E-tek electrodes. A model for the factors determining catalyst utilization in fuel cell electrodes, and the optimization of the thin electrode composition are described.

  12. Systematic parameter estimation for PEM fuel cell models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carnes, Brian; Djilali, Ned

    The problem of parameter estimation is considered for the case of mathematical models for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). An algorithm for nonlinear least squares constrained by partial differential equations is defined and applied to estimate effective membrane conductivity, exchange current densities and oxygen diffusion coefficients in a one-dimensional PEMFC model for transport in the principal direction of current flow. Experimental polarization curves are fitted for conventional and low current density PEMFCs. Use of adaptive mesh refinement is demonstrated to increase the computational efficiency.

  13. Direct PEM fuel cell using "organic chemical hydrides" with zero-CO2 emission and low-crossover.

    PubMed

    Kariya, Nobuko; Fukuoka, Atsushi; Ichikawa, Masaru

    2006-04-14

    A series of "organic chemical hydrides" such as cyclohexane, methylcyclohexane, cyclohexene, 2-propanol, and cyclohexanol were applied to the direct PEM fuel cell. High performances of the PEM fuel cell were achieved by using cyclohexane (OCV = 920 mV, PD(max) = 15 mW cm(-2)) and 2-propanol (OCV = 790 mV, PD(max) = 78 mW cm(-2)) as fuels without CO(2) emissions. The rates of fuel crossover for cyclohexane, 2-propanol, and methanol were estimated, and the rates of fuel permeation of cyclohexane and 2-propanol were lower than that of methanol. Water electrolysis and electro-reductive hydrogenation of acetone mediated by PEM were carried out and formation of 2-propanol in cathode side was observed. This system is the first example of a "rechargeable" direct fuel cell.

  14. NEW MATERIAL NEEDS FOR HYDROCARBON FUEL PROCESSING: Generating Hydrogen for the PEM Fuel Cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farrauto, R.; Hwang, S.; Shore, L.; Ruettinger, W.; Lampert, J.; Giroux, T.; Liu, Y.; Ilinich, O.

    2003-08-01

    The hydrogen economy is fast approaching as petroleum reserves are rapidly consumed. The fuel cell promises to deliver clean and efficient power by combining hydrogen and oxygen in a simple electrochemical device that directly converts chemical energy to electrical energy. Hydrogen, the most plentiful element available, can be extracted from water by electrolysis. One can imagine capturing energy from the sun and wind and/or from the depths of the earth to provide the necessary power for electrolysis. Alternative energy sources such as these are the promise for the future, but for now they are not feasible for power needs across the globe. A transitional solution is required to convert certain hydrocarbon fuels to hydrogen. These fuels must be available through existing infrastructures such as the natural gas pipeline. The present review discusses the catalyst and adsorbent technologies under development for the extraction of hydrogen from natural gas to meet the requirements for the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. The primary market is for residential applications, where pipeline natural gas will be the source of H2 used to power the home. Other applications including the reforming of methanol for portable power applications such as laptop computers, cellular phones, and personnel digital equipment are also discussed. Processing natural gas containing sulfur requires many materials, for example, adsorbents for desulfurization, and heterogeneous catalysts for reforming (either autothermal or steam reforming) water gas shift, preferential oxidation of CO, and anode tail gas combustion. All these technologies are discussed for natural gas and to a limited extent for reforming methanol.

  15. Model-based condition monitoring of PEM fuel cell using Hotelling T 2 control limit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xue, X.; Tang, J.; Sammes, N.; Ding, Y.

    Although a variety of design and control strategies have been proposed to improve the performance of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell systems, temporary faults in such systems still might occur during operations due to the complexity of the physical process and the functional limitations of some components. The development of an effective condition monitoring system that can detect these faults in a timely manner is complicated by the operating condition variation, the significant variability/uncertainty of the fuel cell system, and the measurement noise. In this research, we propose a model-based condition monitoring scheme that employs the Hotelling T 2 statistical analysis for fault detection of PEM fuel cells. Under a given operating condition, the instantaneous load current, the temperature and fuel/gas source pressures of the fuel cell are measured. These measurements are then fed into a lumped parameter dynamic fuel cell model for the establishment of the baseline under the same operating condition for comparison. The fuel cell operation is simulated under statistical sampling of parametric uncertainties with specified statistics (mean and variance) that account for the system variability/uncertainty and measurement noise. This yields a group of output voltages (under the same operating condition but with uncertainties) as the baseline. Fault detection is facilitated by comparing the real-time measurement of the fuel cell output voltage with the baseline voltages by employing the Hotelling T 2 statistical analysis. The baseline voltages are used to evaluate the output T 2 statistics under normal operating condition. Then, with a given confidence level the upper control limit can be specified. Fault condition will be declared if the T 2 statistics of real-time voltage measurement exceeds the upper control limit. This model-based robust condition monitoring scheme can deal with the operating condition variation, various uncertainties in a fuel cell

  16. Teledyne Energy Systems, Inc., Proton Exchange Member (PEM) Fuel Cell Engineering Model Powerplant. Test Report: Initial Benchmark Tests in the Original Orientation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Loyselle, Patricia; Prokopius, Kevin

    2011-01-01

    Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology is the leading candidate to replace the alkaline fuel cell technology, currently used on the Shuttle, for future space missions. During a 5-yr development program, a PEM fuel cell powerplant was developed. This report details the initial performance evaluation test results of the powerplant.

  17. The effect of the parasitic current on the Direct Ethanol PEM Fuel Cell Operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreadis, G. M.; Podias, A. K. M.; Tsiakaras, P. E.

    In the present work the effect of the parasitic or leakage current, I p, which is the result of the ethanol crossover through the polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) from the anode to the cathode side of the cell, on both the cathode activation overpotential and the fuel cell operation is investigated. A one-dimensional (1-D), isothermal mathematical model is developed in order to describe the operation of a Direct Ethanol PEM Fuel Cell (DE-PEMFC) in steady state. The equations used describe the mass transport of both ethanol and humidified oxygen at the anode and the cathode compartment of the cell respectively. The mathematical model is validated against experimental data and a relatively good agreement between the model predictions and the experimental results is found. The direct correlation that exists between the ethanol crossover rate and the parasitic current formation is graphically depicted. Moreover, when the parasitic current is enabled and disabled, the calculation of the cathode activation overpotential shows that the mixed overpotential for a DE-PEMFC poses a serious problem hindering the fuel cell operation. According to the model results, the parasitic current is greater at low current density values due to the greater amounts of the crossovered ethanol. Finally, the effect of both the oxygen feed concentration and the parasitic current formation on the fuel cell operation is also presented and discussed.

  18. Surface modified stainless steels for PEM fuel cell bipolar plates

    DOEpatents

    Brady, Michael P [Oak Ridge, TN; Wang, Heli [Littleton, CO; Turner, John A [Littleton, CO

    2007-07-24

    A nitridation treated stainless steel article (such as a bipolar plate for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell) having lower interfacial contact electrical resistance and better corrosion resistance than an untreated stainless steel article is disclosed. The treated stainless steel article has a surface layer including nitrogen-modified chromium-base oxide and precipitates of chromium nitride formed during nitridation wherein oxygen is present in the surface layer at a greater concentration than nitrogen. The surface layer may further include precipitates of titanium nitride and/or aluminum oxide. The surface layer in the treated article is chemically heterogeneous surface rather than a uniform or semi-uniform surface layer exclusively rich in chromium, titanium or aluminum. The precipitates of titanium nitride and/or aluminum oxide are formed by the nitriding treatment wherein titanium and/or aluminum in the stainless steel are segregated to the surface layer in forms that exhibit a low contact resistance and good corrosion resistance.

  19. Performance of PEM Liquid-Feed Direct Methanol-Air Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Narayanan, S. R.

    1995-01-01

    A direct methanol-air fuel cell operating at near atmospheric pressure, low-flow rate air, and at temperatures close to 60oC would tremendously enlarge the scope of potential applications. While earlier studies have reported performance with oxygen, the present study focuses on characterizing the performance of a PEM liquid feed direct methanol-air cell consisting of components developed in house. These cells employ Pt-Ru catalyst in the anode, Pt at the cathode and Nafion 117 as the PEM. The effect of pressure, flow rate of air and temperature on cell performance has been studied. With air, the performance level is as high as 0.437 V at 300 mA/cm2 (90oC, 20 psig, and excess air flow) has been attained. Even more significant is the performance level at 60oC, 1 atm and low flow rates of air (3-5 times stoichiometric), which is 0.4 V at 150 mA/cm2. Individual electrode potentials for the methanol and air electrode have been separated and analyzed. Fuel crossover rates and the impact of fuel crossover on the performance of the air electrode have also been measured. The study identifies issues specific to the methanol-air fuel cell and provides a basis for improvement strategies.

  20. A review of PEM hydrogen fuel cell contamination: Impacts, mechanisms, and mitigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Xuan; Shi, Zheng; Glass, Nancy; Zhang, Lu; Zhang, Jiujun; Song, Datong; Liu, Zhong-Sheng; Wang, Haijiang; Shen, Jun

    This paper reviewed over 150 articles on the subject of the effect of contamination on PEM fuel cell. The contaminants included were fuel impurities (CO, CO 2, H 2S, and NH 3); air pollutants (NO x, SO x, CO, and CO 2); and cationic ions Fe 3+ and Cu 2+ resulting from the corrosion of fuel cell stack system components. It was found that even trace amounts of impurities present in either fuel or air streams or fuel cell system components could severely poison the anode, membrane, and cathode, particularly at low-temperature operation, which resulted in dramatic performance drop. Significant progress has been made in identifying fuel cell contamination sources and understanding the effect of contaminants on performance through experimental, theoretical/modeling, and methodological approaches. Contamination affects three major elements of fuel cell performance: electrode kinetics, conductivity, and mass transfer. This review was focused on three areas: (1) contamination impacts on the fuel cell performance, (2) mechanism approaches dominated by modeling studies, and (3) mitigation development. Some future work on fuel cell contamination research is suggested in order to facilitate the move toward commercialization.

  1. Development of a 10 kW hydrogen/air PEM fuel cell stack

    SciTech Connect

    Barbir, F.; Marken, F.; Bahar, B.; Kolde, J.A.

    1996-12-31

    PEM fuel cells have potential for meeting automotive industry`s power density and cost requirements, such as 0.8 kW/kg, 0.8 kW/1 and $30/kW. For automotive applications, the fuel cell power requirements are in the 10-100 kW range. As the first phase in reaching this power output, a 10 kW PEM fuel cell stack has been developed at Energy Partners. The stack consists of 50 cells with relatively large active area of 780 cm{sup 2}. The main feature of the stack is the advanced membrane electrode assembly (MEA) developed by W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc. These novel MEAs consist of a thin composite perfluorinated polymer membrane with a catalyst layer with platinum loading of 0.3 Mg/cm{sup 2} on each side. The combination of reinforcement and thinness provides high membrane conductance and improved water distribution in the operating cell. In addition, the membrane has excellent mechanical properties (particularly when it is hydrated) and dimensional stability.

  2. Numerical Investigation of Channel Geometry on the Performance of a Pem Fuel Cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khazaee, I.; Mohammadiun, M.

    2013-03-01

    A complete three-dimensional and single phase model for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells was used to investigate the effect of using different channels geometry on the performances, current density and gas concentration. The proposed model was a full cell model, which includes all the parts of the PEM fuel cell, flow channels, gas diffusion electrodes, catalyst layers and the membrane. Coupled transport and electrochemical kinetics equations were solved in a single domain; therefore no interfacial boundary condition was required at the internal boundaries between cell components. This computational fluid dynamics code was employed as the direct problem solver, which was used to simulate the three-dimensional mass, momentum, energy and species transport phenomena as well as the electron- and proton-transfer process taking place in a PEMFC. The results showed that the predicted polarization curves by using this model were in good agreement with the experimental results and a high performance was observed by using circle geometry for the channels of anode and cathode sides. Also, the results showed that the performance of the fuel cell improved when a rectangular channel was used.

  3. Computational modeling of intermediate temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheddie, Denver Faron

    A two-phase three-dimensional computational model of an intermediate temperature (120--190°C) proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell is presented. This represents the first attempt to model PEM fuel cells employing intermediate temperature membranes, in this case, phosphoric acid doped polybenzimidazole (PBI). To date, mathematical modeling of PEM fuel cells has been restricted to low temperature operation, especially to those employing Nafion RTM membranes; while research on PBI as an intermediate temperature membrane has been solely at the experimental level. This work is an advancement in the state of the art of both these fields of research. With a growing trend toward higher temperature operation of PEM fuel cells, mathematical modeling of such systems is necessary to help hasten the development of the technology and highlight areas where research should be focused. This mathematical model accounted for all the major transport and polarization processes occurring inside the fuel cell, including the two phase phenomenon of gas dissolution in the polymer electrolyte. Results were presented for polarization performance, flux distributions, concentration variations in both the gaseous and aqueous phases, and temperature variations for various heat management strategies. The model predictions matched well with published experimental data, and were self-consistent. The major finding of this research was that, due to the transport limitations imposed by the use of phosphoric acid as a doping agent, namely low solubility and diffusivity of dissolved gases and anion adsorption onto catalyst sites, the catalyst utilization is very low (˜1--2%). Significant cost savings were predicted with the use of advanced catalyst deposition techniques that would greatly reduce the eventual thickness of the catalyst layer, and subsequently improve catalyst utilization. The model also predicted that an increase in power output in the order of 50% is expected if alternative doping

  4. Application of Butler-Volmer equations in the modelling of activation polarization for PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mann, R. F.; Amphlett, J. C.; Peppley, B. A.; Thurgood, C. P.

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells have been under development for many years and appear to be the potential solution for many electricity supply applications. Modelling and computer simulation of PEM fuel cells have been equally active areas of work as a means of developing better understanding of cell and stack operation, facilitating design improvements and supporting system simulation studies. In general, fuel cell models must be capable of predicting values of the activation polarization at both the anode and the cathode. Since the magnitude of an activation polarization for a particular electrode depends on the inverse of the chemical (or electrochemical) reaction rate at that electrode, reaction rate expressions are normally required for each electrode. The reaction rate is commonly expressed as an 'exchange current density', typical symbol i 0, and mechanistic expressions to predict i 0 are, therefore, components of an ideal model. Most expressions for i 0 are based on the Butler-Volmer (B-V) equation or on more approximate equations derived from the B-V equation. Many publications use one of these B-V equations without a critical determination of the applicability or accuracy of the particular equation being used. The present paper examines these questions and makes some recommendations regarding the applicability of each equation in the 'B-V family of equations'. In addition, terminology and symbols have been modified, where possible, to make modelling based on B-V equations more easily understood and applied by those without an extensive background in electrochemistry.

  5. System Design of a Natural Gas PEM Fuel Cell Power Plant for Buildings

    SciTech Connect

    Joe Ferrall, Tim Rehg, Vesna Stanic

    2000-09-30

    The following conclusions are made based on this analysis effort: (1) High-temperature PEM data are not available; (2) Stack development effort for Phase II is required; (3) System results are by definition preliminary, mostly due to the immaturity of the high-temperature stack; other components of the system are relatively well defined; (4) The Grotthuss conduction mechanism yields the preferred system characteristics; the Grotthuss conduction mechanism is also much less technically mature than the vehicle mechanism; (5) Fuel processor technology is available today and can be procured for Phase II (steam or ATR); (6) The immaturity of high-temperature membrane technology requires that a robust system design be developed in Phase II that is capable of operating over a wide temperature and pressure range - (a) Unpressurized or Pressurized PEM (Grotthuss mechanism) at 140 C, Highest temperature most favorable, Lowest water requirement most favorable, Pressurized recommended for base loaded operation, Unpressurized may be preferred for load following; (b) Pressurized PEM (vehicle mechanism) at about 100 C, Pressure required for saturation, Fuel cell technology currently available, stack development required. The system analysis and screening evaluation resulted in the identification of the following components for the most promising system: (1) Steam reforming fuel processor; (2) Grotthuss mechanism fuel cell stack operating at 140 C; (3) Means to deliver system waste heat to a cogeneration unit; (4) Pressurized system utilizing a turbocompressor for a base-load power application. If duty cycling is anticipated, the benefits of compression may be offset due to complexity of control. In this case (and even in the base loaded case), the turbocompressor can be replaced with a blower for low-pressure operation.

  6. A new state-observer of the inner PEM fuel cell pressures for enhanced system monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bethoux, Olivier; Godoy, Emmanuel; Roche, Ivan; Naccari, Bruno; Amira Taleb, Miassa; Koteiche, Mohamad; Nassif, Younane

    2014-06-01

    In embedded systems such as electric vehicles, Proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) has been an attractive technology for many years especially in automotive applications. This paper deals with PEMFC operation monitoring which is a current target for improvement for attaining extended durability. In this paper, supervision of the PEMFC is done using knowledge-based models. Without extra sensors, it enables a clear insight of state variables of the gases in the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) which gives the PEMFC controller the ability to prevent abnormal operating conditions and associated irreversible degradations. First, a new state-observer oriented model of the PEM fuel cell is detailed. Based on this model, theoretical and practical observability issues are discussed. This analysis shows that convection phenomena can be considered negligible from the dynamic point of view; this leads to a reduced model. Finally a state-observer enables the estimation of the inner partial pressure of the cathode by using only the current and voltage measurements. This proposed model-based approach has been successfully tested on a PEM fuel cell simulator using a set of possible fault scenarios.

  7. Highly conductive epoxy/graphite polymer composite bipolar plates in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, Ling

    In this work, highly conductive carbon-filled epoxy composites were developed for manufacturing bipolar plates in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. These composites were prepared by solution intercalation mixing, followed by compression molding and curing. The in-plane and through-plane electrical conductivity, thermal and mechanical properties, gas barrier properties, and hygrothermal characteristics were determined as a function of carbon-filler type and content. For this purpose, expanded graphite and carbon black were used as a synergistic combination. Mixtures of aromatic and aliphatic epoxy resin were used as the polymer matrix to capitalize on the ductility of the aliphatic epoxy and chemical stability of the aromatic epoxy. The composites showed high glass transition temperatures (Tg ˜ 180°C), high thermal degradation temperatures (T2˜ 415°C), and in-plane conductivity of 200-500 S/cm with carbon fillers as low as 50 wt%. These composites also showed strong mechanical properties, such as flexural modulus, flexural strength, and impact strength, which either met or exceeded the targets. In addition, these composites showed excellent thermal conductivity greater than 50 W/m/K, small values of linear coefficient of thermal expansion, and dramatically reduced oxygen permeation rate. The values of mechanical and thermal properties and electrical conductivity of the composites did not change upon exposure to boiling water, aqueous sulfuric acid solution and hydrogen peroxide solution, indicating that the composites provided long-term reliability and durability under PEM fuel cell operating conditions. Experimental data show that the composites developed in this study are suitable for application as bipolar plates in PEM fuel cells.

  8. Research and Development of a PEM Fuel Cell, Hydrogen Reformer, and Vehicle Refueling Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Edward F. Kiczek

    2007-08-31

    Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. has teamed with Plug Power, Inc. of Latham, NY, and the City of Las Vegas, NV, to develop, design, procure, install and operate an on-site hydrogen generation system, an alternative vehicle refueling system, and a stationary hydrogen fuel cell power plant, located in Las Vegas. The facility will become the benchmark for validating new natural gas-based hydrogen systems, PEM fuel cell power generation systems, and numerous new technologies for the safe and reliable delivery of hydrogen as a fuel to vehicles. Most important, this facility will serve as a demonstration of hydrogen as a safe and clean energy alternative. Las Vegas provides an excellent real-world performance and durability testing environment.

  9. Design and fabrication of miniaturized PEM fuel cell combined microreactor with self-regulated hydrogen mechanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balakrishnan, A.; Frei, M.; Kerzenmacher, S.; Reinecke, H.; Mueller, C.

    2015-12-01

    In this work we present the design and fabrication of the miniaturized PEM fuel cell combined microreactor system with hydrogen regulation mechanism and testing of prototype microreactor. The system consists of two components (i) fuel cell component and (ii) microreactor component. The fuel cell component represents the miniaturized PEM fuel cell system (combination of screen printed fuel cell assembly and an on-board hydrogen storage medium). Hydrogen production based on catalytic hydrolysis of chemical hydride takes place in the microreactor component. The self-regulated hydrogen mechanism based on the gaseous hydrogen produced from the catalytic hydrolysis of sodium borohydride (NaBH4) gets accumulated as bubbles at the vicinity of the hydrophobic coated hydrogen exhaust holes. When the built up hydrogen bubbles pressure exceeds the burst pressure at the hydrogen exhaust holes the bubble collapses. This collapse causes a surge of fresh NaBH4 solution onto the catalyst surface leading to the removal of the reaction by-products formed at the active sites of the catalyst. The catalyst used in the system is platinum deposited on a base substrate. Nickel foam, carbon porous medium (CPM) and ceramic plate were selected as candidates for base substrate for developing a robust catalyst surface. For the first time the platinum layer fabricated by pulsed electrodeposition and dealloying (EPDD) technique is used for hydrolysis of NaBH4. The major advantages of such platinum catalyst layers are its high surface area and their mechanical stability. Prototype microreactor system with self-regulated hydrogen mechanism is demonstrated.

  10. Vessel Cold-Ironing Using a Barge Mounted PEM Fuel Cell: Project Scoping and Feasibility.

    SciTech Connect

    Pratt, Joseph William; Harris, Aaron P

    2013-01-01

    A barge-mounted hydrogen-fueled proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system has the potential to reduce emissions and fossil fuel use of maritime vessels in and around ports. This study determines the technical feasibility of this concept and examines specific options on the U.S. West Coast for deployment practicality and potential for commercialization.The conceptual design of the system is found to be straightforward and technically feasible in several configurations corresponding to various power levels and run times.The most technically viable and commercially attractive deployment options were found to be powering container ships at berth at the Port of Tacoma and/or Seattle, powering tugs at anchorage near the Port of Oakland, and powering refrigerated containers on-board Hawaiian inter-island transport barges. Other attractive demonstration options were found at the Port of Seattle, the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet, the California Maritime Academy, and an excursion vessel on the Ohio River.

  11. Hydrogen photosynthesis by Rhodobacter capsulatus and its coupling to a PEM fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Deliang; Bultel, Yann; Magnin, Jean-Pierre; Roux, Claude; Willison, John C.

    Four different mutant strains of Rhodobacter capsulatus (IR1, IR3, IR4 and JP91), a photosynthetic purple non-sulfur bacterium, were tested for their ability to produce hydrogen in a 3 L volume photobioreactor coupled to a small PEM fuel cell. The four mutants, together with the wild-type strain, B10, were grown at 30 °C under illumination with 30 mmol L -1DL-lactate and 5 mmol L -1L-glutamate as carbon and nitrogen source, respectively. Bacterial growth was measured by monitoring the increase in absorbance at 660 nm, and hydrogen yield, and substrate conversion efficiency were measured under the same conditions. The hydrogen production capability of the five strains was then compared and shown to be in the order: IR3 > JP91 > IR4 > B10 > IR1. The most preferment strain, IR3, showed a substrate conversion efficiency of 84.8% and a hydrogen yield of 3.9 L L -1 of culture. The biogas produced by these photobioreactor cultures was successfully used as feed for a small PEM fuel cell system, with the mutant IR3 showing the most sustained hydrogen and current production. The maximum current was similar to that obtained using pure hydrogen produced by a small electrolysis cell (High-Tec Inc.).

  12. Durability of Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEAs) in PEM Fuel Cells Operated on Pure Hydrogen and Oxygen

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stanic, Vesna; Braun, James; Hoberecht, Mark

    2003-01-01

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are energy sources that have the potential to replace alkaline fuel cells for space programs. Broad power ranges, high peak-to-nominal power capabilities, low maintenance costs, and the promise of increased life are the major advantages of PEM technology in comparison to alkaline technology. The probability of PEM fuel cells replacing alkaline fuel cells for space applications will increase if the promise of increased life is verified by achieving a minimum of 10,000 hours of operating life. Durability plays an important role in the process of evaluation and selection of MEAs for Teledyne s Phase I contract with the NASA Glenn Research Center entitled Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel cell (PEMFC) Power Plant Technology Development for 2nd Generation Reusable Launch Vehicles (RLVs). For this contract, MEAs that are typically used for H2/air operation were selected as potential candidates for H2/O2 PEM fuel cells because their catalysts have properties suitable for O2 operation. They were purchased from several well-established MEA manufacturers who are world leaders in the manufacturing of diverse products and have committed extensive resources in an attempt to develop and fully commercialize MEA technology. A total of twelve MEAs used in H2/air operation were initially identified from these manufacturers. Based on the manufacturers specifications, nine of these were selected for evaluation. Since 10,000 hours is almost equivalent to 14 months, it was not possible to perform continuous testing with each MEA selected during Phase I of the contract. Because of the lack of time, a screening test on each MEA was performed for 400 hours under accelerated test conditions. The major criterion for an MEA pass or fail of the screening test was the gas crossover rate. If the gas crossover rate was higher than the membrane intrinsic permeability after 400 hours of testing, it was considered that the MEA had failed the test. Three types of

  13. Cooling System Design for PEM Fuel Cell Powered Air Vehicles

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-06-18

    simulated the airflow from a duct and fan. The surface radiator models relied on a flat plate Nusselt number correlation to predict the total heat... Nusselt number [1] for each cell, where ξ is the unheated starting length of the plate (see figures 23 and 24). 9 1 9.0 8.06.0 1RePr0287.0...x Nu xx  [14] The local Nusselt number was used in equation 14 to compute the local heat transfer coefficient hx at each

  14. Final Report - Advanced Cathode Catalysts and Supports for PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Debe, Mark

    2012-09-28

    The principal objectives of the program were development of a durable, low cost, high performance cathode electrode (catalyst and support), that is fully integrated into a fuel cell membrane electrode assembly with gas diffusion media, fabricated by high volume capable processes, and is able to meet or exceed the 2015 DOE targets. Work completed in this contract was an extension of the developments under three preceding cooperative agreements/grants Nos. DE-FC-02-97EE50473, DE-FC-99EE50582 and DE-FC36- 02AL67621 which investigated catalyzed membrane electrode assemblies for PEM fuel cells based on a fundamentally new, nanostructured thin film catalyst and support system, and demonstrated the feasibility for high volume manufacturability.

  15. NASA's PEM Fuel Cell Power Plant Development Program for Space Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoberecht, Mark

    2006-01-01

    NASA embarked on a PEM fuel cell power plant development program beginning in 2001. This five-year program was conducted by a three-center NASA team of Glenn Research Center (lead), Johnson Space Center, and Kennedy Space Center. The program initially was aimed at developing hardware for a Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) application, but more recently had shifted to applications supporting the NASA Exploration Program. The first phase of the development effort, to develop breadboard hardware in the 1-5 kW power range, was conducted by two competing vendors. The second phase of the effort, to develop Engineering Model hardware at the 10 kW power level, was conducted by the winning vendor from the first phase of the effort. Both breadboard units and the single engineering model power plant were delivered to NASA for independent testing. This poster presentation will present a summary of both phases of the development effort, along with a discussion of test results of the PEM fuel cell engineering model under simulated mission conditions.

  16. Numerical study of changing the geometry of the flow field of a PEM fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khazaee, I.; Sabadbafan, H.

    2016-05-01

    The geometry of channels of a PEM fuel cell is an important parameter that affects the performance of it that the lower voltage loss in polarization curve can indicate the better performance. In this study a complete three-dimensional and single phase model is used to investigate the effect of increasing the number of serpentine channels in the bipolar plates and also increasing the area (depth) of channels of a PEM fuel cell with rectangular, triangular and elliptical cross-section geometry. A single set of conservation equations which are valid for the flow channels, gas-diffusion electrodes, catalyst layers, and the membrane region is developed and numerically solved using a finite volume based computational fluid dynamics technique. The results show that there are good agreement with the numerical results and experimental results of the previous work of authors. Also the results show that by increasing the number of channels from one to four and eight, the performance improved about 18 % and by decreasing the area of channels from 2 to 1 mm2 the performance improved about 13 %.

  17. Performance and durability of PEM fuel cells operated at sub-freezing temperatures

    SciTech Connect

    Mukundan, Rangachary; Davey, John R; Lujan, Roger W; Spendelow, Jacob S

    2008-01-01

    The durability of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells operated at sub-freezing temperatures has received increasing attention in recent years. The Department of Energy's PEM fuel cell stack technical targets for the year 2010 include unassisted start-up from -40 {sup o}C and startup from -20 {sup o}C ambient in as low as 30 seconds with < 5 MJ energy consumption. Moreover, the sub-freezing operations should not have any impact on acieving other technical targets including 5000 hours durability. The effect of MEA preparation on the performance of single-PEM fuel cells operated at sub-freezing temperatures is presented. The cell performance and durability are dependent on the MEA and are probably influenced by the porosity of the catalyst layers. When a cell is operated isothermally at -10 {sup o}C in constant current mode, the voltage gradually decreases over time and eventually drops to zero. AC impedance analysis indicated that the rate of voltage loss is initially due to an increase in the charge transfer resistance and is gradual. After a period, the rate of decay accelerates rapidly due to mass transport limitations at the catalyst and/or gas diffusion layers. The high frequency resistance also increases over time during the isothermal operation at sub-freezing temperatures and was a function of the initial membrane water content. LANL prepared MEAs showed very little loss in the catalyst surface area with multiple sub-freezing operations, whereas the commercial MEAs exhibited significant loss in cathode surface area with the anode being unaffected. These results indicate that catalyst layer ice formation is influenced strongly by the MEA and is responsible for the long-term degradation of fuel cells operated at sub-freezing temperatures. This ice formation was monitored using neutron radiography and was found to be concentrated near cell edges at the flow field turns. The water distribution also indicated that ice may be forming mainly in the GDLs at

  18. Gas/Water and Heat Management of PEM-Based Fuel Cell and Electrolyzer Systems for Space Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Qing; Ye, Fang; Guo, Hang; Ma, Chong Fang

    2017-02-01

    Hydrogen/oxygen fuel cells were successfully utilized in the field of space applications to provide electric energy and potable water in human-rated space mission since the 1960s. Proton exchange membrane (PEM) based fuel cells, which provide high power/energy densities, were reconsidered as a promising space power equipment for future space exploration. PEM-based water electrolyzers were employed to provide life support for crews or as major components of regenerative fuel cells for energy storage. Gas/water and heat are some of the key challenges in PEM-based fuel cells and electrolytic cells, especially when applied to space scenarios. In the past decades, efforts related to gas/water and thermal control have been reported to effectively improve cell performance, stability lifespan, and reduce mass, volume and costs of those space cell systems. This study aimed to present a primary review of research on gas/water and waste thermal management for PEM-based electrochemical cell systems applied to future space explorations. In the fuel cell system, technologies related to reactant supplement, gas humidification, water removal and active/passive water separation were summarized in detail. Experimental studies were discussed to provide a direct understanding of the effect of the gas-liquid two-phase flow on product removal and mass transfer for PEM-based fuel cell operating in a short-term microgravity environment. In the electrolyzer system, several active and static passive phaseseparation methods based on diverse water supplement approaches were discussed. A summary of two advanced passive thermal management approaches, which are available for various sizes of space cell stacks, was specifically provided

  19. Gas/Water and Heat Management of PEM-Based Fuel Cell and Electrolyzer Systems for Space Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Qing; Ye, Fang; Guo, Hang; Ma, Chong Fang

    2016-11-01

    Hydrogen/oxygen fuel cells were successfully utilized in the field of space applications to provide electric energy and potable water in human-rated space mission since the 1960s. Proton exchange membrane (PEM) based fuel cells, which provide high power/energy densities, were reconsidered as a promising space power equipment for future space exploration. PEM-based water electrolyzers were employed to provide life support for crews or as major components of regenerative fuel cells for energy storage. Gas/water and heat are some of the key challenges in PEM-based fuel cells and electrolytic cells, especially when applied to space scenarios. In the past decades, efforts related to gas/water and thermal control have been reported to effectively improve cell performance, stability lifespan, and reduce mass, volume and costs of those space cell systems. This study aimed to present a primary review of research on gas/water and waste thermal management for PEM-based electrochemical cell systems applied to future space explorations. In the fuel cell system, technologies related to reactant supplement, gas humidification, water removal and active/passive water separation were summarized in detail. Experimental studies were discussed to provide a direct understanding of the effect of the gas-liquid two-phase flow on product removal and mass transfer for PEM-based fuel cell operating in a short-term microgravity environment. In the electrolyzer system, several active and static passive phaseseparation methods based on diverse water supplement approaches were discussed. A summary of two advanced passive thermal management approaches, which are available for various sizes of space cell stacks, was specifically provided

  20. Nanostructured catalyst materials for next generation polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khudhayer, Wisam J.

    Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells are electrochemical energy conversion devices which have demonstrated great promise as future energy sources for electric vehicles, as they convert chemical energy to electrical energy with a significantly higher efficiency and lower environmental impact than in standard combustion processes. However, the commercialization of PEM fuel cells for transportation applications has been hindered by several factors such as high cost of Pt, low Pt utilization, poor long-term durability of the conventional PEM fuel cell catalyst (Pt nanoparticels supported on carbon black; Pt/C), and poor thermal and chemical stability of the electrocatalyst supports (carbon black). The goal of this research was to fabricate high performance, durable, carbon-free, controllable porosity, and low cost (low Pt loading) sputtered-nanostructured electrocatalysts and investigate their morphologies, crystal properties, and electrocatalytic activities. First, the electrocatalytic oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity of vertically-aligned solid Pt nanorods was evaluated. A glancing angle deposition (GLAD) technique was used to fabricate Pt nanorod arrays directly on glassy carbon (GC) electrodes. It was found that Pt-nanorod electrocatalysts exhibit higher area-specific activity, greater electrochemical stability, higher electron-transfer rate constant, and comparable activation energy for ORR than those of Pt/C due to their larger crystallite size, single-crystal property, and dominance of the preferred crystal orientations (Pt[110]) for ORR. However, Pt nanorods show lower mass specific activity than that of Pt/C electrocatalyst due to the large diameter of nanorods. Second, to further enhance the mass-specific activity of solid GLAD Pt nanorods, the GLAD chromium (Cr) nanorods were used as low-cost catalyst supports for conformal Pt thin film coating achieved by a small angle deposition (SAD) technique as a potential catalyst electrode for oxygen

  1. WaterTransport in PEM Fuel Cells: Advanced Modeling, Material Selection, Testing and Design Optimization

    SciTech Connect

    J. Vernon Cole; Abhra Roy; Ashok Damle; Hari Dahr; Sanjiv Kumar; Kunal Jain; Ned Djilai

    2012-10-02

    Water management in Proton Exchange Membrane, PEM, Fuel Cells is challenging because of the inherent conflicts between the requirements for efficient low and high power operation. Particularly at low powers, adequate water must be supplied to sufficiently humidify the membrane or protons will not move through it adequately and resistance losses will decrease the cell efficiency. At high power density operation, more water is produced at the cathode than is necessary for membrane hydration. This excess water must be removed effectively or it will accumulate in the Gas Diffusion Layers, GDLs, between the gas channels and catalysts, blocking diffusion paths for reactants to reach the catalysts and potentially flooding the electrode. As power density of the cells is increased, the challenges arising from water management are expected to become more difficult to overcome simply due to the increased rate of liquid water generation relative to fuel cell volume. Thus, effectively addressing water management based issues is a key challenge in successful application of PEMFC systems. In this project, CFDRC and our partners used a combination of experimental characterization, controlled experimental studies of important processes governing how water moves through the fuel cell materials, and detailed models and simulations to improve understanding of water management in operating hydrogen PEM fuel cells. The characterization studies provided key data that is used as inputs to all state-of-the-art models for commercially important GDL materials. Experimental studies and microscopic scale models of how water moves through the GDLs showed that the water follows preferential paths, not branching like a river, as it moves toward the surface of the material. Experimental studies and detailed models of water and airflow in fuel cells channels demonstrated that such models can be used as an effective design tool to reduce operating pressure drop in the channels and the associated

  2. Test of Hydrogen-Oxygen PEM Fuel Cell Stack at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bents, David J.; Scullin, Vincent J.; Chang, Bei-Jiann; Johnson, Donald W.; Garcia, Christopher P.; Jakupca, Ian J.

    2003-01-01

    This paper describes performance characterization tests of a 64 cell hydrogen oxygen PEM fuel cell stack at NASA Glenn Research Center in February 2003. The tests were part of NASA's ongoing effort to develop a regenerative fuel cell for aerospace energy storage applications. The purpose of the tests was to verify capability of this stack to operate within a regenerative fuel cell, and to compare performance with earlier test results recorded by the stack developer. Test results obtained include polarization performance of the stack at 50 and 100 psig system pressure, and a steady state endurance run at 100 psig. A maximum power output of 4.8 kWe was observed during polarization runs, and the stack sustained a steady power output of 4.0 kWe during the endurance run. The performance data obtained from these tests compare reasonably close to the stack developer's results although some additional spread between best to worst performing cell voltages was observed. Throughout the tests, the stack demonstrated the consistent performance and repeatable behavior required for regenerative fuel cell operation.

  3. Hydrogen-Oxygen PEM Regenerative Fuel Cell at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bents, David J.

    2004-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center has constructed a closed-cycle hydrogen-oxygen PEM regenerative fuel cell (RFC) to explore its potential use as an energy storage device for a high altitude solar electric aircraft. Built up over the last 2 years from specialized hardware and off the shelf components the Glenn RFC is a complete "brassboard" energy storage system which includes all the equipment required to (1) absorb electrical power from an outside source and store it as pressurized hydrogen and oxygen and (2) make electrical power from the stored gases, saving the product water for re-use during the next cycle. It consists of a dedicated hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell stack and an electrolyzer stack, the interconnecting plumbing and valves, cooling pumps, water transfer pumps, gas recirculation pumps, phase separators, storage tanks for oxygen (O2) and hydrogen (H2), heat exchangers, isolation valves, pressure regulators, nitrogen purge provisions, instrumentation, and other components. It specific developmental functions include: (1) Test fuel cells and fuel cell components under repeated closed-cycle operation (nothing escapes; everything is used over and over again). (2) Simulate diurnal charge-discharge cycles (3) Observe long-term system performance and identify degradation and loss mechanisms. (4) Develop safe and convenient operation and control strategies leading to the successful development of mission-capable, flight-weight RFC's.

  4. Multi-phase micro-scale flow simulation in the electrodes of a PEM fuel cell by lattice Boltzmann method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, J.; Li, X.

    The gas diffusion layer of a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell is a porous medium generally made of carbon cloth or paper. The gas diffusion layer has been modeled conventionally as a homogeneous porous medium with a constant permeability in the literature of PEM fuel cell. However, in fact, the permeability of such fibrous porous medium is strongly affected by the fiber orientation having non-isotropic permeability. In this work, the lattice Boltzmann (LB) method is applied to the multi-phase flow phenomenon in the inhomogeneous gas diffusion layer of a PEM fuel cell. The inhomogeneous porous structure of the carbon cloth and carbon paper has been modeled as void space and porous area using Stokes/Brinkman formulation and void space and impermeable fiber distributions obtained from various microscopic images. The permeability of the porous medium is calculated and compared to the experimental measurements in literature showing a good agreement. Simulation results for various fiber distributions indicate that the permeability of the medium is strongly influenced by the effect of fiber orientation. Present lattice Boltzmann flow models are applied to the multi-phase flow simulations by incorporating multi-component LB model with inter-particle interaction forces. The model successfully simulates the complicated unsteady behaviors of liquid droplet motion in the porous medium providing a useful tool to investigate the mechanism of liquid water accumulation/removal in a gas diffusion layer of a PEM fuel cell.

  5. Bootstrapping a Sustainable North American PEM Fuel Cell Industry: Could a Federal Acquisition Program Make a Difference?

    SciTech Connect

    Greene, David L; Duleep, Dr. K. G.

    2008-10-01

    The North American Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell industry may be at a critical juncture. A large-scale market for automotive fuel cells appears to be several years away and in any case will require a long-term, coordinated commitment by government and industry to insure the co-evolution of hydrogen infrastructure and fuel cell vehicles (Greene et al., 2008). The market for non-automotive PEM fuel cells, on the other hand, may be much closer to commercial viability (Stone, 2006). Cost targets are less demanding and manufacturers appear to be close, perhaps within a factor of two, of meeting them. Hydrogen supply is a significant obstacle to market acceptance but may not be as great a barrier as it is for hydrogen-powered vehicles due to the smaller quantities of hydrogen required. PEM fuel cells appear to be potentially competitive in two markets: (1) Backup power (BuP) supply, and (2) electrically-powered MHE (Mahadevan et al., 2007a, 2007b). There are several Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) of PEM fuel cell systems for these applications but production levels have been quite low (on the order of 100-200 per year) and cumulative production experience is also limited (on the order of 1,000 units to date). As a consequence, costs remain above target levels and PEM fuel cell OEMs are not yet competitive in these markets. If cost targets can be reached and acceptable solutions to hydrogen supply found, a sustainable North American PEM fuel cell industry could be established. If not, the industry and its North American supply chain could disappear within a year or two. The Hydrogen Fuel Cell and Infrastructure Technologies (HFCIT) program of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) requested a rapid assessment of the potential for a government acquisition program to bootstrap the market for non-automotive PEM fuel cells by driving down costs via economies of scale and learning-by-doing. The six week study included in-depth interviews of three manufacturers

  6. Structural Features in Heat Transfer Modeling of PEM Fuel Cell Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Botelho, Steven Joseph

    In this thesis, the impact of incorporating high resolution structural features into the thermal modeling of the polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell gas diffusion layer (GDL) and microporous layer (MPL) is studied. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been used to image the surfaces of untreated Toray GDL fibres, and the nano-sized particles within Sigracet MPL. The validity of the GDL smooth fibre assumption commonly employed in literature is studied using a thermal resistance network approach. The MPL, which has been found to show structural variability between manufacturers, was also analyzed using AFM to obtain distributions for the particle size and filling radius. The equivalent thermal resistance between MPL particles was computed using the Gauss-Seidel iterative method, and was found to be sensitive to the particle separation distance and filling radius. Finally, unit-cell analysis is presented as a methodology for incorporating MPL nano-features into modeling of the MPL bulk regions.

  7. Analysis of liquid water formation in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell flow fields with a dry cathode supply

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gößling, Sönke; Klages, Merle; Haußmann, Jan; Beckhaus, Peter; Messerschmidt, Matthias; Arlt, Tobias; Kardjilov, Nikolay; Manke, Ingo; Scholta, Joachim; Heinzel, Angelika

    2016-02-01

    PEM fuel cells can be operated within a wide range of different operating conditions. In this paper, the special case of operating a PEM fuel cell with a dry cathode supply and without external humidification of the cathode, is considered. A deeper understanding of the water management in the cells is essential for choosing the optimal operation strategy for a specific system. In this study a theoretical model is presented which aims to predict the location in the flow field at which liquid water forms at the cathode. It is validated with neutron images of a PEM fuel cell visualizing the locations at which liquid water forms in the fuel cell flow field channels. It is shown that the inclusion of the GDL diffusion resistance in the model is essential to describe the liquid water formation process inside the fuel cell. Good agreement of model predictions and measurement results has been achieved. While the model has been developed and validated especially for the operation with a dry cathode supply, the model is also applicable to fuel cells with a humidified cathode stream.

  8. Analytical Investigation and Improvement of Performance of a Proton Exchange Membrane (Pem) Fuel Cell in Mobile Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khazaee, I.

    2015-05-01

    In this study, the performance of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell in mobile applications is investigated analytically. At present the main use and advantages of fuel cells impact particularly strongly on mobile applications such as vehicles, mobile computers and mobile telephones. Some external parameters such as the cell temperature (Tcell ) , operating pressure of gases (P) and air stoichiometry (λair ) affect the performance and voltage losses in the PEM fuel cell. Because of the existence of many theoretical, empirical and semi-empirical models of the PEM fuel cell, it is necessary to compare the accuracy of these models. But theoretical models that are obtained from thermodynamic and electrochemical approach, are very exact but complex, so it would be easier to use the empirical and smi-empirical models in order to forecast the fuel cell system performance in many applications such as mobile applications. The main purpose of this study is to obtain the semi-empirical relation of a PEM fuel cell with the least voltage losses. Also, the results are compared with the existing experimental results in the literature and a good agreement is seen.

  9. Lattice Boltzmann Simulation of Multiphase Transport in Nanostructured PEM Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stiles, Christopher D.

    As the fossil fuel crisis becomes more critical, it is imperative to develop renewable sources of power generation. Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells are considered a viable option. However, the cost of the platinum catalyst has hindered their commercialization. PEM fuel cells with platinum loading of >0.4 mg cm2 are common. Efforts towards further reducing this loading are currently underway utilizing nanostructured electrodes. A consequence of increased platinum utilization per unit area and thinner nanostructured electrodes is flooding, which is detrimental to fuel cell performance. Flooding causes a two-fold impact on cell performance: a drop in cell voltage and a rise in parasitic pumping power to overcome the increased pressure drop, which together result in a significant reduction in system efficiency. Proper water management is therefore crucial for optimum performance of the fuel cell and also for enhancing membrane durability. The goal of this thesis is to simulate the multiphase fluid transport in the nanostructured PEMFC of H2O in air with realistic density ratios. In order to pursue this goal, the ability of the pseudopotential based multiphase lattice Boltzmann method to realistically model the coexistence of the gas and liquid phases of H2O at low temperatures is explored. This method is expanded to include a gas mixture of O2 and N 2 into the multiphase H2O systems. Beginning with the examination of the phase transition region described by the current implementation of the multiphase pseudopotential lattice Boltzmann model. Following this, a modified form of the pressure term with the use of a scalar multiplier kappa for the Peng-Robinson equation of state is thoroughly investigated. This method proves to be very effective at enabling numerically stable simulations at low temperatures with large density ratios. It is found that for decreasing values of kappa, this model leads to an increase in multiphase interface thickness and a

  10. An ultrathin self-humidifying membrane for PEM fuel cell application: fabrication, characterization, and experimental analysis.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xiaobing; Zhang, Huamin; Zhang, Yu; Liang, Yongmin; Wang, Xiaoli; Yi, Baolian

    2006-07-27

    An ultrathin poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (PTFE)-reinforced multilayer self-humidifying composite membrane (20 microm, thick) is developed. The membrane is composed of Nafion-impregnated porous PTFE composite as the central layer, and SiO2 supported nanosized Pt particles (Pt-SiO2) imbedded into the Nafion as the two side layers. The proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell employing the self-humidifying membrane (Pt-SiO2/NP) turns out a peak power density of 1.40 W cm(-2) and an open circuit voltage (OCV) of 1.032 V under dry H2/O2 condition. The excellent performance is attributed to the combined result of both the accelerated water back-diffusion in the thin membrane and the adsorbing/releasing water properties of the Pt-SiO2 catalyst in the side layers. Moreover, the inclusion of the hygroscopic Pt-SiO2 catalyst inside the membrane results in an enhanced anode self-humidification capability and also the decreased cathode polarization (accordingly an improved cell OCV). Several techniques, such as transmission electronic microscopy, scanning electronic microscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy, thermal analysis and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy etc., are employed to characterize the Pt-SiO2/NP membrane. The results are discussed in comparison with the plain Nafion/PTFE membrane (NP). It is established that the reverse net water drag (from the cathode to the anode) across the Pt-SiO2/NP membrane reaches 0.16 H2O/H+. This implies a good hydration of the Pt-SiO2/NP membrane and thus ensures an excellent PEM fuel cell performance under self-humidification operation.

  11. Iron-based alloy and nitridation treatment for PEM fuel cell bipolar plates

    DOEpatents

    Brady, Michael P [Oak Ridge, TN; Yang, Bing [Oak Ridge, TN; Maziasz, Philip J [Oak Ridge, TN

    2010-11-09

    A corrosion resistant electrically conductive component that can be used as a bipolar plate in a PEM fuel cell application is composed of an alloy substrate which has 10-30 wt. % Cr, 0.5 to 7 wt. % V, and base metal being Fe, and a continuous surface layer of chromium nitride and vanadium nitride essentially free of base metal. A oxide layer of chromium vanadium oxide can be disposed between the alloy substrate and the continuous surface nitride layer. A method to prepare the corrosion resistant electrically conductive component involves a two-step nitridization sequence by exposing the alloy to a oxygen containing gas at an elevated temperature, and subsequently exposing the alloy to an oxygen free nitrogen containing gas at an elevated temperature to yield a component where a continuous chromium nitride layer free of iron has formed at the surface.

  12. Heat and Mass Transfer Modeling of Dry Gases in the Cathode of PEM Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kermani, M. J.; Stockie, J. M.

    2004-02-01

    The transport of three gas species, O2, H2O and N2, through the cathode of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell is studied numerically. The diffusion of the individual species is modeled via the Maxwell-Stefan equations, coupled with appropriate conservation equations. Two mechanisms are assumed for the internal energy sources in the system: a volumetric heat source due to the electrical current flowing through the cathode; and heat flow towards the cathode at the cathode-membrane interface due to the exothermic chemical reaction at this interface, in which water is generated. The governing equations of the unsteady fluid motion are written in fully conservative form, and consist of the following: (i) three equations for the mass conservation of the species; (ii) the momentum equation for the mixture, which is approximated using Darcy's Law for flow in porous media; and (iii) an energy equation, written in a form that has enthalpy as the dependent variable.

  13. Nanostructured Electrocatalysts for PEM Fuel Cells and Redox Flow Batteries: A Selected Review

    SciTech Connect

    Shao, Yuyan; Cheng, Yingwen; Duan, Wentao; Wang, Wei; Lin, Yuehe; Wang, Yong; Liu, Jun

    2015-12-04

    PEM fuel cells and redox flow batteries are two very similar technologies which share common component materials and device design. Electrocatalysts are the key components in these two devices. In this Review, we discuss recent progress of electrocatalytic materials for these two technologies with a focus on our research activities at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in the past years. This includes (1) nondestructive functionalization of graphitic carbon as Pt support to improve its electrocatalytic performance, (2) triple-junction of metal–carbon–metal oxides to promote Pt performance, (3) nitrogen-doped carbon and metal-doped carbon (i.e., metal oxides) to improve redox reactions in flow batteries. A perspective on future research and the synergy between the two technologies are also discussed.

  14. Hydrogen-Oxygen PEM Regenerative Fuel Cell Development at the NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bents, David J.; Scullin, Vincent J.; Chang, Bei-Jiann; Johnson, Donald W.; Garcia, Christoher P.; Jakupca, Ian J.

    2005-01-01

    The closed-cycle hydrogen-oxygen PEM regenerative fuel cell (RFC) at the NASA Glenn Research Center has successfully demonstrated closed cycle operation at rated power for multiple charge-discharge cycles. During charge cycle the RFC has absorbed input electrical power simulating a solar day cycle ranging from zero to 15 kWe peak, and delivered steady 5 kWe output power for periods exceeding 8 hr. Orderly transitions from charge to discharge mode, and return to charging after full discharge, have been accomplished without incident. Continuing test operations focus on: (1) Increasing the number of contiguous uninterrupted charge discharge cycles; (2) Increasing the performance envelope boundaries; (3) Operating the RFC as an energy storage device on a regular basis; (4) Gaining operational experience leading to development of fully automated operation; and (5) Developing instrumentation and in situ fluid sampling strategies to monitor health and anticipate breakdowns.

  15. Fundamental study of mechanical and chemical degradation mechanisms of PEM fuel cell membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoon, Wonseok

    One of the important factors determining the lifetime of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) is membrane degradation and failure. The lack of effective mitigation methods is largely due to the currently very limited understanding of the underlying mechanisms for mechanical and chemical degradations of fuel cell membranes. In order to understand degradation of membranes in fuel cells, two different experimental approaches were developed; one is fuel cell testing under open circuit voltage (OCV) with bi-layer configuration of the membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) and the other is a modified gas phase Fenton's test. Accelerated degradation tests for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells are frequently conducted under open circuit voltage (OCV) conditions at low relative humidity (RH) and high temperature. With the bi-layer MEA technique, it was found that membrane degradation is highly localized across thickness direction of the membrane and qualitatively correlated with location of platinum (Pt) band through mechanical testing, Infrared (IR) spectroscopy, fluoride emission, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) measurement. One of the critical experimental observations is that mechanical behavior of membranes subjected to degradation via Fenton's reaction exhibit completely different behavior with that of membranes from the OCV testing. This result led us to believe that other critical factors such as mechanical stress may affect on membrane degradation and therefore, a modified gas phase Fenton's test setup was developed to test the hypothesis. Interestingly, the results showed that mechanical stress directly accelerates the degradation rate of ionomer membranes, implying that the rate constant for the degradation reaction is a function of mechanical stress in addition to commonly known factors such as temperature and humidity. Membrane degradation induced by

  16. Hydrogen-Oxygen PEM Regenerative Fuel Cell Development at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bents, David J.; Scullin, Vincent J.; Chang, B. J.; Johnson, Donald W.; Garcia, Christopher P.; Jakupca, Ian J.

    2006-01-01

    The closed-cycle hydrogen-oxygen PEM regenerative fuel cell (RFC) at NASA Glenn Research Center has demonstrated multiple back to back contiguous cycles at rated power, and round trip efficiencies up to 52 percent. It is the first fully closed cycle regenerative fuel cell ever demonstrated (entire system is sealed: nothing enters or escapes the system other than electrical power and heat). During FY2006 the system has undergone numerous modifications and internal improvements aimed at reducing parasitic power, heat loss and noise signature, increasing its functionality as an unattended automated energy storage device, and in-service reliability. It also serves as testbed towards development of a 600 W-hr/kg flight configuration, through the successful demonstration of lightweight fuel cell and electrolyser stacks and supporting components. The RFC has demonstrated its potential as an energy storage device for aerospace solar power systems such as solar electric aircraft, lunar and planetary surface installations; any airless environment where minimum system weight is critical. Its development process continues on a path of risk reduction for the flight system NASA will eventually need for the manned lunar outpost.

  17. Experimental study of humidity changes on the performance of an elliptical single four-channel PEM fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gholizadeh, Mohammad; Ghazikhani, Mohsen; Khazaee, Iman

    2017-01-01

    Humidity and humidification in a proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEM) can significantly affect the performance of these energy generating devices. Since protons (H+) needs to be accompanied by water molecules to pass from the anode side to the cathode side, the PEM fuel cell membrane should be sufficiently wet. Low or high amount of water in the membrane can interrupt the flow of protons and thus reduce the efficiency of the fuel cell. In this context, several experimental studies and modeling have been carried out on PEM fuel cell and interesting results have been achieved. In this paper, the humidity and flow rate of gas in the anode and cathode are modified to examine its effect on fuel cell performance. The results show that the effect of humidity changing in the anode side is greater than that of the cathode so that at zero humidity of anode and 70 % humidity of the cathode, a maximum current flow of 0.512 A/cm2 for 0.12 V was obtained. However, at 70 % anode humidity and zero cathode humidity, a maximum flow of 0.86 A/cm2 for 0.13 V was obtained.

  18. Drinking water purification by electrosynthesis of hydrogen peroxide in a power-producing PEM fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Li, Winton; Bonakdarpour, Arman; Gyenge, Előd; Wilkinson, David P

    2013-11-01

    The industrial anthraquinone auto-oxidation process produces most of the world's supply of hydrogen peroxide. For applications that require small amounts of H2 O2 or have economically difficult transportation means, an alternate, on-site H2 O2 production method is needed. Advanced drinking water purification technologies use neutral-pH H2 O2 in combination with UV treatment to reach the desired water purity targets. To produce neutral H2 O2 on-site and on-demand for drinking water purification, the electroreduction of oxygen at the cathode of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell operated in either electrolysis (power consuming) or fuel cell (power generating) mode could be a possible solution. The work presented here focuses on the H2 /O2 fuel cell mode to produce H2 O2 . The fuel cell reactor is operated with a continuous flow of carrier water through the cathode to remove the product H2 O2 . The impact of the cobalt-carbon composite cathode catalyst loading, Teflon content in the cathode gas diffusion layer, and cathode carrier water flowrate on the production of H2 O2 are examined. H2 O2 production rates of up to 200 μmol h(-1)  cmgeometric (-2) are achieved using a continuous flow of carrier water operating at 30 % current efficiency. Operation times of more than 24 h have shown consistent H2 O2 and power production, with no degradation of the cobalt catalyst.

  19. Performance evaluation and characterization of metallic bipolar plates in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hung, Yue

    Bipolar plate and membrane electrode assembly (MEA) are the two most repeated components of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack. Bipolar plates comprise more than 60% of the weight and account for 30% of the total cost of a fuel cell stack. The bipolar plates perform as current conductors between cells, provide conduits for reactant gases, facilitate water and thermal management through the cell, and constitute the backbone of a power stack. In addition, bipolar plates must have excellent corrosion resistance to withstand the highly corrosive environment inside the fuel cell, and they must maintain low interfacial contact resistance throughout the operation to achieve optimum power density output. Currently, commercial bipolar plates are made of graphite composites because of their relatively low interfacial contact resistance (ICR) and high corrosion resistance. However, graphite composite's manufacturability, permeability, and durability for shock and vibration are unfavorable in comparison to metals. Therefore, metals have been considered as a replacement material for graphite composite bipolar plates. Since bipolar plates must possess the combined advantages of both metals and graphite composites in the fuel cell technology, various methods and techniques are being developed to combat metallic corrosion and eliminate the passive layer formed on the metal surface that causes unacceptable power reduction and possible fouling of the catalyst and the electrolyte. The main objective of this study was to explore the possibility of producing efficient, cost-effective and durable metallic bipolar plates that were capable of functioning in the highly corrosive fuel cell environment. Bulk materials such as Poco graphite, graphite composite, SS310, SS316, incoloy 800, titanium carbide and zirconium carbide were investigated as potential bipolar plate materials. In this work, different alloys and compositions of chromium carbide coatings on aluminum and SS316

  20. Effect of placing different obstacles in flow fields on performance of a PEM fuel cell: numerical investigation and experimental comparison

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khazaee, I.

    2013-09-01

    In this study a complete two-dimensional model for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells was used to investigate the effect of using different obstacles on the performances, current density and gas concentration for different aspect ratios (ARs). The proposed model is a full cell model, which includes all the parts of the PEM fuel cell, flow channels, gas diffusion electrodes, catalyst layers and the membrane. Also a series of tests are carried out to investigate and validate the numerical results of the polarization curve under the normal conditions. A PEM fuel cell with 25 cm2 active area and Nafion 117 membrane with 4 mg Pt/cm2 for the anode and cathode is employed as a membrane electrode assembly. The results show that the predicted polarization curves by using this model are in good agreement with the experimental results. Also the results show that the local current density reduces more obviously at a higher overpotential than at a lower overpotential because of the more obvious reflection phenomena in the downstream region. At lower operating voltage conditions, the overall cell performance decreases as the AR decreases.

  1. Mechanism for degradation of Nafion in PEM fuel cells from quantum mechanics calculations.

    PubMed

    Yu, Ted H; Sha, Yao; Liu, Wei-Guang; Merinov, Boris V; Shirvanian, Pezhman; Goddard, William A

    2011-12-14

    We report results of quantum mechanics (QM) mechanistic studies of Nafion membrane degradation in a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell. Experiments suggest that Nafion degradation is caused by generation of trace radical species (such as OH(●), H(●)) only when in the presence of H(2), O(2), and Pt. We use density functional theory (DFT) to construct the potential energy surfaces for various plausible reactions involving intermediates that might be formed when Nafion is exposed to H(2) (or H(+)) and O(2) in the presence of the Pt catalyst. We find a barrier of 0.53 eV for OH radical formation from HOOH chemisorbed on Pt(111) and of 0.76 eV from chemisorbed OOH(ad), suggesting that OH might be present during the ORR, particularly when the fuel cell is turned on and off. Based on the QM, we propose two chemical mechanisms for OH radical attack on the Nafion polymer: (1) OH attack on the S-C bond to form H(2)SO(4) plus a carbon radical (barrier: 0.96 eV) followed by decomposition of the carbon radical to form an epoxide (barrier: 1.40 eV). (2) OH attack on H(2) crossover gas to form hydrogen radical (barrier: 0.04 eV), which subsequently attacks a C-F bond to form HF plus carbon radicals (barrier as low as 1.00 eV). This carbon radical can then decompose to form a ketone plus a carbon radical with a barrier of 0.86 eV. The products (HF, OCF(2), SCF(2)) of these proposed mechanisms have all been observed by F NMR in the fuel cell exit gases along with the decrease in pH expected from our mechanism.

  2. An experimental study of a PEM fuel cell power train for urban bus application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corbo, P.; Migliardini, F.; Veneri, O.

    An experimental study was carried out on a fuel cell propulsion system for minibus application with the aim to investigate the main issues of energy management within the system in dynamic conditions. The fuel cell system (FCS), based on a 20 kW PEM stack, was integrated into the power train comprising DC-DC converter, Pb batteries as energy storage systems and asynchronous electric drive of 30 kW. As reference vehicle a minibus for public transportation in historical centres was adopted. A preliminary experimental analysis was conducted on the FCS connected to a resistive load through a DC-DC converter, in order to verify the stack dynamic performance varying its power acceleration from 0.5 kW s -1 to about 4 kW s -1. The experiments on the power train were conducted on a test bench able to simulate the vehicle parameters and road characteristics on specific driving cycles, in particular the European R40 cycle was adopted as reference. The "soft hybrid" configuration, which permitted the utilization of a minimum size energy storage system and implied the use of FCS mainly in dynamic operation, was compared with the "hard hybrid" solution, characterized by FCS operation at limited power in stationary conditions. Different control strategies of power flows between fuel cells, electric energy storage system and electric drive were adopted in order to verify the two above hybrid approaches during the vehicle mission, in terms of efficiencies of individual components and of the overall power train. The FCS was able to support the dynamic requirements typical of R40 cycle, but an increase of air flow rate during the fastest acceleration phases was necessary, with only a slight reduction of FCS efficiency. The FCS efficiency resulted comprised between 45 and 48%, while the overall power train efficiency reached 30% in conditions of constant stack power during the driving cycle.

  3. Ice formation in PEM fuel cells operated isothermally at sub-freezing temperatures

    SciTech Connect

    Mukundan, Rangachary; Luhan, Roger W; Davey, John R; Spendelow, Jacob S; Borup, Rodney L; Hussey, Daniel S; Jacobson, David L; Arif, Muhammad

    2009-01-01

    The effect of MEA and GDL structure and composition on the performance of single-PEM fuel cells operated isothermally at subfreezing temperatures is presented. The cell performance and durability are not only dependent on the MEA/GDL materials used but also on their interfaces. When a cell is operated isothermally at sub-freezing temperatures in constant current mode, the water formation due to the current density initially hydrates the membrane/ionomer and then forms ice in the catalyst layer/GDL. An increase in high frequency resistance was also observed in certain MEAs where there is a possibility of ice formation between the catalyst layer and GDL leading to a loss in contact area. The total water/ice holding capacity for any MEA was lower at lower temperatures and higher current densities. The durability of MEAs subjected to multiple isothermal starts was better for LANL prepared MEAs as compared to commercial MEAs, and cloth GDLs when compared to paper GDLs. The ice formation was monitored using high-resolution neutron radiography and was found to be concentrated near the cathode catalyst layer. However, there was significant ice formation in the GDLs especially at the higher temperature ({approx} -10 C) and lower current density (0.02 A/cm{sup 2}) operations. These results are consistent with the longer-term durability observations that show more severe degradation at the lower temperatures.

  4. Development method of Hybrid Energy Storage System, including PEM fuel cell and a battery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ustinov, A.; Khayrullina, A.; Borzenko, V.; Khmelik, M.; Sveshnikova, A.

    2016-09-01

    Development of fuel cell (FC) and hydrogen metal-hydride storage (MH) technologies continuously demonstrate higher efficiency rates and higher safety, as hydrogen is stored at low pressures of about 2 bar in a bounded state. A combination of a FC/MH system with an electrolyser, powered with a renewable source, allows creation of an almost fully autonomous power system, which could potentially replace a diesel-generator as a back-up power supply. However, the system must be extended with an electro-chemical battery to start-up the FC and compensate the electric load when FC fails to deliver the necessary power. Present paper delivers the results of experimental and theoretical investigation of a hybrid energy system, including a proton exchange membrane (PEM) FC, MH- accumulator and an electro-chemical battery, development methodology for such systems and the modelling of different battery types, using hardware-in-the-loop approach. The economic efficiency of the proposed solution is discussed using an example of power supply of a real town of Batamai in Russia.

  5. A complete two-phase model of a porous cathode of a PEM fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hwang, J. J.

    This paper has developed a complete two-phase model of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell by considering fluid flow, heat transfer and current simultaneously. In fluid flow, two momentum equations governing separately the gaseous-mixture velocity (u g) and the liquid-water velocity (u w) illustrate the behaviors of the two-phase flow in a porous electrode. Correlations for the capillary pressure and the saturation level connect the above two-fluid transports. In heat transfer, a local thermal non-equilibrium (LTNE) model accounting for intrinsic heat transfer between the reactant fluids and the solid matrices depicts the interactions between the reactant-fluid temperature (T f) and the solid-matrix temperature (T s). The irreversibility heating due to electrochemical reactions, Joule heating arising from Ohmic resistance, and latent heat of water condensation/evaporation are considered in the present non-isothermal model. In current, Ohm's law is applied to yield the conservations in ionic current (i m) and electronic current (i s) in the catalyst layer. The Butler-Volmer correlation describes the relation of the potential difference (overpotential) and the transfer current between the electrolyte (such as Nafion™) and the catalyst (such as Pt/C).

  6. Radiation grafted and sulfonated (FEP-g-polysterene) - An alternative to perfluorinated membranes for PEM fuel cells?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buechi, F. N.; Gupta, B.; Rouilly, M.; Hauser, P. C.; Chapiro, A.; Scherer, G. G.

    Partially fluorinated proton exchange membranes (PEMs) were synthesized for fuel cell applications by simultaneous radiation grafting of styrene on FEP films followed by sulfonation. Properties of the synthesized membranes can be tailored by varying the degree of grafting and crosslinking. The performance of these membranes was tested in H2/O2 fuel cells. Long time testing showed steady performance for high grafted membranes over periods of more than 300 h at a cell temperature of 60 C. Low grafted membranes and the Morgane CDS membrane showed considerable decay of cell power on the same time scale. A fast degradation of all membranes occurred at a cell temperature of 80 C. It is noted that grafting in film form makes this process a potentially cheap and easy technique for the preparation of solid polymer fuel cell electrolytes.

  7. Analytical and numerical study on cooling flow field designs performance of PEM fuel cell with variable heat flux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afshari, Ebrahim; Ziaei-Rad, Masoud; Jahantigh, Nabi

    2016-06-01

    In PEM fuel cells, during electrochemical generation of electricity more than half of the chemical energy of hydrogen is converted to heat. This heat of reactions, if not exhausted properly, would impair the performance and durability of the cell. In general, large scale PEM fuel cells are cooled by liquid water that circulates through coolant flow channels formed in bipolar plates or in dedicated cooling plates. In this paper, a numerical method has been presented to study cooling and temperature distribution of a polymer membrane fuel cell stack. The heat flux on the cooling plate is variable. A three-dimensional model of fluid flow and heat transfer in cooling plates with 15 cm × 15 cm square area is considered and the performances of four different coolant flow field designs, parallel field and serpentine fields are compared in terms of maximum surface temperature, temperature uniformity and pressure drop characteristics. By comparing the results in two cases, the constant and variable heat flux, it is observed that applying constant heat flux instead of variable heat flux which is actually occurring in the fuel cells is not an accurate assumption. The numerical results indicated that the straight flow field model has temperature uniformity index and almost the same temperature difference with the serpentine models, while its pressure drop is less than all of the serpentine models. Another important advantage of this model is the much easier design and building than the spiral models.

  8. Research and development of proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system for transportation applications. Phase I final report

    SciTech Connect

    1996-01-01

    Objective during Phase I was to develop a methanol-fueled 10-kW fuel cell power source and evaluate its feasibility for transportation applications. This report documents research on component (fuel cell stack, fuel processor, power source ancillaries and system sensors) development and the 10-kW power source system integration and test. The conceptual design study for a PEM fuel cell powered vehicle was documented in an earlier report (DOE/CH/10435-01) and is summarized herein. Major achievements in the program include development of advanced membrane and thin-film low Pt-loaded electrode assemblies that in reference cell testing with reformate-air reactants yielded performance exceeding the program target (0.7 V at 1000 amps/ft{sup 2}); identification of oxidation catalysts and operating conditions that routinely result in very low CO levels ({le} 10 ppm) in the fuel processor reformate, thus avoiding degradation of the fuel cell stack performance; and successful integrated operation of a 10-kW fuel cell stack on reformate from the fuel processor.

  9. A methodology for investigating new nonprecious metal catalysts for PEM fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Susac, D; Sode, A; Zhu, L; Wong, P C; Teo, M; Bizzotto, D; Mitchell, K A R; Parsons, R R; Campbell, S A

    2006-06-08

    This paper reports an approach to investigate metal-chalcogen materials as catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. The methodology is illustrated with reference to Co-Se thin films prepared by magnetron sputtering onto a glassy-carbon substrate. Scanning Auger microscopy (SAM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), and X-ray diffraction (XRD) have been used, in parallel with electrochemical activity and stability measurements, to assess how the electrochemical performance relates to chemical composition. It is shown that Co-Se thin films with varying Se are active for oxygen reduction, although the open circuit potential (OCP) is lower than for Pt. A kinetically controlled process is observed in the potential range 0.5-0.7 V (vs reversible hydrogen electrode) for the thin-film catalysts studied. An initial exposure of the thin-film samples to an acid environment served as a pretreatment, which modified surface composition prior to activity measurements with the rotating disk electrode (RDE) method. Based on the SAM characterization before and after electrochemical tests, all surfaces demonstrating activity are dominated by chalcogen. XRD shows that the thin films have nanocrystalline character that is based on a Co(1-x)Se phase. Parallel studies on Co-Se powder supported on XC72R carbon show comparable OCP, Tafel region, and structural phase as for the thin-film model catalysts. A comparison for ORR activity has also been made between this Co-Se powder and a commercial Pt catalyst.

  10. Enhancing performance of PEM fuel cells: Using the Au nanoplatelet/Nafion interface to enable CO oxidation under ambient conditions

    DOE PAGES

    Li, Hongfei; Pan, Cheng; Zhao, Sijia; ...

    2016-04-16

    We developed a method for fabrication of Au nanoparticle platelets which can be coated onto the Nafion membranes of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells simply by Langmuir–Blodgett (LB) trough lift off from the air water interface. By incorporating the coated membranes into fuel cells with one membrane electrode assembly (MEA) we enhanced the maximum power output by more than 50% when operated under ambient conditions. An enhancement of more than 200% was observed when 0.1% CO was incorporated into the H2 input gas stream and minimal enhancement was observed when the PEM fuel cell was operated with 100% O2more » gas at the cathode, or when particles were deposited on the electrodes. Density function theory (DFT) calculations were carried out to understand the origin of improved output power. Au NPs with 3-atomic layer in height and 2 nm in size were constructed to model the experimentally synthesized Au NPs. Our results indicated that the Au NPs interacted synergistically with the SO3 groups, attached at end of Nafion side chains, to reduce the energy barrier for the oxidation of CO occurring at the perimeter of the Au NPs, from 1.292 eV to 0.518 eV, enabling the reaction to occur at T<300 K.« less

  11. Enhancing performance of PEM fuel cells: Using the Au nanoplatelet/Nafion interface to enable CO oxidation under ambient conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Hongfei; Pan, Cheng; Zhao, Sijia; Liu, Ping; Zhu, Yimei; Rafailovich, Miriam H.

    2016-04-16

    We developed a method for fabrication of Au nanoparticle platelets which can be coated onto the Nafion membranes of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells simply by Langmuir–Blodgett (LB) trough lift off from the air water interface. By incorporating the coated membranes into fuel cells with one membrane electrode assembly (MEA) we enhanced the maximum power output by more than 50% when operated under ambient conditions. An enhancement of more than 200% was observed when 0.1% CO was incorporated into the H2 input gas stream and minimal enhancement was observed when the PEM fuel cell was operated with 100% O2 gas at the cathode, or when particles were deposited on the electrodes. Density function theory (DFT) calculations were carried out to understand the origin of improved output power. Au NPs with 3-atomic layer in height and 2 nm in size were constructed to model the experimentally synthesized Au NPs. Our results indicated that the Au NPs interacted synergistically with the SO3 groups, attached at end of Nafion side chains, to reduce the energy barrier for the oxidation of CO occurring at the perimeter of the Au NPs, from 1.292 eV to 0.518 eV, enabling the reaction to occur at T<300 K.

  12. Fault detection and isolation of PEM fuel cell system based on nonlinear analytical redundancy. An application via parity space approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aitouche, A.; Yang, Q.; Ould Bouamama, B.

    2011-05-01

    This paper presents a procedure dealing with the issue of fault detection and isolation (FDI) using nonlinear analytical redundancy (NLAR) technique applied in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system based on its mathematic model. The model is proposed and simplified into a five orders state space representation. The transient phenomena captured in the model include the compressor dynamics, the flow characteristics, mass and energy conservation and manifold fluidic mechanics. Nonlinear analytical residuals are generated based on the elimination of the unknown variables of the system by an extended parity space approach to detect and isolate actuator and sensor faults. Finally, numerical simulation results are given corresponding to a faults signature matrix.

  13. Experimental and modeling investigations on the effects of electrode flooding on the performance of PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Guangyu

    Electrode flooding, one of the major causes of poor performance of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell, is still not fully understood. However, a comprehensive understanding of this phenomenon and the dynamics of water in the electrode is critical to the optimization of the performance of PEM fuel cells. Mathematical models were developed to study the effect of electrode flooding on the fuel cell performance. Experiments were also conducted to investigate the effect of the thickness and wetproof level of gas diffusion media on the electrode flooding level and cell performance. The modeling and experimental studies showed that liquid water accumulated in the gas diffusion and catalyst layers if it was not removed efficiently. Excessive liquid water accumulation could lead to electrode flooding and significantly impact the fuel cell performance. Any means that could facilitate liquid water removal from the cathode were found to enhance the cell performance. High operating temperature, high in-plane liquid water permeability of the gas diffusion layer, more channels and smaller shoulder widths were predicted to increase the fuel cell performance. The decrease in the in-plane electronic conductivity of the gas diffusion layer was not found to affect the fuel cell performance; however, a highly non-uniform distribution of the electronic current density was observed within the electrode. Excessive catalyst loading would not improve the fuel cell performance. On the contrary, it might reduce the fuel cell performance due to the increased thickness of the catalyst layer. Adding polytetrafluroethylene (PTFE) to the gas diffusion layer could enhance gas and water transport when a fuel cell operated under flooding situation. But excessive PTFE loading may make the electrodes more prone to flooding. It was also found that a thinner gas diffusion material without the microporous layer was more sensitive to water accumulation than a thicker one. Higher performance was

  14. New composite membranes based on modified Nafion or Flemion for PEM fuel cell application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Huimin

    Nafion and Flemion during the procedure of casting composite membrane and there was the interaction between the sulphonic acid group and STA. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy shows the existence of W-S and W-C bonds in composite membrane. This can be used to explain the previous experimental observation that the composite membrane with STA has higher conductivity and water uptake than the composite membrane without STA. The above studies allowed us to conclude that the improvements in ionic conductivity and water uptake are due to the change of the chemical composition of the composite membranes by the addition of silicotungstic acid. The current-potential polarization characterization of composite Nafion/STA and Flemion/STA membranes was measured using H2/O2 single polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell system. The performance based on composite Nafion/STA and Flemion/STA membranes is always better than that based on cast Nafion or cast Flemion without STA membranes. The improvement in the fuel cell characteristics for the composite Nafion/STA and Flemion/STAmembrane is due to a combined effect of the polymer and STA. The existence of STA improves the fuel cell performance and make this operation feasible under high temperature.

  15. Engineered Nano-scale Ceramic Supports for PEM Fuel Cells. Tech Team Meeting Presentaion

    SciTech Connect

    Brosha, Eric L.; Elbaz Alon, Lior; Henson, Neil J.; Rockward, Tommy; Roy, Aaron; Serov, Alexey; Ward, Timothy

    2012-08-13

    Catalyst support durability is currently a technical barrier for commercialization of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, especially for transportation applications. Degradation and corrosion of the conventional carbon supports leads to losses in active catalyst surface area and, consequently, reduced performance. As a result, the goal of this work is to develop support materials that interact strongly with Pt, yet sustain bulk-like catalytic activities with very highly dispersed particles. Ceramic materials that are prepared using conventional solid-state methods have large grain sizes and low surface areas that can only be minimally ameliorated through grinding and ball milling. Other synthesis routes to produce ceramic materials must be investigated and utilized in order to obtain desired surface areas. In this work, several different synthesis methods are being utilized to prepare electronically conductive ceramic boride, nitride, and oxide materials with high surface areas and have the potential for use as PEMFC catalyst supports. Polymer-assisted deposition (PAD) and aerosol-through plasma (A-T-P) torch are among several methods used to obtain ceramic materials with surface areas that are equal to, or exceed Vulcan XC-72R supports. Cubic Mo-based ceramic phases have been prepared with average XRD-determined crystallite sizes as low as 1.6 nm (from full profile, XRD fitting) and a BET surface area exceeding 200 m{sup 2}/g. Additionally, black, sub-stoichiometric TiO{sub 2-x}, have been prepared with an average crystallite size in the 4 nm range and surface areas exceeding 250 m{sup 2}/gr. Pt disposition using an incipient wetness approach produced materials with activity for hydrogen redox reactions and ORR. Cyclic voltammetry data will be shown for a variety of potential Pt/ceramic catalysts. Initial experiments indicate enhanced Pt metal-support interactions as well. Plane wave periodic density functional calculations (VASP) are being used to

  16. Properties of graphite-stainless steel composite in bipolar plates in simulated anode and cathode environments of PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Włodarczyk, Renata

    2014-09-01

    The use of a graphite-stainless steel composite as bipolar plates (BP) in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) has been evaluated. The study covers measurements of mechanical properties, microstructural examination, analysis of surface profile, wettability, porosity and corrosion resistance of the composite. The corrosion properties of the composite were examined in 0.1 mol·dm-3 H2SO4 + 2 ppm F- saturated with H2 or with O2 and in solutions with different pH: in Na2SO4+ 2 ppm F- (pH = 1.00, 3.00, 5.00) at 80 °C. The performed tests indicate that the graphite modified with stainless steel can be a good choice to be used as a bipolar plate in PEM fuel cells.

  17. Impacts of operating conditions on the effects of chloride contamination on PEM fuel cell performance and durability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Hui; Zhang, Shengsheng; Qian, Weimin; Yu, Yi; Yuan, Xiao-Zi; Wang, Haijiang; Jiang, Max; Wessel, Silvia; Cheng, Tommy T. H.

    2012-11-01

    Chloride contaminated fuel and/or air streams in an operating proton exchange membrane fuel cell can cause significant adverse effects on fuel cell performance and durability. This paper reports investigations of chloride contamination effects on PEM fuel cell performance and durability under a wide range of operating conditions, using various in-situ diagnostic measurements. Increases in current density and Cl- concentration as well as decreases in fuel cell RH were found to enlarge the severity of the chloride contamination effect. Temperature was also found to have a significant influence on the contamination effect. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy was used as a diagnostic tool during the contamination tests to explore changes in cell component resistances. The results indicated that chloride contamination causes predominantly an increase in charge transfer resistance as well as an increase in mass transfer resistance. The membrane resistance was not found to be impacted by chloride contamination. As measured by cyclic voltammetry, the presence of chloride in the air stream significantly reduced the cathode electrochemical surface area, and this reduction is believed to be due to the adsorption of chloride on the Pt surface causing active site blockage and accelerated Pt dissolution and agglomeration via the formation of Pt-Cl complexes.

  18. Development of Ultra-Low Platinum Alloy Cathode Catalysts for PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Popov, Branko N.; Weidner, John

    2016-01-07

    The goal of this project is to synthesize a low cost PEM fuel cell cathode catalyst and support with optimized average mass activity, stability of mass activity, initial high current density performance under H2/air (power density), and catalyst and support stability able to meet 2017 DOE targets for electrocatalysts for transportation applications. Pt*/ACCS-2 catalyst was synthesized according to a novel methodology developed at USC through: (i) surface modification, (ii) metal catalyzed pyrolysis and (iii) chemical leaching to remove excess meal used to dope the support. Pt* stands for suppressed platinum catalyst synthesized with Co doped platinum. The procedure results in increasing carbon graphitization, inclusion of cobalt in the bulk and formation of non-metallic active sites on the carbon surface. Catalytic activity of the support shows an onset potential of 0.86 V for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) with well-defined kinetic and mass transfer regions and 2.5% H2O2 production. Pt*/ACCS-2 catalyst durability under 0.6-1.0 V potential cycling and support stability under 1.0-1.5 V potential cycling was evaluated. The results indicated excellent catalyst and support performance under simulated start-up/shut down operating conditions (1.0 – 1.5 V, 5000 cycles) which satisfy DOE 2017 catalyst and support durability and activity. The 30% Pt*/ACCS-2 catalyst showed high initial mass activity of 0.34 A/mgPGM at 0.9 ViR-free and loss of mass activity of 45% after 30,000 cycles (0.6-1.0 V). The catalyst performance under H2-air fuel cell operating conditions showed only 24 mV (iR-free) loss at 0.8 A/cm2 with an ECSA loss of 42% after 30,000 cycles (0.6-1.0 V). The support stability under 1.0-1.5 V potential cycling showed mass activity loss of 50% and potential loss of 8 mV (iR-free) at 1.5 A/cm2. The ECSA loss was 22% after 5,000 cycles. Furthermore, the Pt*/ACCS-2 catalyst showed an

  19. Micro reactor integrated μ-PEM fuel cell system: a feed connector and flow field free approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balakrishnan, A.; Mueller, C.; Reinecke, H.

    2013-12-01

    A system level microreactor concept for hydrogen generation with Sodium Borohydride (NaBH4) is demonstrated. The uniqueness of the system is the transport and distribution feature of fuel (hydrogen) to the anode of the fuel cell without any external feed connectors and flow fields. The approach here is to use palladium film instead of feed connectors and the flow fields; palladium's property to adsorb and desorb the hydrogen at ambient and elevated condition. The proof of concept is demonstrated with a polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) based complete system integration which includes microreactor, palladium transport layer and the self-breathing polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell. The hydrolysis of NaBH4 was carried out in the presence of platinum supported by nickel (NiPt). The prototype functionality is tested with NaBH4 chemical hydride. The characterization of the integrated palladium layer and fuel cell is tested with constant and switching load. The presented integrated fuel cell is observed to have a maximum power output and current of 60 mW and 280 mA respectively.

  20. Inverted Fuel Cell: Room-Temperature Hydrogen Separation from an Exhaust Gas by Using a Commercial Short-Circuited PEM Fuel Cell without Applying any Electrical Voltage.

    PubMed

    Friebe, Sebastian; Geppert, Benjamin; Caro, Jürgen

    2015-06-26

    A short-circuited PEM fuel cell with a Nafion membrane has been evaluated in the room-temperature separation of hydrogen from exhaust gas streams. The separated hydrogen can be recovered or consumed in an in situ olefin hydrogenation when the fuel cell is operated as catalytic membrane reactor. Without applying an outer electrical voltage, there is a continuous hydrogen flux from the higher to the lower hydrogen partial pressure side through the Nafion membrane. On the feed side of the Nafion membrane, hydrogen is catalytically split into protons and electrons by the Pt/C electrocatalyst. The protons diffuse through the Nafion membrane, the electrons follow the short-circuit between the two brass current collectors. On the cathode side, protons and electrons recombine, and hydrogen is released.

  1. Diesel fuel processor for PEM fuel cells: Two possible alternatives (ATR versus SR)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cutillo, A.; Specchia, S.; Antonini, M.; Saracco, G.; Specchia, V.

    There are large efforts in exploring the on-board reforming technologies, which would avoid the actual lack of hydrogen infrastructure and related safety issues. From this view point, the present work deals with the comparison between two different 10 kW e fuel processors (FP) systems for the production of hydrogen-rich fuel gas starting from diesel oil, based respectively on autothermal (ATR) and steam-reforming (SR) process and related CO clean-up technologies; the obtained hydrogen rich gas is fed to the PEMFC stack of an auxiliary power unit (APU). Based on a series of simulations with Matlab/Simulink, the two systems were compared in terms of FP and APU efficiency, hydrogen concentration fed to the FC, water balance and process scheme complexity. Notwithstanding a slightly higher process scheme complexity and a slightly more difficult water recovery, the FP based on the SR scheme, as compared to the ATR one, shows higher efficiency and larger hydrogen concentration for the stream fed to the PEMFC anode, which represent key issues for auxiliary power generation based on FCs as compared, e.g. to alternators.

  2. The efficient and economic design of PEM fuel cell systems by multi-objective optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Na, Woonki; Gou, Bei

    Since the efficiency of fuel cells is the ratio of the electrical power output and the fuel input, it is a function of power density, system pressure, and stoichiometric ratios of hydrogen and oxygen. Typically, the fuel cell efficiency decreases as its power output increases. In order for the fuel cell system to obtain highly efficient operation with the same power generation, more cells and other auxiliaries such as a high-capacity compressor system, etc. are required. In other words, fuel cell efficiency is closely related to fuel cell economics. Therefore, an optimum efficiency should exist and should result in the definition of a cost-effective fuel cell system. Using a multi-objective optimization technique, the sequential quadratic programming (SQP) method, the efficiency and cost of a fuel cell system have been optimized under various operating conditions. This paper has obtained some analytical results that provide a useful suggestion for the design of a cost-effective fuel cell system with high operation efficiency.

  3. Performance Evaluation of Electrochem's PEM Fuel Cell Power Plant for NASA's 2nd Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kimble, Michael C.; Hoberecht, Mark

    2003-01-01

    NASA's Next Generation Launch Technology (NGLT) program is being developed to meet national needs for civil and commercial space access with goals of reducing the launch costs, increasing the reliability, and reducing the maintenance and operating costs. To this end, NASA is considering an all- electric capability for NGLT vehicles requiring advanced electrical power generation technology at a nominal 20 kW level with peak power capabilities six times the nominal power. The proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell has been identified as a viable candidate to supply this electrical power; however, several technology aspects need to be assessed. Electrochem, Inc., under contract to NASA, has developed a breadboard power generator to address these technical issues with the goal of maximizing the system reliability while minimizing the cost and system complexity. This breadboard generator operates with dry hydrogen and oxygen gas using eductors to recirculate the gases eliminating gas humidification and blowers from the system. Except for a coolant pump, the system design incorporates passive components allowing the fuel cell to readily follow a duty cycle profile and that may operate at high 6:1 peak power levels for 30 second durations. Performance data of the fuel cell stack along with system performance is presented to highlight the benefits of the fuel cell stack design and system design for NGLT vehicles.

  4. Flow rate and humidification effects on a PEM fuel cell performance and operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guvelioglu, Galip H.; Stenger, Harvey G.

    A new algorithm is presented to integrate component balances along polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) channels to obtain three-dimensional results from a detailed two-dimensional finite element model. The analysis studies the cell performance at various hydrogen flow rates, air flow rates and humidification levels. This analysis shows that hydrogen and air flow rates and their relative humidity are critical to current density, membrane dry-out, and electrode flooding. Uniform current densities along the channels are known to be critical for thermal management and fuel cell life. This approach, of integrating a detailed two-dimensional across-the-channel model, is a promising method for fuel cell design due to its low computational cost compared to three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics models, its applicability to a wide range of fuel cell designs, and its ease of extending to fuel cell stack models.

  5. Magnetic resonance imaging of water content across the Nafion membrane in an operational PEM fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ziheng; Martin, Jonathan; Wu, Jinfeng; Wang, Haijiang; Promislow, Keith; Balcom, Bruce J

    2008-08-01

    Water management is critical to optimize the operation of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. At present, numerical models are employed to guide water management in such fuel cells. Accurate measurements of water content variation in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells are required to validate these models and to optimize fuel cell behavior. We report a direct water content measurement across the Nafion membrane in an operational polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell, employing double half k-space spin echo single point imaging techniques. The MRI measurements with T2 mapping were undertaken with a parallel plate resonator to avoid the effects of RF screening. The parallel plate resonator employs the electrodes inherent to the fuel cell to create a resonant circuit at RF frequencies for MR excitation and detection, while still operating as a conventional fuel cell at DC. Three stages of fuel cell operation were investigated: activation, operation and dehydration. Each profile was acquired in 6 min, with 6 microm nominal resolution and a SNR of better than 15.

  6. Magnetic resonance imaging of water content across the Nafion membrane in an operational PEM fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Ziheng; Martin, Jonathan; Wu, Jinfeng; Wang, Haijiang; Promislow, Keith; Balcom, Bruce J.

    2008-08-01

    Water management is critical to optimize the operation of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. At present, numerical models are employed to guide water management in such fuel cells. Accurate measurements of water content variation in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells are required to validate these models and to optimize fuel cell behavior. We report a direct water content measurement across the Nafion membrane in an operational polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell, employing double half k-space spin echo single point imaging techniques. The MRI measurements with T2 mapping were undertaken with a parallel plate resonator to avoid the effects of RF screening. The parallel plate resonator employs the electrodes inherent to the fuel cell to create a resonant circuit at RF frequencies for MR excitation and detection, while still operating as a conventional fuel cell at DC. Three stages of fuel cell operation were investigated: activation, operation and dehydration. Each profile was acquired in 6 min, with 6 μm nominal resolution and a SNR of better than 15.

  7. Durability of PEM fuel cell cathode in the presence of Fe 3+ and Al 3+

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Hui; Tsay, Ken; Wang, Haijiang; Shen, Jun; Wu, Shaohong; Zhang, Jiujun; Jia, Nengyou; Wessel, Silvia; Abouatallah, Rami; Joos, Nathan; Schrooten, Jeremy

    The contamination effects of Fe 3+ and Al 3+ on the performance of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells were investigated by continuously injecting Fe 3+ or Al 3+ salt solution into the air stream of an operating fuel cell. Both metal ions individually caused significant cell performance degradation at a level of only 5 ppm mol in air. In addition, elevated temperature accelerated fuel cell performance degradation in the presence of Fe 3+. Moreover, the presence of Fe 3+ in an operating fuel cell resulted in the cell's sudden death, due to the formation of membrane pinholes that may have been promoted by the enhanced production of peroxy radicals catalyzed by Fe species. Half-cell tests in liquid electrolyte revealed that the presence of Al 3+ in the electrolyte changed the kinetics and mechanisms of the oxygen reduction reaction by reducing the kinetic current densities and the electron transfer number.

  8. Platinized Graphene/ceramics Nano-sandwiched Architectures and Electrodes with Outstanding Performance for PEM Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Xu; He, Daping; Wu, Hui; Zhao, Xiaofeng; Zhang, Jian; Cheng, Kun; Wu, Peng; Mu, Shichun

    2015-11-01

    For the first time a novel oxygen reduction catalyst with a 3D platinized graphene/nano-ceramic sandwiched architecture is successfully prepared by an unusual method. Herein the specific gravity of graphene nanosheets (GNS) is tailored by platinizing graphene in advance to shorten the difference in the specific gravity between carbon and SiC materials, and then nano-SiC is well intercalated into GNS interlayers. This nano-architecture with highly dispersed Pt nanoparticles exhibits a very high oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity and polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell performance. The mass activity of half cells is 1.6 times of that of the GNS supported Pt, and 2.4 times that of the commercial Pt/C catalyst, respectively. Moreover, after an accelerated stress test our catalyst shows a predominantly electrochemical stability compared with benchmarks. Further fuel cell tests show a maximum power density as high as 747 mW/cm2 at low Pt loading, which is more than 2 times higher than that of fuel cells with the pristine graphene electrode.

  9. Platinized Graphene/ceramics Nano-sandwiched Architectures and Electrodes with Outstanding Performance for PEM Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xu; He, Daping; Wu, Hui; Zhao, Xiaofeng; Zhang, Jian; Cheng, Kun; Wu, Peng; Mu, Shichun

    2015-11-05

    For the first time a novel oxygen reduction catalyst with a 3D platinized graphene/nano-ceramic sandwiched architecture is successfully prepared by an unusual method. Herein the specific gravity of graphene nanosheets (GNS) is tailored by platinizing graphene in advance to shorten the difference in the specific gravity between carbon and SiC materials, and then nano-SiC is well intercalated into GNS interlayers. This nano-architecture with highly dispersed Pt nanoparticles exhibits a very high oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity and polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell performance. The mass activity of half cells is 1.6 times of that of the GNS supported Pt, and 2.4 times that of the commercial Pt/C catalyst, respectively. Moreover, after an accelerated stress test our catalyst shows a predominantly electrochemical stability compared with benchmarks. Further fuel cell tests show a maximum power density as high as 747 mW/cm(2) at low Pt loading, which is more than 2 times higher than that of fuel cells with the pristine graphene electrode.

  10. Miso Model Identification of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEM-FC) using Least-Square Method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yusivar, F.; Subiantoro, A.; Aryani, D.; Gunawan, R.; Priambodo, P. S.

    2009-09-01

    This paper presents a dynamic model of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell (PEM FC) as a MISO system using an identification model. The actual PEMFC system is represented in a non linear mathematical model. By identifying the non linear model with Least Square Method, a linear state space model is generated, with and without compensation vector. Another model is derived from linearization in the operating conditions of PEMFC. The Voltage-Current characteristics of each PEMFC models are generated from simulation results, and are compared. It can be seen that the best model is the linear model with compensation vector, since its characteristic is very similar with the typical characteristic of PEMFC. Its Criterion Function of 0.0142 is the smallest among the other models. The smaller the Criterion Function, the model can represent the actual system more accurate. The resulting model can be used for model-based control system.

  11. Development of a 10 kW PEM fuel cell for stationary applications

    SciTech Connect

    Barthels, H.; Mergel, J.; Oetjen, H.F.

    1996-12-31

    A 10 kW Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) is being developed as part of a long-term energy storage path for electricity in the photovoltaic demonstration plant called PHOEBUS at the Forschungszentrum Julich.

  12. PEM Fuel Cells for Transport Applications: State of the Art and Challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Bruijn, Frank A.

    2009-09-01

    In order to offer a true alternative to the internal combustion engine, whether fuelled with today's fossil fuels or with first and second generation biofuels, the fuel cell technology needs to mature to such a level that it meets consumer expectations with respect to vehicle performance, driving range and refueling time, while at the same time vehicle efficiency and well to tank emissions are such that overall emissions can be diminished drastically. The present paper addresses the present state of the art of fuel cell technology (PEMFC—proton exchange membrane fuel cells) for transportation, and the materials issues for both the short term and the long term that need to be addressed to fulfill the expectations.

  13. Model-Based Design of Energy Efficient Palladium Membrane Water Gas Shift Fuel Processors for PEM Fuel Cell Power Plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gummalla, Mallika; Vanderspurt, Thomas Henry; Emerson, Sean; She, Ying; Dardas, Zissis; Olsommer, Benoît

    An integrated, palladium alloy membrane Water-Gas Shift (WGS) reactor can significantly reduce the size, cost and complexity of a fuel processor for a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane fuel cell power system.

  14. Materials, Proton Conductivity and Electrocatalysis in High-Temperature PEM Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daletou, Maria K.; Kallitsis, Joannis; Neophytides, Stylianos G.

    Fuel cells (FCs) are interesting alternatives to existing power conversion systems since they combine high efficiency with the usage of renewable fuels. Fuel cells can generate power from a fraction of a watt to hundreds of kilowatts and can be used in automotive, stationary or portable applications.1,2,3,4,5,6 A FC is an electrochemical device that converts in a continuous manner the free energy of a chemical reaction into electrical energy (via an electrical current). This galvanic cell consists of an electrolyte (liquid or solid) sandwiched between two porous electrodes. In order to reach desirable amounts of energy power, single cell assemblies can be mechanically compressed across electrically conductive separators to fabricate stacks.

  15. Studies on Methanol Crossover in Liquid-Feed Direct Methanol Pem Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Narayanan, S. R.

    1995-01-01

    The performance of liquid feed direct methanol fuel cells using various types of Nafion membranes as the solid polymer electrolyte have been studied. The rate of fuel crossover and electrical performance has been measured for cells with Nafion membranes of various thicknesses and equivalent weights. The crossover rate is found to decrease with increasing thickness and applied current. The dependence of crossover rate on current density can be understood in terms of a simple linear diffusion model which suggests that the crossover rate can be influenced by the electrode structure in addition to the membrane. The studies suggest that Nafion EW 1500 is a very promising alternate to Nafion EW 1100 for direct methanol fuel cells.

  16. PEM (Proton exchange membrane) fuel cell stack heat and mass measurement

    SciTech Connect

    Vanderborgh, N.E.; Kimble, M.C.; Huff, J.R.; Hedstrom, J.C.

    1992-01-01

    PEM stacks are under evaluation as candidates for future space power technology. Results of long-term operation on a set of contemporary stacks fitted with different proton exchange membrane materials are given. Data on water balances show effects of membrane materials on stack performance. 15 refs.

  17. Enhanced Performance of non-PGM Catalysts in Air Operated PEM-Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Barkholtz, Heather M.; Chong, Lina; Kaiser, Zachary Brian; Xu, Tao; Liu, Di-Jia

    2016-10-13

    Here a non-platinum group metal (non-PGM) oxygen reduction catalyst was prepared from “support-free” zeolitic imidazolate framework (ZIF) precursor and tested in the proton exchange membrane fuel cell with air as the cathode feed. The iron nitrogen and carbon composite (FeeNeC) based catalyst has high specific surface area decorated uniformly with active sites, which redefines the triple phase boundary (TPB) and requires re-optimization of the cathodic membrane electrode fabrication to ensure efficient mass and charge transports to the catalyst surface. This study reports an effort in optimizing catalytic ink formulation for the membrane electrode preparation and its impact to the fuel cell performance under air. Through optimization, the fuel cell areal current density as high as 115.2 mA/cm2 at 0.8 V or 147.6 mA/cm2 at 0.8 ViR-free has been achieved under one bar air. We also investigated impacts on fuel cell internal impedance and the water formation.

  18. PEM fuel cell cathode carbon corrosion due to the formation of air/fuel boundary at the anode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Hao; Qi, Zhigang; Ramani, Manikandan; Elter, John F.

    The impacts of unprotected start up and shut down on fuel cell performance degradation was investigated using both single cell and dual cell configurations. It was found that the air/fuel boundary developed at the anode side after a fuel cell shut down or during its restart caused extremely quick degradation of the cathode. The thickness, the electrochemical active surface area, and the performance of the cathode catalyst layer were significantly reduced. By using a dual cell configuration, cathode potential as high as two times of open circuit voltage was measured, and the corrosion current flowing externally between the two cells was detected and quantified. Carbon catalyst-support corrosion/oxidation at such a high potential was largely responsible for the accelerated fuel cell performance degradation.

  19. Enhanced Performance of non-PGM Catalysts in Air Operated PEM-Fuel Cells

    DOE PAGES

    Barkholtz, Heather M.; Chong, Lina; Kaiser, Zachary Brian; ...

    2016-10-13

    Here a non-platinum group metal (non-PGM) oxygen reduction catalyst was prepared from “support-free” zeolitic imidazolate framework (ZIF) precursor and tested in the proton exchange membrane fuel cell with air as the cathode feed. The iron nitrogen and carbon composite (FeeNeC) based catalyst has high specific surface area decorated uniformly with active sites, which redefines the triple phase boundary (TPB) and requires re-optimization of the cathodic membrane electrode fabrication to ensure efficient mass and charge transports to the catalyst surface. This study reports an effort in optimizing catalytic ink formulation for the membrane electrode preparation and its impact to the fuelmore » cell performance under air. Through optimization, the fuel cell areal current density as high as 115.2 mA/cm2 at 0.8 V or 147.6 mA/cm2 at 0.8 ViR-free has been achieved under one bar air. We also investigated impacts on fuel cell internal impedance and the water formation.« less

  20. Proton Emission Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell Stack Power Generation Using Cathode Humidification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erikpara, Jolomi

    The replacement of the power source for stationary and aeronautic applications with alternative energy source has been the subject of countless research. The Proton Exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) has been one of the most promising alternatives because of its quick start up advantages, portability, and quietness of operation with an ability to generate several kilowatts of power. In the short term, this power source can be employed to meet different energy needs and power a medium size Unpiloted Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Fuel Cells can also be applied as a source of emergency power needs for aeronautical applications. In the presence of all these advantages, the power optimization of the PEMFC system has been greatly inhibited by the water and heat generated as by-products of the electrochemical reactions. The operational parameters like pressure, temperature and relative humidity; have been shown to influence the overall water content of the cell and also improve the power generation through improved current density output. This research is aimed at improving the power generation of low temperature (< 100°C) fuel cells through the use of optimal operational parameters and electrode humidity control to mitigate the water effect within the cell. The effects of these processes were investigated with a two cell stack and the results compared with other laboratory experiments showed a power improvement of 0.4Watts using the method employed by this research. The same approach was employed on a 4-cell stack, and an improvement above 369Watts as given by present water management technique was achieved. Maximum power output of 382W was achieved at 0.45V from the 4-cell stack before mass transport limitations were reached.

  1. Synthesis and Characterization of CO- and H2S-Tolerant Electrocatalysts for PEM Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    Shamsuddin Ilias

    2005-07-20

    The present state-of-art Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) technology is based on platinum (Pt) as a catalyst for both the fuel (anode) and air (cathode) electrodes. This catalyst is highly active but susceptible to poisoning by CO, which may be present in the H{sub 2}-fuel used or may be introduced during the fuel processing. Presence of trace amount of CO and H{sub 2}S in the H{sub 2}-fuel poisons the anode irreversibly and decreases the performance of the PEMFCs. In an effort to reduce the Pt-loading and improve the PEMFC performance, we propose to synthesize a number of Pt-based binary, ternary, and quaternary electrocatalysts using Ru, Mo, Ir, Ni, and Co as a substitute for Pt. By fine-tuning the metal loadings and compositions of candidate electrocatalysts, we plan to minimize the cost and optimize the catalyst activity and performance in PEMFC. The feasibility of the novel electrocatalysts will be demonstrated in the proposed effort with gas phase CO and H{sub 2}S concentrations typical of those found in reformed fuel gas with coal/natural gas/methanol feedstocks. During this reporting period we synthesized several tri-metallic electrocatalysts catalysts (Pt/Ru/Mo, Pt/Ru/Ir, Pt/Ru/W, Ptr/Ru/Co, and Pt/Ru/Se on Vulcan XG72 Carbon) by ultrasonication method. These catalysts were tested in MEAs for CO tolerance at 20 and 100 ppm CO concentrations. From Galvonstatic study the catalytic activity was found in the order of: Pt/Ru/Mo/C > Pt/Ru/Ir/C > Pt/Ru/W/C > Ptr/Ru/Co/C > and Pt/Ru/Se. The catalysts performed very well at 20 ppm CO but at 100 ppm CO performance dropped significantly.

  2. Synthesis and Characterization of CO- and H2S- Tolerant Electrocatalysts for PEM Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    Shamsuddin Ilias

    2006-12-31

    The present state-of-art Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) technology is based on platinum (Pt) as a catalyst for both the fuel (anode) and air (cathode) electrodes. This catalyst is highly active but susceptible to poisoning by CO, which may be present in the H{sub 2}-fuel used or may be introduced during the fuel processing. Presence of trace amount of CO in the H{sub 2}-fuel poisons the anode irreversibly and decreases the performance of the PEMFCs. In an effort to reduce the Pt-loading and improve the PEMFC performance, we have synthesized a number of Pt-based binary, ternary, and quaternary electrocatalysts using Ru, Mo, Ir, Ni, and Co as a substitute for Pt. Co-catalytic activities were found for the elements Mo, Ru, and Ir. Both the ternary (Pt/Ru/Mo/C) and quaternary (Pt/Ru/Mo/Ir/C) metal catalysts in membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) outperformed pure Pt/C catalysts at all levels in presence of CO up to 100 ppm. Preliminary results suggest that by substituting Mo, Ru, and Ir in catalyst formulation, it is possible to reduce Pt-loading and increase CO-tolerance in PEMFC application. Comparison studies showed that the newly developed ternary and quaternary catalysts with lower Pt outperformed pure Pt catalyst in presence of CO-contaminated H{sub 2} fuel. High performance at low Pt loading of less than 0.4 mg/cm{sup 2} was achieved, thus exceeding the initial targets.

  3. Using Heteropolyacids in the Anode Catalyst Layer of Dimethyl Ether PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Ferrell III, J. R.; Turner, J. A.; Herring, A. M.

    2008-01-01

    In this study, polarization experiments were performed on a direct dimethyl ether fuel cell (DMEFC). The experimental setup allowed for independent control of water and DME flow rates. Thus the DME flow rate, backpressure, and water flow rate were optimized. Three heteropoly acids, phosphomolybdic acid (PMA), phosphotungstic acid (PTA), and silicotungstic acid (STA) were incorporated into the anode catalyst layer in combination with Pt/C. Both PTA-Pt and STA-Pt showed higher performance than the Pt control at 30 psig of backpressure. Anodic polarizations were also performed, and Tafel slopes were extracted from the data. The trends in the Tafel slope values are in agreement with the polarization data. The addition of phosphotungstic acid more than doubled the power density of the fuel cell, compared to the Pt control.

  4. Application of lattice Boltzmann method to a micro-scale flow simulation in the porous electrode of a PEM fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, J.; Matsubara, M.; Li, X.

    The electrode of a PEM fuel cell is a porous medium generally made of carbon cloth or paper. Such a porous electrode has been widely modeled as a homogeneous porous medium with a constant permeability in the literature of PEM fuel cell. In fact, most of gas diffusion media are not homogeneous having non-isotropic permeability. In case of carbon cloth, the porous structure consists of carbon fiber tows, the bundles of carbon fiber, and void spaces among tows. The combinational effect of the void space and tow permeability results in the effective permeability of the porous electrode. In this work, the lattice Boltzmann method is applied to the simulation of the flow in the electrode of a PEM fuel cell. The electrode is modeled as void space and porous region which has certain permeability and the Stokes and Brinkman equations are solved in the flow field using the lattice Boltzmann model. The effective permeability of the porous medium is calculated and compared to an analytical calculation showing a good agreement. It has been shown that the permeability of porous medium is strongly dependant on the fiber tow orientation in three-dimensional simulations. The lattice Boltzmann method is an efficient and effective numerical scheme to analyze the flow in a complicated geometry such as the porous medium.

  5. "Dedicated To The Continued Education, Training and Demonstration of PEM Fuel Cell Powered Lift Trucks In Real-World Applications."

    SciTech Connect

    Dever, Thomas J.

    2011-11-29

    The project objective was to further assist in the commercialization of fuel cell and H2 technology by building further upon the successful fuel cell lift truck deployments that were executed by LiftOne in 2007, with longer deployments of this technology in real-world applications. We involved facilities management, operators, maintenance personnel, safety groups, and Authorities Having Jurisdiction. LiftOne strived to educate a broad group from many areas of industry and the community as to the benefits of this technology. Included were First Responders from the local areas. We conducted month long deployments with end-users to validate the value proposition and the market requirements for fuel cell powered lift trucks. Management, lift truck operators, Authorities Having Jurisdiction and the general public experienced 'hands on' fuel cell experience in the material handling applications. We partnered with Hydrogenics in the execution of the deployment segment of the program. Air Products supplied the compressed H2 gas and the mobile fueler. Data from the Fuel Cell Power Packs and the mobile fueler was sent to the DOE and NREL as required. Also, LiftOne conducted the H2 Education Seminars on a rotating basis at their locations for lift trucks users and for other selected segments of the community over the project's 36 month duration. Executive Summary The technology employed during the deployments program was not new, as the equipment had been used in several previous demos and early adoptions within the material handling industry. This was the case with the new HyPx Series PEM - Fuel Cell Power Packs used, which had been demo'd before during the 2007 Greater Columbia Fuel Cell Challenge. The Air Products HF-150 Fueler was used outdoors during the deployments and had similarly been used for many previous demo programs. The methods used centered on providing this technology as the power for electric sit-down lift trucks at high profile companies operating large

  6. Dynamic Model and Experimental Validation of a PEM Fuel Cell System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nassif, Younane; Godoy, Emmanuel; Bethoux, Olivier; Roche, Ivan

    Fuel cells are expected to become a challenging technology in terms of efficiency, and fitting the emission reduction schedules [Lemons, J. Power Sources, 29:251, 1] for the automotive application. Their fundamental component consists of two electrodes separated by a membrane. Fuel cells convert chemical energy into electrical energy while producing water and heat. To not disturb the transportation of the reactant gas, a proper membrane hydration needs to be maintained. Two different conditions can occur facing an inadequate water balance which decreases the performance of the stack. An insufficient removal of the accumulated water causes water flooding, decreasing reactant transport rate. Similarly, excessive water removal dries the membrane. To monitor the amount of water inside the cell, dynamic model based on the mass conservation principles and thermodynamic properties is developed in the form of nonlinear state space representation. Fick's law and Maxwell-Stefan model are used to describe multicomponent diffusion. Darcy's law is used to define the porous medium permeability. To demonstrate the accuracy of the proposed model, obtained results are compared with measured data at steady states operation mode. Investigation of the steady-state behavior is discussed in this paper.

  7. Design of graphene sheets-supported Pt catalyst layer in PEM fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Park, Seh K.; Shao, Yuyan; Wan, Haiying; Rieke, Peter C.; Viswanathan, Vilayanur V.; Towne, Silas A.; Saraf, Laxmikant V.; Liu, Jun; Lin, Yuehe; Wang, Yong

    2011-03-01

    A series of cathodes using Pt supported onto graphene sheets with different contents of carbon black in the catalyst layer were prepared and characterized. Carbon black was added as a spacer between two-dimensional graphene sheets in the catalyst layer to study its effect on the performances of proton exchange membrane fuel cell. Electrochemical properties and surface morphology of the cathodes with and without carbon black were characterized using cyclic voltammetry, ac-impedance spectroscopy, electrochemical polarization technique, and scanning electron microscopy. The results indicated that carbon black effectively modifies the array of graphene supports, resulting in more Pt nanoparticles available for electrochemical reaction and better mass transport in the catalyst layer.

  8. PEM fuel cells: status and challenges for commercial stationary power applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, Bin; Guo, Qunhui; Pollard, Richard; Rodriguez, Daniel; Smith, Christopher; Elter, John

    2006-08-01

    The past decade has seen tremendous advances in proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) technology: However, there remain many challenges to bring commercially viable stationary PEMFC products to the market. This review, from a manufacturer's perspective, focuses on system reliability and materials compatibility and their strong impact on stack life and overall system durability. Statistical analysis is based on field data from more than 600 stationary PEMFC systems for both continuous and back-up power applications. Sealing materials and coolants are used to illustrate the approaches taken to evaluate materials compatibility studies.

  9. On effective transport coefficients in PEM fuel cell electrodes: Anisotropy of the porous transport layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pharoah, J. G.; Karan, K.; Sun, W.

    This paper reviews the approach taken in the literature to model the effective transport coefficients - mass diffusivity, electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity and hydraulic permeability - of carbon-fibre based porous electrode of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). It is concluded that current PEMFC model do not account for the inherent anisotropic microstructure of the fibrous electrodes. Simulations using a 2-D PEMFC cathode model show that neglecting the anisotropic nature and associated transport coefficients of the porous electrodes significantly influences both the nature and the magnitude of the model predictions. This emphasizes the need to appropriately characterize the relevant anisotropic properties of the fibrous electrode.

  10. SYSTEMS MODELING OF AMMONIA BORANE BEAD REACTOR FOR OFF-BOARD REGENERABLE HYDROGEN STORAGE IN PEM FUEL CELL APPLICATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Brooks, Kriston P.; Devarakonda, Maruthi N.; Rassat, Scot D.; King, Dale A.; Herling, Darrell R.

    2010-06-01

    Out of the materials available for chemical hydrogen storage in PEM fuel cell applications, ammonia borane (AB, NH3BH3) has a high hydrogen storage capacity (upto 19.6% by weight for the release of three hydrogen molecules). Therefore, AB was chosen in our chemical hydride simulation studies. A model for the AB bead reactor system was developed to study the system performance and determine the energy, mass and volume requirements for off-board regenerable hydrogen storage. The system includes hot and cold augers, ballast tank and reactor, product tank, H2 burner and a radiator. One dimensional models based on conservation of mass, species and energy were used to predict important state variables such as reactant and product concentrations, temperatures of various components, flow rates, along with pressure in the reactor system. Control signals to various components are governed by a control system which is modeled as an independent subsystem. Various subsystem components in the models were coded as C language S-functions and implemented in Matlab/Simulink environment. Preliminary system simulation results for a start-up case and for a transient drive cycle indicate accurate trends in the reactor system dynamics.

  11. The effects of mine conditions on the performance of a PEM fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bétournay, Marc C.; Bonnell, Gary; Edwardson, Eric; Paktunc, Dogan; Kaufman, Arthur; Lomma, A. Timothy

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) have been selected to replace conventional underground power sources such as diesel engines, to improve underground air quality, to reduce green house gas emissions and operating costs and to facilitate equipment automation. The effects of underground mining conditions, gases, dust and shock and vibration on the performance of PEMFC's were investigated during extensive testing in an operating underground metal mine. Neither the voltage-amperage nor the power-amperage curves showed significant damage effects, and a post-testing stack inspection showed minor pressure drop, at the higher current density and airflow rate. With the use of an air intake filter, little particle accumulation was registered in the stack, and effluent water testing revealed the presence of rock-derived particles, showing that the stack was able to purge itself of low particle concentrations. No physical damage was imposed to the stack, auxiliary system and hydrogen metal hydride storage unit. Fuel cell performance compared well to pre-test and initial construction power plant data generation. Further tests are recommended to study individual mine gas and particle mineralogy type effects.

  12. Evaluation of the effect of impregnated platinum on PFSA degradation for PEM fuel cells.

    SciTech Connect

    Rodgers, Marianne; Pearman, Benjamin P; Bonville, Leonard J.; Cullen, David A; Mohajeri, Nahid; Slattery, Darlene

    2013-01-01

    One of the main sources of membrane degradation in fuel cells is attack by radicals formed wherever Pt, H2, and O2 are present. The effect of Pt precipitated in the membrane is under debate. Although Pt can provide another site for radical formation, it can also scavenge hydrogen peroxide and radicals in the membrane and improve durability. In this work, the effects of Pt particles within the membrane are evaluated and related to membrane degradation. Membranes were ex situ impregnated with 0, 10, 30, and 50 mol% Pt and then tested for 100 h in a fuel cell, at 90 C/100% relative humidity. The highest degradation was observed with the membranes containing 10 mol% Pt, with fluoride emissions of the same magnitude as those of catalyst coated membranes containing Pt/C. Membranes containing 0, 30, and 50 mol% Pt resulted in very low fluoride emission. The high degradation in the 10 mol% membrane was attributed to the low density of platinum particles, which allows generated radicals to attack the membrane before being deactivated. In the 30 mol% and 50 mol% membranes, where the platinum particles were denser, the generated radicals became deactivated on neighboring particles before they attacked the membrane.

  13. Liquid-Water Uptake and Removal in PEM Fuel-Cell Components

    SciTech Connect

    Das, Prodip K.; Gunterman, Haluna P.; Kwong, Anthony; Weber, Adam Z.

    2011-09-23

    Management of liquid water is critical for optimal fuel-cell operation, especially at low temperatures. It is therefore important to understand the wetting properties and water holdup of the various fuel-cell layers. While the gas-diffusion layer is relatively hydrophobic and exhibits a strong intermediate wettability, the catalyst layer is predominantly hydrophilic. In addition, the water content of the ionomer in the catalyst layer is lower than that of the bulk membrane, and is affected by platinum surfaces. Liquid-water removal occurs through droplets on the surface of the gas-diffusion layer. In order to predict droplet instability and detachment, a force balance is used. While the pressure or drag force on the droplet can be derived, the adhesion or surface-tension force requires measurement using a sliding-angle approach. It is shown that droplets produced by forcing water through the gas-diffusion layer rather than placing them on top of it show much stronger adhesion forces owing to the contact to the subsurface water.

  14. Parameter analysis of PEM fuel cell hysteresis effects for transient load use

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Talj, R.; Azib, T.; Béthoux, O.; Remy, G.; Marchand, C.; Berthelot, E.

    2011-05-01

    This paper focuses on the hysteresis effect of the polarization characteristics of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), mainly due to the compressor-air supply system dynamics. Indeed in PEMFC/ultracapacitor hybrid vehicles, fuel cells can be used to supply the low frequencies of the power demand only. First, the different parts of a FC system are described and modeled in order to analyze the transient stack performance decrease and to identify its main influential factors for automotive applications. Then, apart from humidity and temperature variations, each phenomenon is dynamically described, leading to a complete mathematical model based on macroscopic component parameters. Thus, an analytical model based on this set of equations enables us to draw the static voltage versus current FC characteristics. Furthermore, the hysteresis effect on the V-I curve, which still occurs during low dynamic responses, is shown while temperature and humidity are kept constant. Finally, dynamic responses of the Ballard PEMFC Nexa 1200 W generator are analyzed, and detailed experimentation and simulation are carried out for a large magnitude sinusoidal waveform at different frequencies.

  15. Why do proton conducting polybenzimidazole phosphoric acid membranes perform well in high-temperature PEM fuel cells?

    PubMed

    Melchior, Jan-Patrick; Majer, Günter; Kreuer, Klaus-Dieter

    2016-12-21

    Transport properties and hydration behavior of phosphoric acid/(benz)imidazole mixtures are investigated by diverse NMR techniques, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and conductivity measurements. The monomeric systems can serve as models for phosphoric acid/poly-benzimidazole membranes which are known for their exceptional performance in high temperature PEM fuel cells. (1)H- and (31)P-NMR data show benzimidazole acting as a strong Brønsted base with respect to neat phosphoric acid. Since benzimidazole's nitrogens are fully protonated with a low rate for proton exchange with phosphate species, proton diffusion and conduction processes must take place within the hydrogen bond network of phosphoric acid only. The proton exchange dynamics between phosphate and benzimidazole species pass through the intermediate exchange regime (with respect to NMR line separations) with exchange times being close to typical diffusion times chosen in PFG-NMR diffusion measurements (ms regime). The resulting effects, as described by the Kärger equation, are included into the evaluation of PFG-NMR data for obtaining precise proton diffusion coefficients. The highly reduced proton diffusion coefficient within the phosphoric acid part of the model systems compared to neat phosphoric acid is suggested to be the immediate consequence of proton subtraction from phosphoric acid. This reduces hydrogen bond network frustration (imbalance of the number of proton donors and acceptors) and therefore also the rate of structural proton diffusion, phosphoric acid's acidity and hygroscopicity. Reduced water uptake, shown by TGA, goes along with reduced electroosmotic water drag which is suggested to be the reason for PBI-phosphoric acid membranes performing better in fuel cells than other phosphoric-acid-containing electrolytes with higher protonic conductivity.

  16. Microwave-assisted synthesis of Pt/CNT nanocomposite electrocatalysts for PEM fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Weimin; Chen, Jun; Swiegers, Gerhard F; Ma, Zi-Feng; Wallace, Gordon G

    2010-02-01

    Microwave-assisted heating of functionalized, single-wall carbon nanotubes (FCNTs) in ethylene glycol solution containing H(2)PtCl(6), led to the reductive deposition of Pt nanoparticles (2.5-4 nm) over the FCNTs, yielding an active catalyst for proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). In single-cell testing, the Pt/FCNT composites displayed a catalytic performance that was superior to Pt nanoparticles supported by raw (unfunctionalized) CNTs (RCNTs) or by carbon black (C), prepared under identical conditions. The supporting single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs), functionalized with carboxyl groups, were studied by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), cyclic voltammetry (CV), and Raman spectroscopy. The loading level, morphology, and crystallinity of the Pt/SWNT catalysts were determined using TGA, SEM, and XRD. The electrochemically active catalytic surface area of the Pt/FCNT catalysts was 72.9 m(2)/g-Pt.

  17. Statistic analysis of operational influences on the cold start behaviour of PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oszcipok, M.; Riemann, D.; Kronenwett, U.; Kreideweis, M.; Zedda, M.

    For portable fuel cell systems a multitude of applications have been presented over the past few years. Most of these applications were developed for indoor use, and not optimised for outdoor conditions. The key problem concerning this case is the cold start ability of the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). This topic was first investigated by the automotive industry, which has the same requirements for alternative traction systems as for conventional combustion engines. The technical challenge is the fact that produced water freezes to ice after shut-down of the PEMFC and during start-up when the temperature is below 0 °C. To investigate the basic cold start behaviour isothermal, potentiostatic single cell experiments were performed and the results are presented. The cold start behaviour is evaluated using the calculated cumulated charge transfer through the membrane which directly corresponds with the amount of produced water in the PEMFC. The charge transfer curves were mathematically fitted to obtain only three parameters describing the cold start-up with the cumulated charge transfer density and the results are analysed using the statistical software Cornerstone 4.0. The results of the statistic regression analyses are used to establish a statistic-based prediction model of the cold start behaviour which describes the behaviour of the current density during the experiment. The regression shows that the initial start current mainly depends on the membrane humidity and the operation voltage. After the membrane humidity has reached its maximum, the current density drops down to zero. The current decay also depends on the constant gas flows of the reactant gases. Ionic conductivity of the membrane and charge transfer resistance were investigated by a series of ac impedance spectra during potentiostatic operation of the single cell at freezing temperatures. Cyclic voltammetry and polarisation curves between cold start experiments show degradation

  18. Computationally efficient modeling of the dynamic behavior of a portable PEM fuel cell stack

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philipps, S. P.; Ziegler, C.

    A numerically efficient mathematical model of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stack is presented. The aim of this model is to study the dynamic response of a PEMFC stack subjected to load changes under the restriction of short computing time. This restriction was imposed in order for the model to be applicable for nonlinear model predictive control (NMPC). The dynamic, non-isothermal model is based on mass and energy balance equations, which are reduced to ordinary differential equations in time. The reduced equations are solved for a single cell and the results are upscaled to describe the fuel cell stack. This approach makes our calculations computationally efficient. We study the feasibility of capturing water balance effects with such a reduced model. Mass balance equations for water vapor and liquid water including the phase change as well as a steady-state membrane model accounting for the electro-osmotic drag and diffusion of water through the membrane are included. Based on this approach the model is successfully used to predict critical operating conditions by monitoring the amount of liquid water in the stack and the stack impedance. The model and the overall calculation method are validated using two different load profiles on realistic time scales of up to 30 min. The simulation results are used to clarify the measured characteristics of the stack temperature and the stack voltage, which has rarely been done on such long time scales. In addition, a discussion of the influence of flooding and dry-out on the stack voltage is included. The modeling approach proves to be computationally efficient: an operating time of 0.5 h is simulated in less than 1 s, while still showing sufficient accuracy.

  19. Mechanism of Pinhole Formation in Membrane Electrode Assemblies for PEM Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stanic, Vesna; Hoberecht, Mark

    2004-01-01

    The pinhole formation mechanism was studied with a variety of MEAs using ex-situ and in-situ methods. The ex-situ tests included the MEA aging in oxygen and MEA heat of ignition. In-situ durability tests were performed in fuel cells at different operating conditions with hydrogen and oxygen. After the in-situ failure, MEAs were analyzed with an Olympus BX 60 optical microscope and Cambridge 120 scanning electron microscope. MEA chemical analysis was performed with an IXRF EDS microanalysis system. The MEA failure analyses showed that pinholes and tears were the MEA failure modes. The pinholes appeared in MEA areas where the membrane thickness was drastically reduced. Their location coincided with the stress concentration points, indicating that membrane creep was responsible for their formation. Some of the pinholes detected had contaminant particles precipitated within the membrane. This mechanism of pinhole formation was correlated to the polymer blistering.

  20. Exergy analysis of an ethanol fuelled proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system for automobile applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Shuqin; Douvartzides, Savvas; Tsiakaras, Panagiotis

    An integrated ethanol fuelled proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) power system was investigated following a second law exergy analysis. The system was assumed to have the typical design for automobile applications and was comprised of a vaporizer/mixer, a steam reformer, a CO-shift reactor, a CO-remover (PROX) reactor, a PEMFC and a burner. The exergy analysis was applied for different PEMFC power and voltage outputs assuming the ethanol steam reforming at about 600 K and the CO-shift reaction at about 400 K. A detailed parametric analysis of the plant is presented and operation guidelines are suggested for effective performance. In every case, the exergy analysis method is proved to allow an accurate allocation of the deficiencies of the subsystems of the plant and serves as a unique tool for essential technical improvements.

  1. Inorganic-based proton conductive composite membranes for elevated temperature and reduced relative humidity PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Chunmei

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are regarded as highly promising energy conversion systems for future transportation and stationary power generation and have been under intensive investigations for the last decade. Unfortunately, cutting edge PEM fuel cell design and components still do not allow economically commercial implementation of this technology. The main obstacles are high cost of proton conductive membranes, low-proton conductivity at low relative humidity (RH), and dehydration and degradation of polymer membranes at high temperatures. The objective of this study was to develop a systematic approach to design a high proton conductive composite membrane that can provide a conductivity of approximately 100 mS cm-1 under hot and dry conditions (120°C and 50% RH). The approach was based on fundamental and experimental studies of the proton conductivity of inorganic additives and composite membranes. We synthesized and investigated a variety of organic-inorganic Nafion-based composite membranes. In particular, we analyzed their fundamental properties, which included thermal stability, morphology, the interaction between inorganic network and Nafion clusters, and the effect of inorganic phase on the membrane conductivity. A wide range of inorganic materials was studied in advance in order to select the proton conductive inorganic additives for composite membranes. We developed a conductivity measurement method, with which the proton conductivity characteristics of solid acid materials, zirconium phosphates, sulfated zirconia (S-ZrO2), phosphosilicate gels, and Santa Barbara Amorphous silica (SBA-15) were discussed in detail. Composite membranes containing Nafion and different amounts of functionalized inorganic additives (sulfated inorganics such as S-ZrO2, SBA-15, Mobil Composition of Matter MCM-41, and S-SiO2, and phosphonated inorganic P-SiO2) were synthesized with different methods. We incorporated inorganic particles within Nafion clusters

  2. Improved oxygen reduction reaction catalyzed by Pt/Clay/Nafion nanocomposite for PEM fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Narayanamoorthy, B; Datta, K K R; Eswaramoorthy, M; Balaji, S

    2012-07-25

    A novel Pt nanoparticle (Pt NP) embedded aminoclay/Nafion (Pt/AC/N) nanocomposite catalyst film was prepared for oxygen reduction reaction by sol-gel method. The prepared nanocomposite films were surface characterized using XRD and TEM and thermal stability was studied by TGA. The prepared film has firmly bound Pt NP and could exhibit an improved electro-reduction activity compared to vulcan carbon/Nafion supported Pt NP (Pt/VC/N). Moreover, the Pt/AC/N film possessed good stability in the acidic environment. The limiting current density of the Pt/AC/N film with 35.4 μg/cm(2) of Pt loading was found to be 4.2 mA/cm(2), which is 30% higher than that of the Pt/VC/N. The maximum H2O2 intermediate formation was found to be ∼1.6% and the reaction found to follow a four electron transfer mechanism. Accelerated durability test for 2000 potential cycles showed that ca. 78% of initial limiting current was retained. The results are encouraging for possible use of the Pt/AC/N as the free-standing electrocatalyst layer for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells.

  3. A Semi-Empirical Two Step Carbon Corrosion Reaction Model in PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Young, Alan; Colbow, Vesna; Harvey, David; Rogers, Erin; Wessel, Silvia

    2013-01-01

    The cathode CL of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) was exposed to high potentials, 1.0 to 1.4 V versus a reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE), that are typically encountered during start up/shut down operation. While both platinum dissolution and carbon corrosion occurred, the carbon corrosion effects were isolated and modeled. The presented model separates the carbon corrosion process into two reaction steps; (1) oxidation of the carbon surface to carbon-oxygen groups, and (2) further corrosion of the oxidized surface to carbon dioxide/monoxide. To oxidize and corrode the cathode catalyst carbon support, the CL was subjected to an accelerated stress test cycled the potential from 0.6 VRHE to an upper potential limit (UPL) ranging from 0.9 to 1.4 VRHE at varying dwell times. The reaction rate constants and specific capacitances of carbon and platinum were fitted by evaluating the double layer capacitance (Cdl) trends. Carbon surface oxidation increased the Cdl due to increased specific capacitance for carbon surfaces with carbon-oxygen groups, while the second corrosion reaction decreased the Cdl due to loss of the overall carbon surface area. The first oxidation step differed between carbon types, while both reaction rate constants were found to have a dependency on UPL, temperature, and gas relative humidity.

  4. Study of a small heat and power PEM fuel cell system generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubert, Charles-Emile; Achard, Patrick; Metkemeijer, Rudolf

    A micro-cogenerator based on a natural gas reformer and a PEMFC is studied in its entirety, pointing out the links between different sub-systems. The study is conducted within the EPACOP project, which aims at testing PEMFC systems on user sites to evaluate development and acceptance of this technology for small stationary applications. Five units were installed from November 2002 to May 2003 and have been operated until now, in real life conditions. They deliver up to 4 kW of AC power and about 6 kW of heat. Center for Energy and Processes (CEP), one of the scientific partners, processes and analyses the experimental data from the five units, running in different regions of France. This database and the study of the flowsheet enable to propose changes to enhance the efficiency of the system composed of a steam reforming, a shift and a preferential oxidation reactor, a fuel cell stack and heat exchangers. The steady state modelling and optimisation of the system is done with Thermoptim ®, a software developed within CEP for applied thermodynamics. At constant power, main targets are to decrease natural gas consumption, to increase heat recovery and to improve the water balance. This study is made using the pinch point analysis, at full load and partial load. Main results of this study are different system configurations that allow improvement of gross electrical and thermal efficiency and enable to obtain a positive water balance.

  5. Simulation and experimental validation of droplet dynamics in microchannels of PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashrafi, Moosa; Shams, Mehrzad; Bozorgnezhad, Ali; Ahmadi, Goodarz

    2016-12-01

    In this study, dynamics of droplets in the channels of proton exchange membrane fuel cells with straight and serpentine flow-fields was investigated. Tapered and filleted channels were suggested for the straight and serpentine flow-fields respectively in order to improve water removal in channels. Surface tension and wall adhesion forces were applied by using the volume of fluid method. The hydrophilic walls and hydrophobic gas diffusion layer were considered. The mechanism of droplets movement with different diameters was studied by using the Weber and capillary numbers in simple and tapered straight channels. It was illustrated that the flooding was reduced in tapered channel due to increase of water removal rate, and available reaction sites improved subsequently. In addition, film flow was formed in the tapered channel more than the simple channel, so pressure fluctuation was decreased in the tapered channel. Moreover, the water coverage ratio of hydrophilic tapered surface was more than the simple channel, which enhanced water removal from the channel. The filleted serpentine channel was introduced to improve water removal from the simple serpentine channel. It was shown by observation of the unsteady and time-averaged two-phase pressure drop that in the filleted serpentine channels, the two-phase pressure drop was far less than the simple serpentine channel, and also the accumulation of water droplets in the elbows was less leading to lower pressure fluctuation. The numerical simulation results were validated by experiments.

  6. Graphene-Supported Platinum Catalyst-Based Membrane Electrode Assembly for PEM Fuel Cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Devrim, Yilser; Albostan, Ayhan

    2016-08-01

    The aim of this study is the preparation and characterization of a graphene-supported platinum (Pt) catalyst for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) applications. The graphene-supported Pt catalysts were prepared by chemical reduction of graphene and chloroplatinic acid (H2PtCl6) in ethylene glycol. X-ray powder diffraction, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and scanning electron microscopy have been used to analyze structure and surface morphology of the graphene-supported catalyst. The TGA results showed that the Pt loading of the graphene-supported catalyst was 31%. The proof of the Pt particles on the support surfaces was also verified by energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy analysis. The commercial carbon-supported catalyst and prepared Pt/graphene catalysts were used as both anode and cathode electrodes for PEMFC at ambient pressure and 70°C. The maximum power density was obtained for the Pt/graphene-based membrane electrode assembly (MEA) with H2/O2 reactant gases as 0.925 W cm2. The maximum current density of the Pt/graphene-based MEA can reach 1.267 and 0.43 A/cm2 at 0.6 V with H2/O2 and H2/air, respectively. The MEA prepared by the Pt/graphene catalyst shows good stability in long-term PEMFC durability tests. The PEMFC cell voltage was maintained at 0.6 V without apparent voltage drop when operated at 0.43 A/cm2 constant current density and 70°C for 400 h. As a result, PEMFC performance was found to be superlative for the graphene-supported Pt catalyst compared with the Pt/C commercial catalyst. The results indicate the graphene-supported Pt catalyst could be utilized as the electrocatalyst for PEMFC applications.

  7. Artificial Neural Network Modeling of Pt/C Cathode Degradation in PEM Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maleki, Erfan; Maleki, Nasim

    2016-08-01

    Use of computational modeling with a few experiments is considered useful to obtain the best possible result for a final product, without performing expensive and time-consuming experiments. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) can produce clean electricity, but still require further study. An oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) takes place at the cathode, and carbon-supported platinum (Pt/C) is commonly used as an electrocatalyst. The harsh conditions during PEMFC operation result in Pt/C degradation. Observation of changes in the Pt/C layer under operating conditions provides a tool to study the lifetime of PEMFCs and overcome durability issues. Recently, artificial neural networks (ANNs) have been used to solve, predict, and optimize a wide range of scientific problems. In this study, several rates of change at the cathode were modeled using ANNs. The backpropagation (BP) algorithm was used to train the network, and experimental data were employed for network training and testing. Two different models are constructed in the present study. First, the potential cycles, temperature, and humidity are used as inputs to predict the resulting Pt dissolution rate of the Pt/C at the cathode as the output parameter of the network. Thereafter, the Pt dissolution rate and Pt ion diffusivity are regarded as inputs to obtain values of the Pt particle radius change rate, Pt mass loss rate, and surface area loss rate as outputs. The networks are finely tuned, and the modeling results agree well with experimental data. The modeled responses of the ANNs are acceptable for this application.

  8. Intermediate temperature proton conductors for PEM fuel cells based on phosphonic acid as protogenic group: a progress report.

    PubMed

    Steininger, H; Schuster, M; Kreuer, K D; Kaltbeitzel, A; Bingöl, B; Meyer, W H; Schauff, S; Brunklaus, G; Maier, J; Spiess, H W

    2007-04-21

    The melting behaviour and transport properties of straight chain alkanes mono- and difunctionalized with phosphonic acid groups have been investigated as a function of their length. The increase of melting temperature and decrease of proton conductivity with increasing chain length is suggested to be the consequence of an increasing ordering of the alkane segments which constrains the free aggregation of the phosphonic acid groups. However, the proton mobility is reduced to a greater extent than the proton diffusion coefficient indicating an increasing cooperativity of proton transport with increasing length of the alkane segment. The results clearly indicate that the "spacer concept", which had been proven successful in the optimization of the proton conductivity of heterocycle based systems, fails in the case of phosphonic acid functionalized polymers. Instead, a very high concentration of phosphonic acid functional groups forming "bulky" hydrogen bonded aggregates is suggested to be essential for obtaining very high proton conductivity. Aggregation is also suggested to reduce condensation reactions generally observed in phosphonic acid containing systems. On the basis of this understanding, the proton conductivities of poly(vinyl phosphonic acid) and poly(meta-phenylene phosphonic acid) are discussed. Though both polymers exhibit a substantial concentration of phosphonic acid groups, aggregation seems to be constrained to such an extent that intrinsic proton conductivity is limited to values below sigma = 10(-3) S cm(-1) at T = 150 degrees C. The results suggest that different immobilization concepts have to be developed in order to minimize the conductivity reduction compared to the very high intrinsic proton conductivity of neat phosphonic acid under quasi dry conditions. In the presence of high water activities, however, (as usually present in PEM fuel cells) the very high ion exchange capacities (IEC) possible for phosphonic acid functionalized ionomers (IEC

  9. Water Management In PEM Fuel Cell -“ A Lattice-Boltzmann Modeling Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Mukherjee, Shiladitya; Cole, James Vernon; Jain, Kunal; Gidwani, Ashok

    2009-06-01

    In Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs), water management and the effective transport of water through the gas-diffusion-layer (GDL) are key issues for improved performance at high power density and for durability during freeze-thaw cycles. The diffusion layer is a thin (~150-350{micro}m), porous material typically composed of a web of carbon fibers and particles, and is usually coated with hydrophobic Teflon to remove the excess water through capillary action. In-situ diagnostics of water movement and gas-reactant transport through this thin opaque substrate is challenging. Numerical analyses are typically based on simplified assumptions, such as Darcy's Law and Leverett functions for the capillary pressure. The objective of this work is to develop a high fidelity CFD modeling and analysis tool to capture the details of multiphase transport through the porous GDL. The tool can be utilized to evaluate GDL material design concepts and optimize systems based on the interactions between cell design, materials, and operating conditions. The flow modeling is based on the Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM). LBM is a powerful modeling tool to simulate multiphase flows. Its strength is in its kinetic theory based foundation, which provides a fundamental basis for incorporating intermolecular forces that lead to liquid-gas phase separation and capillary effects without resorting to expensive or ad-hoc interface reconstruction schemes. At the heart of the solution algorithm is a discrete form of the well-known Boltzmann Transport Equation (BTE) for molecular distribution, tailored to recover the continuum Navier-Stokes flow. The solution advances by a streaming and collision type algorithm, mimicking actual molecular physics, which makes it suitable for porous media involving complex boundaries. We developed a numerical scheme to reconstruct various porous GDL microstructures including Teflon loading. Single and multiphase LBM models are implemented to compute

  10. Investigation of water droplet dynamics in PEM fuel cell gas channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gopalan, Preethi

    Water management in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) has remained one of the most important issues that need to be addressed before its commercialization in automotive applications. Accumulation of water on the gas diffusion layer (GDL) surface in a PEMFC introduces a barrier for transport of reactant gases through the GDL to the catalyst layer. Despite the fact that the channel geometry is one of the key design parameters of a fluidic system, very limited research is available to study the effect of microchannel geometry on the two-phase flow structure. In this study, the droplet-wall dynamics and two-phase pressure drop across the water droplet present in a typical PEMFC channel, were examined in auto-competitive gas channel designs (0.4 x 0.7 mm channel cross section). The liquid water flow pattern inside the gas channel was analyzed for different air velocities. Experimental data was analyzed using the Concus-Finn condition to determine the wettability characteristics in the corner region. It was confirmed that the channel angle along with the air velocity and the channel material influences the water distribution and holdup within the channel. Dynamic contact angle emerged as an important parameter in controlling the droplet-wall interaction. Experiments were also performed to understand how the inlet location of the liquid droplet on the GDL surface affects the droplet dynamic behavior in the system. It was found that droplets emerging near the channel wall or under the land lead to corner filling of the channel. Improvements in the channel design has been proposed based on the artificial channel roughness created to act as capillary grooves to transport the liquid water away from the land area. For droplets emerging near the center of the channel, beside the filling and no-filling behavior reported in the literature, a new droplet jumping behavior was observed. As droplets grew and touched the sidewalls, they jumped off to the sidewall leaving the

  11. Development of Novel Non-Pt Group Metal Electrocatalysts for PEM Fuel Cell Applications

    SciTech Connect

    Mukerjee, Sanjeev; Atanassov, Plamen; Barton, Scott; Dale, Nilesh; Halevi, Bar

    2016-01-04

    The objective of this multi-institutional effort was to comprehensively pursue the goal of eliminating noble metal (Pt group metals, PGM) from the cathodic oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) electrode thereby providing a quantum leap in lowering the overall PGM loading in a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEMFC). The overall project scope encompassed (a) comprehensive materials discovery effort, (b) a concomitant effort to scale up these materials with very high ( ±5%) reproducibility, both intra and inter, (c) understanding mass transport in porous medium both in gas diffusion and micro-porous layers for enhanced areal activity, (d) understanding mechanistic aspects of active site structure and ORR electrocatalytic pathway. Overall project milestones and metrics were (a) first phase effort based on performance in oxygen where the project’s Go/No-Go decision point milestone of 100 mA/cm2 at 0.8 V (internal resistance-free, iR-free) at 80°C, pure H2/O2, with 1.5 bar total pressure was met. Subsequently, the principle objectives were to (a) transition the project from H2/O2 to H2/Air with slated target of exceeding 30 mA/cm2 @ 0.8 V, 2.5 bar total pressure and an end of the project target of 1 A/cm2 @ 0.4 V (same total pressure), both under 100% relative humidity. The target for catalyst material scale up was to achieve 100 g batch size at the end of the program. This scale up target had a quality control milestone of less than 5% variation of activity measured with H2/Air (2.5 bar total pressure) at 0.8 V. In addition, the project also aimed at arriving at a unified understanding of the nature of active sites in these catalysts as well as some preliminary understanding of the mechanistic pathway. Also addressed is the development of an integrated method for determination of mass transport parameters using a combination of Helox experiments and modeling of the gas

  12. Analyzing Structural Changes of Fe-N-C Cathode Catalysts in PEM Fuel Cell by Mößbauer Spectroscopy of Complete Membrane Electrode Assemblies.

    PubMed

    Kramm, Ulrike I; Lefèvre, Michel; Bogdanoff, Peter; Schmeißer, Dieter; Dodelet, Jean-Pol

    2014-11-06

    The applicability of analyzing by Mößbauer spectroscopy the structural changes of Fe-N-C catalysts that have been tested at the cathode of membrane electrode assemblies in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells is demonstrated. The Mößbauer characterization of powders of the same catalysts was recently described in our previous publication. A possible change of the iron species upon testing in fuel cell was investigated here by Mößbauer spectroscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray cross-sectional imaging, and neutron activation analysis. Our results show that the absorption probability of γ rays by the iron nuclei in Fe-N-C is strongly affected by the presence of Nafion and water content. A detailed investigation of the effect of an oxidizing treatment (1.2 V) of the non-noble cathode in PEM fuel cell indicates that the observed activity decay is mainly attributable to carbon oxidation causing a leaching of active iron sites hosted in the carbon matrix.

  13. Fuel cell CO sensor

    DOEpatents

    Grot, Stephen Andreas; Meltser, Mark Alexander; Gutowski, Stanley; Neutzler, Jay Kevin; Borup, Rodney Lynn; Weisbrod, Kirk

    1999-12-14

    The CO concentration in the H.sub.2 feed stream to a PEM fuel cell stack is monitored by measuring current and/or voltage behavior patterns from a PEM-probe communicating with the reformate feed stream. Pattern recognition software may be used to compare the current and voltage patterns from the PEM-probe to current and voltage telltale outputs determined from a reference cell similar to the PEM-probe and operated under controlled conditions over a wide range of CO concentrations in the H.sub.2 fuel stream. A CO sensor includes the PEM-probe, an electrical discharge circuit for discharging the PEM-probe to monitor the CO concentration, and an electrical purging circuit to intermittently raise the anode potential of the PEM-probe's anode to at least about 0.8 V (RHE) to electrochemically oxidize any CO adsorbed on the probe's anode catalyst.

  14. A numerical investigation of the effects of compression force on PEM fuel cell performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Z. Y.; Liu, C. T.; Chang, H. P.; Li, C. H.; Huang, K. J.; Sui, P. C.

    In the present study we report on numerical investigations into the effects of compression on the performance of a unit cell. The focus of this study is how the transport properties of the gas diffusion layer (GDL) material, specifically porosity and permeability, affect numerical predictions of cell performance. Experimental data of porosity and permeability of uncompressed and compressed GDLs were obtained using a porometer, and used in numerical simulations. A 3D model with two parallel channels and an membrane electrode assembly (MEA) is constructed for the calculations. Three different configurations of transport properties were tested, i.e. uniform uncompressed GDL properties, uniform compressed GDL properties, and non-homogeneous GDL properties. It is found that the non-homogeneous case shows noticeable differences in predicted cell performance. For the non-homogenous case, simulations with a pressure difference between two cathode channels were carried out to gain insight into the effect of cross-channel flow on the overall prediction of cell performance. We found that the cross-channel flow changes local current density distribution primarily on the high-pressure channel. The present study demonstrates the importance of the proper use of transport properties for the compressed portion of the GDL.

  15. Advanced computational tools for PEM fuel cell design. Part 2. Detailed experimental validation and parametric study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sui, P. C.; Kumar, S.; Djilali, N.

    This paper reports on the systematic experimental validation of a comprehensive 3D CFD-based computational model presented and documented in Part 1. Simulations for unit cells with straight channels, similar to the Ballard Mk902 hardware, are performed and analyzed in conjunction with detailed current mapping measurements and water mass distributions in the membrane-electrode assembly. The experiments were designed to display sensitivity of the cell over a range of operating parameters including current density, humidification, and coolant temperature, making the data particularly well suited for systematic validation. Based on the validation and analysis of the predictions, values of model parameters, including the electro-osmotic drag coefficient, capillary diffusion coefficient, and catalyst specific surface area are determined adjusted to fit experimental data of current density and MEA water content. The predicted net water flux out of the anode (normalized by the total water generated) increases as anode humidification water flow rate is increased, in agreement with experimental results. A modification of the constitutive equation for the capillary diffusivity of water in the porous electrodes that attempts to incorporate the experimentally observed immobile (or irreducible) saturation yields a better fit of the predicted MEA water mass with experimental data. The specific surface area parameter used in the catalyst layer model is found to be effective in tuning the simulations to predict the correct cell voltage over a range of stoichiometries.

  16. Analysis and modeling of PEM fuel cell stack performance: Effect of in situ reverse water gas shift reaction and oxygen bleeding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karimi, G.; Li, Xianguo

    In this study the performance of a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack is analyzed with a mathematical model when the stack operates on hydrocarbon reformate gas as the anode feed stream. It is shown that the effect of carbon dioxide dilution of the hydrogen dominated reformate gas has a minimal impact on the stack performance. However, the CO-poisoning effect due to the in situ reverse water gas shift reaction in the anode feed stream could have a very serious adverse impact on the stack performance, especially at high current densities. Thermodynamic calculations indicate that the equilibrium concentrations of CO could be as high as 100 ppm, generated by the in situ reverse water gas shift reaction, under the typical conditions of PEM fuel cell operation; and are influenced by the stack operating temperature and water content of the reformate anode feed. This CO-poisoning of the stack performance is shown mitigated effectively by introducing about 0.5-1% oxygen to the anode feed.

  17. Final Project Report: Development of Micro-Structural Mitigation Strategies for PEM Fuel Cells: Morphological Simulations and Experimental Approaches

    SciTech Connect

    Wessel, Silvia; Harvey, David

    2013-06-28

    The durability of PEM fuel cells is a primary requirement for large scale commercialization of these power systems in transportation and stationary market applications that target operational lifetimes of 5,000 hours and 40,000 hours by 2015, respectively. Key degradation modes contributing to fuel cell lifetime limitations have been largely associated with the platinum-based cathode catalyst layer. Furthermore, as fuel cells are driven to low cost materials and lower catalyst loadings in order to meet the cost targets for commercialization, the catalyst durability has become even more important. While over the past few years significant progress has been made in identifying the underlying causes of fuel cell degradation and key parameters that greatly influence the degradation rates, many gaps with respect to knowledge of the driving mechanisms still exist; in particular, the acceleration of the mechanisms due to different structural compositions and under different fuel cell conditions remains an area not well understood. The focus of this project was to address catalyst durability by using a dual path approach that coupled an extensive range of experimental analysis and testing with a multi-scale modeling approach. With this, the major technical areas/issues of catalyst and catalyst layer performance and durability that were addressed are: 1. Catalyst and catalyst layer degradation mechanisms (Pt dissolution, agglomeration, Pt loss, e.g. Pt in the membrane, carbon oxidation and/or corrosion). a. Driving force for the different degradation mechanisms. b. Relationships between MEA performance, catalyst and catalyst layer degradation and operational conditions, catalyst layer composition, and structure. 2. Materials properties a. Changes in catalyst, catalyst layer, and MEA materials properties due to degradation. 3. Catalyst performance a. Relationships between catalyst structural changes and performance. b. Stability of the three-phase boundary and its effect on

  18. Cooling channels design analysis with chaotic laminar trajectory for closed cathode air-cooled PEM fuel cells using non-reacting numerical approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    N, W. Mohamed W. A.

    2015-09-01

    The thermal management of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells contributes directly to the overall power output of the system. For a closed cathode PEM fuel cell design, the use of air as a cooling agent is a non-conventional method due to the large heat load involved, but it offers a great advantage for minimizing the system size. Geometrical aspects of the cooling channels have been identified as the basic parameter for improved cooling performance. Numerical investigation using STAR-CCM computational fluid dynamics platform was applied for non-reacting cooling effectiveness study of various channel geometries for fuel cell application. The aspect ratio of channels and the flow trajectory are the parametric variations. A single cooling plate domain was selected with an applied heat flux of 2400 W/m2 while the cooling air are simulated at Reynolds number of 400 that corresponds to normal air flow velocities using standard 6W fans. Three channel designs of similar number of channels (20 channels) are presented here to analyze the effects of having chaotic laminar flow trajectory compared to the usual straight path trajectory. The total heat transfer between the cooling channel walls and coolant were translated into temperature distribution, maximum temperature gradient, average plate temperature and overall cooling effectiveness analyses. The numerical analysis shows that the chaotic flow promotes a 5% to 10% improvement in cooling effectiveness, depending on the single-axis or multi-axis flow paths applied. Plate temperature uniformity is also more realizable using the chaotic flow designs.

  19. Mass Production Cost Estimation for Direct H2 PEM Fuel Cell Systems for Automotive Applications. 2009 Update

    SciTech Connect

    James, Brian D.; Kalinoski, Jeffrey A.; Baum, Kevin N.

    2010-01-01

    This report is the third annual update of a comprehensive automotive fuel cell cost analysis. It contains estimates for material and manufacturing cost of complete 80 kWnet direct hydrogen proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems suitable for powering light duty automobiles.

  20. Mass Production Cost Estimation For Direct H2 PEM Fuel Cell Systesm for Automotive Applications. 2010 Update

    SciTech Connect

    James, Brian D.; Kalinoski, Jeffrey A.; Baum, Kevin N.

    2010-09-30

    This report is the fourth annual update of a comprehensive automotive fuel cell cost analysis. It contains estimates for material and manufacturing costs of complete 80 kWnet direct-hydrogen proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems suitable for powering light-duty automobiles.

  1. Final Report: Mass Production Cost Estimation of Direct H2 PEM Fuel Cell Systems for Transportation Applications (2012-2016)

    SciTech Connect

    James, Brian David; Huya-Kouadio, Jennie Moton; Houchins, Cassidy; DeSantis, Daniel Allen

    2016-09-01

    This report summarizes project activities for Strategic Analysis, Inc. (SA) Contract Number DE-EE0005236 to the U.S. Department of Energy titled “Transportation Fuel Cell System Cost Assessment”. The project defined and projected the mass production costs of direct hydrogen Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cell power systems for light-duty vehicles (automobiles) and 40-foot transit buses. In each year of the five-year contract, the fuel cell power system designs and cost projections were updated to reflect technology advances. System schematics, design assumptions, manufacturing assumptions, and cost results are presented.

  2. Highly porous PEM fuel cell cathodes based on low density carbon aerogels as Pt-support: Experimental study of the mass-transport losses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marie, Julien; Chenitz, Regis; Chatenet, Marian; Berthon-Fabry, Sandrine; Cornet, Nathalie; Achard, Patrick

    Carbon aerogels exhibiting high porous volumes and high surface areas, differentiated by their pore-size distributions were used as Pt-supports in the cathode catalytic layer of H 2/air-fed PEM fuel cell. The cathodes were tested as 50 cm 2 membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs). The porous structure of the synthesized catalytic layers was impacted by the nanostructure of the Pt-doped carbon aerogels (Pt/CAs). In this paper thus we present an experimental study aiming at establishing links between the porous structure of the cathode catalytic layers and the MEAs performances. For that purpose, the polarization curves of the MEAs were decomposed in 3 contributions: the kinetic loss, the ohmic loss and the mass-transport loss. We showed that the MEAs made with the different carbon aerogels had similar kinetic activities (low current density performance) but very different mass-transport voltage losses. It was found that the higher the pore-size of the initial carbon aerogel, the higher the mass-transport voltage losses. Supported by our porosimetry (N 2-adsorption and Hg-porosimetry) measurement, we interpret this apparent contradiction as the consequence of the more important Nafion penetration into the carbon aeorogel with larger pore-size. Indeed, the catalytic layers made from the larger pore-size carbon aerogel had lower porosities. We thus show in this work that carbon aerogels are materials with tailored nanostructured structure which can be used as model materials for experimentally testing the optimization of the PEM fuel cell catalytic layers.

  3. On-board reforming of biodiesel and bioethanol for high temperature PEM fuel cells: Comparison of autothermal reforming and steam reforming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Stefan; Wörner, Antje

    2011-03-01

    In the 21st century biofuels will play an important role as alternative fuels in the transportation sector. In this paper different reforming options (steam reforming (SR) and autothermal reforming (ATR)) for the on-board conversion of bioethanol and biodiesel into a hydrogen-rich gas suitable for high temperature PEM (HTPEM) fuel cells are investigated using the simulation tool Aspen Plus. Special emphasis is placed on thermal heat integration. Methyl-oleate (C19H36O2) is chosen as reference substance for biodiesel. Bioethanol is represented by ethanol (C2H5OH). For the steam reforming concept with heat integration a maximum fuel processing efficiency of 75.6% (76.3%) is obtained for biodiesel (bioethanol) at S/C = 3. For the autothermal reforming concept with heat integration a maximum fuel processing efficiency of 74.1% (75.1%) is obtained for biodiesel (bioethanol) at S/C = 2 and λ = 0.36 (0.35). Taking into account the better dynamic behaviour and lower system complexity of the reforming concept based on ATR, autothermal reforming in combination with a water gas shift reactor is considered as the preferred option for on-board reforming of biodiesel and bioethanol. Based on the simulation results optimum operating conditions for a novel 5 kW biofuel processor are derived.

  4. Large Scale PEM Electrolysis to Enable Renewable Hydrogen Fuel Production

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-02-10

    applications are enabled by PEM electrolyzer technology: Unmanned underwater and aerial vehicles Remote camp energy storage Space based systems – lunar ... colonies and satellites Submarine life support Fueling of specialty vehicles 15UNCLASSIFIED: Dist A. Approved for public release 65 kg/day Fueling

  5. Regenerative fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swette, Larry L.; Kackley, Nancy D.; Laconti, Anthony B.

    1992-01-01

    A development status evaluation is presented for moderate-temperature, single-unit, regenerative fuel cells using either alkaline or solid polymer proton-exchange membrane (PEM) electrolytes. Attention is given to the results thus far obtained for Pt, Ir, Rh, and Na(x)Pt3O4 catalysts. Alkaline electrolyte tests have been performed on a half-cell basis with a floating-electrode cell; PEM testing has been with complete fuel cells, using Nafion 117.

  6. Regenerative fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swette, Larry L.; Kackley, Nancy D.; Laconti, Anthony B.

    A development status evaluation is presented for moderate-temperature, single-unit, regenerative fuel cells using either alkaline or solid polymer proton-exchange membrane (PEM) electrolytes. Attention is given to the results thus far obtained for Pt, Ir, Rh, and Na(x)Pt3O4 catalysts. Alkaline electrolyte tests have been performed on a half-cell basis with a floating-electrode cell; PEM testing has been with complete fuel cells, using Nafion 117.

  7. Research and development of Proton-Exchange-Membrane (PEM) fuel cell system for transportation applications. Fuel cell infrastructure and commercialization study

    SciTech Connect

    1996-11-01

    This paper has been prepared in partial fulfillment of a subcontract from the Allison Division of General Motors under the terms of Allison`s contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DE-AC02-90CH10435). The objective of this task (The Fuel Cell Infrastructure and Commercialization Study) is to describe and prepare preliminary evaluations of the processes which will be required to develop fuel cell engines for commercial and private vehicles. This report summarizes the work undertaken on this study. It addresses the availability of the infrastructure (services, energy supplies) and the benefits of creating public/private alliances to accelerate their commercialization. The Allison prime contract includes other tasks related to the research and development of advanced solid polymer fuel cell engines and preparation of a demonstration automotive vehicle. The commercialization process starts when there is sufficient understanding of a fuel cell engine`s technology and markets to initiate preparation of a business plan. The business plan will identify each major step in the design of fuel cell (or electrochemical) engines, evaluation of the markets, acquisition of manufacturing facilities, and the technical and financial resources which will be required. The process will end when one or more companies have successfully developed and produced fuel cell engines at a profit. This study addressed the status of the information which will be required to prepare business plans, develop the economic and market acceptance data, and to identify the mobility, energy and environment benefits of electrochemical or fuel cell engines. It provides the reader with information on the status of fuel cell or electrochemical engine development and their relative advantages over competitive propulsion systems. Recommendations and descriptions of additional technical and business evaluations that are to be developed in more detail in Phase II, are included.

  8. Development of a brazing process for the production of water- cooled bipolar plates made of chromium-coated metal foils for PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueller, M.; Hoehlich, D.; Scharf, I.; Lampke, T.; Hollaender, U.; Maier, H. J.

    2016-03-01

    Beside lithium batteries, PEM fuel cells are the most promising strategy as a power source to achieve the targets for introducing and increasing the usage of electric vehicles. Due to limited space and weight problems, water cooled, metallic bipolar plates in a fuel cell metal stack are preferred in motor vehicles. These plates are stamped metal sheets with a complex structure, interconnected media-tight. To meet the multiple tasks and requirements in use, complex and expensive combinations of materials are currently in use (carbon fiber composites, graphite, gold-plated nickel, stainless and acid resistant steel). The production of such plates is expensive as it is connected with considerable effort or the usage of precious metals. As an alternative, metalloid nitrides (CrN, VN, W2N, etc.) show a high chemical resistance, hardness and a good conductivity. So this material category meets the basic requirements of a top layer. However, the standard methods for their production (PVD, CVD) are expensive and have a slow deposition rate and a lower layer thicknesses. Because of these limitations, a full functionality over the life cycle of a bipolar plate is not guaranteed. The contribution shows the development and quantification of an alternative production process for bipolar plates. The expectation is to get significant advantages from the combination of chromium electrodeposition and thermochemical treatment to form chromium nitrides. Both processes are well researched and suitable for series production. The thermochemical treatment of the chromium layer also enables a process-integrated brazing.

  9. SYNTHESIS AND CHARACTERIZATION OF CO-AND H{sub 2}S-TOLERANT ELECTROCATALYSTS FOR PEM FUEL CELL

    SciTech Connect

    Shamsuddin Ilias

    2003-03-30

    The present state-of-art Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) technology is based on platinum (Pt) as a catalyst for both the fuel (anode) and air (cathode) electrodes. This catalyst is highly active but susceptible to poisoning by CO, which may be present in the H{sub 2}-fuel used or may be introduced during the fuel processing. Presence of trace amount of CO and H{sub 2}S in the H{sub 2}-fuel poisons the anode irreversibly and decreases the performance of the PEMFCs. In an effort to reduce the Pt-loading and improve the PEMFC performance, we propose to synthesize a number of Pt-based binary, ternary, and quaternary electrocatalysts using Ru, Mo, Ir, Ni, and Co as a substitute for Pt. By fine-tuning the metal loadings and compositions of candidate electrocatalysts, we plan to minimize the cost and optimize the catalyst activity and performance in PEMFC. The feasibility of the novel electrocatalysts will be demonstrated in the proposed effort with gas phase CO and H{sub 2}S concentrations typical of those found in reformed fuel gas with coal/natural gas/methanol feedstocks. During this reporting period, we have obtained base-line performance data of commercially available Pt-catalyst in our modified PEMFC Testing set-up. Synthesis of Pt-based bimetallic and tri-metallic electrocatalysts is in progress.

  10. Use of impedance spectroscopy to investigate factors that influence the performance and durability of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, Sunil K.

    Impedance spectroscopy provides the opportunity for in-situ identification and quantification of physical processes and has been used extensively to study the behavior of the fuel cell. However, a key question to be answered is whether the features seen in the impedance response are caused by an artifact or represent a physical process taking place in the system. The measurement model developed by our group can be used to identify the frequency ranges unaffected by bias errors associated with instrument artifacts and non-stationary behavior. Impedance measurements were performed with the 850C fuel-cell test station supplied by Scribner Associates and with a Gamry Instruments FC350 impedance analyzer coupled with a Dynaload electronic load. All electrochemical measurements were performed with a two-electrode cell in which the anode served as a pseudo-reference electrode. The experiments were conducted in galavanostatic mode for a frequency range of 0.001-3000 Hz with 10 mA peak-to-peak sinusoidal perturbation, and ten points were collected per frequency decade. Ultra pure hydrogen was used as the anode fuel, and compressed air was used as oxidant. The measurement model was used to show that low-frequency inductive loops were, in some cases, fully self consistent, and, therefore, the inductive loops could be attributed to processes occurring in the fuel cell. Then we developed first-principle models that incorporate processes that may be responsible for the inductive response seen at low frequencies. We found that side reactions producing hydrogen peroxide intermediates and reactions causing Pt deactivation could yield inductive loops. These side reactions and the intermediates can degrade fuel cell components such as membranes and electrodes, thereby reducing the lifetime the fuel cells. The hypothesized reaction involving of peroxide and PtO formation were supported by microstructural characterization. A more sensitive manner of using impedance spectroscopy to gain

  11. Requirements and testing methods for surfaces of metallic bipolar plates for low-temperature PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jendras, P.; Lötsch, K.; von Unwerth, T.

    2017-03-01

    To reduce emissions and to substitute combustion engines automotive manufacturers, legislature and first users aspire hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Up to now the focus of research was set on ensuring functionality and increasing durability of fuel cell components. Therefore, expensive materials were used. Contemporary research and development try to substitute these substances by more cost-effective material combinations. The bipolar plate is a key component with the greatest influence on volume and mass of a fuel cell stack and they have to meet complex requirements. They support bending sensitive components of stack, spread reactants over active cell area and form the electrical contact to another cell. Furthermore, bipolar plates dissipate heat of reaction and separate one cell gastight from the other. Consequently, they need a low interfacial contact resistance (ICR) to the gas diffusion layer, high flexural strength, good thermal conductivity and a high durability. To reduce costs stainless steel is a favoured material for bipolar plates in automotive applications. Steel is characterized by good electrical and thermal conductivity but the acid environment requires a high chemical durability against corrosion as well. On the one hand formation of a passivating oxide layer increasing ICR should be inhibited. On the other hand pitting corrosion leading to increased permeation rate may not occur. Therefore, a suitable substrate lamination combination is wanted. In this study material testing methods for bipolar plates are considered.

  12. Research and Development of Proton-Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell System for Transportation Applications: Initial Conceptual Design Report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-11-30

    This report addresses Task 1.1, model development and application, and Task 1.2, vehicle mission definition. Overall intent is to produce a methanol-fueled 10-kW power source, and to evaluate electrochemical engine (ECE) use in transportation. Major achievements include development of an ECE power source model and its integration into a comprehensive power source/electric vehicle propulsion model, establishment of candidate FCV (fuel cell powered electric vehicle) mission requirements, initial FCV studies, and a candidate FCV recommendation for further study.

  13. Effects of temperature on the location of the gas-liquid interface in a PEM fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Chun-I.; Chu, Hsin-Sen

    The objective of this study is to investigate the location of the gas-liquid interface at various temperatures in a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell under non-isothermal conditions. A mathematical model, coupled with the electrochemical process, two-phase flows, species transfer, and heat transfer is employed. A finite volume-based CFD approach is applied to investigate the species transport behavior in a fuel cell. The effects of two model parameters, namely cell temperature (T cell) and humidification temperature (T h), on the gas-liquid interface and cell performance are presented. Simulation results indicate that variations of these two parameters influence the location of the gas-liquid interface, the cell performance, and the distribution of liquid water saturation. At lower cell temperatures, the gas-liquid interface moves toward the inlet port of the channel when the humidification temperature is greater than the cell temperature. Therefore, the cell performance decreases as the liquid water clogs the passage for the transport of oxygen. Furthermore, these two factors are closely related to the membrane temperature distribution. Obvious variations in magnitude are seen at a cell temperature of 323 K and a humidification temperature of 343 K.

  14. SYNTHESIS AND CHARACTERIZATION OF CO- AND H{sub 2}S-TOLERANT ELECTROCATALYSTS FOR PEM FUEL CELL

    SciTech Connect

    Shamsuddin Ilias

    2005-04-05

    The present state-of-art Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) technology is based on platinum (Pt) as a catalyst for both the fuel (anode) and air (cathode) electrodes. This catalyst is highly active but susceptible to poisoning by CO, which may be present in the H{sub 2}-fuel used or may be introduced during the fuel processing. Presence of trace amount of CO and H{sub 2}S in the H{sub 2}-fuel poisons the anode irreversibly and decreases the performance of the PEMFCs. In an effort to reduce the Pt-loading and improve the PEMFC performance, we propose to synthesize a number of Pt-based binary, ternary, and quaternary electrocatalysts using Ru, Mo, Ir, Ni, and Co as a substitute for Pt. By fine-tuning the metal loadings and compositions of candidate electrocatalysts, we plan to minimize the cost and optimize the catalyst activity and performance in PEMFC. The feasibility of the novel electrocatalysts will be demonstrated in the proposed effort with gas phase CO and H{sub 2}S concentrations typical of those found in reformed fuel gas with coal/natural gas/methanol feedstocks. During this reporting period several tri-metallic electrocatalysts were synthesized using both ultra-sonication and conventional method. These catalysts (Pt/Ru/Mo, Pt/Ru/Ir, Pt/Ru/W, Ptr/Ru/Co, and Pt/Ru/Se on carbon) were tested in MEAs. From Galvonstatic study the catalytic activity was found in the order of: Pt/Ru/Mo/C > Pt/Ru/Ir/C > Pt/Ru/W/C > Ptr/Ru/Co/C > and Pt/Ru/Se. It appears that electrocatalysts prepared by ultra-sonication process are more active compared to the conventional technique. Work is in progress to further study these catalysts for CO-tolerance in PEMFC.

  15. SYNTHESIS AND CHARACTERIZATION OF CO-AND H2S-TOLERANT ELECTROCATALYSTS FOR PEM FUEL CELL

    SciTech Connect

    Shamsuddin Ilias

    2004-03-31

    The present state-of-art Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) technology is based on platinum (Pt) as a catalyst for both the fuel (anode) and air (cathode) electrodes. This catalyst is highly active but susceptible to poisoning by CO, which may be present in the H{sub 2}-fuel used or may be introduced during the fuel processing. Presence of trace amount of CO and H{sub 2}S in the H{sub 2}-fuel poisons the anode irreversibly and decreases the performance of the PEMFCs. In an effort to reduce the Pt-loading and improve the PEMFC performance, we propose to synthesize a number of Pt-based binary, ternary, and quaternary electrocatalysts using Ru, Mo, Ir, Ni, and Co as a substitute for Pt. By fine-tuning the metal loadings and compositions of candidate electrocatalysts, we plan to minimize the cost and optimize the catalyst activity and performance in PEMFC. The feasibility of the novel electrocatalysts will be demonstrated in the proposed effort with gas phase CO and H{sub 2}S concentrations typical of those found in reformed fuel gas with coal/natural gas/methanol feedstocks. During this reporting period several bi-metallic electrocatalysts were synthesized and tested in MEAs. From Galvonstatic study the catalytic activity was found in the order of: Pt/Ru/C > Pt/Mo/C > Pt/Ir/C > Pt/Ni/C > Pt/Cr/C. Work in progress to further study these catalysts for CO-tolerance in PEMFC and identify potential candidate metals for synthesis of trimetallic electrocatalysts.

  16. SYNTHESIS AND CHARACTERIZATION OF CO-AND H2S-TOLERANT ELECTROCATALYSTS FOR PEM FUEL CELL

    SciTech Connect

    Shamsuddin Ilias

    2005-03-29

    The present state-of-art Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) technology is based on platinum (Pt) as a catalyst for both the fuel (anode) and air (cathode) electrodes. This catalyst is highly active but susceptible to poisoning by CO, which may be present in the H{sub 2}-fuel used or may be introduced during the fuel processing. Presence of trace amount of CO and H{sub 2}S in the H{sub 2}-fuel poisons the anode irreversibly and decreases the performance of the PEMFCs. In an effort to reduce the Pt-loading and improve the PEMFC performance, we propose to synthesize a number of Pt-based binary, ternary, and quaternary electrocatalysts using Ru, Mo, Ir, Ni, and Co as a substitute for Pt. By fine-tuning the metal loadings and compositions of candidate electrocatalysts, we plan to minimize the cost and optimize the catalyst activity and performance in PEMFC. The feasibility of the novel electrocatalysts will be demonstrated in the proposed effort with gas phase CO and H{sub 2}S concentrations typical of those found in reformed fuel gas with coal/natural gas/methanol feedstocks. During this reporting period several bi-metallic electrocatalysts were synthesized using ultra-sonication. These catalysts (Pt/Ru, Pt/Mo and Pt/Ir) were tested in MEAs. From Galvonstatic study the catalytic activity was found in the order of: Pt/Ru/C > Pt/Mo/C > Pt/Ir/C. It appears that electrocatalysts prepared by ultra-sonication process are more active compared to the conventional technique. Work is in progress to further study these catalysts for CO-tolerance in PEMFC and identify potential candidate metals for synthesis of tri-metallic electrocatalysts.

  17. Synthesis and Characterization of CO-and H2S-Tolerant Electrocatalysts for PEM Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    Shamsuddin Ilias

    2005-12-22

    The present state-of-art Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) technology is based on platinum (Pt) as a catalyst for both the fuel (anode) and air (cathode) electrodes. This catalyst is highly active but susceptible to poisoning by CO, which may be present in the H{sub 2}-fuel used or may be introduced during the fuel processing. Presence of trace amount of CO and H{sub 2}S in the H{sub 2}-fuel poisons the anode irreversibly and decreases the performance of the PEMFCs. In an effort to reduce the Pt-loading and improve the PEMFC performance, we propose to synthesize a number of Pt-based binary, ternary, and quaternary electrocatalysts using Ru, Mo, Ir, Ni, and Co as a substitute for Pt. By fine-tuning the metal loadings and compositions of candidate electrocatalysts, we plan to minimize the cost and optimize the catalyst activity and performance in PEMFC. The feasibility of the novel electrocatalysts will be demonstrated in the proposed effort with gas phase CO and H{sub 2}S concentrations typical of those found in reformed fuel gas with coal/natural gas/methanol feedstocks. During this reporting period we synthesized four Pt-based electrocatalysts catalysts (Pt/Ru/Mo/Se, Pt/Ru/Mo/Ir, Pt/Ru/Mo/W, Ptr/Ru/Mo/Co) on Vulcan XG72 Carbon support by both conventional and ultra-sonication method. From current-voltage performance study, the catalytic activity was found in the increasing order of Pt/Ru/Mo/Ir > Pt/Ru/Mo/W > Pt/Ru/Mo/Co > Pt/Ru/MO/Se. Sonication method appears to provide better dispersion of catalysts on carbon support.

  18. DOD Residential Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell Demonstration Program. Volume 1. Summary of the Fiscal Year 2001 Program

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-02-01

    de- tailed special provisions concerning patent rights, rights in technical data and computer software, reporting requirements, equal employment...Fuel Cells (860) 673-9181 Revised draft of the technical report is in the review process. ERDC/CERL TR-04-3 43 IEC TC105 Working Group 2...Champaign, IL 61826-9005 Final Report Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Prepared for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Washington

  19. Potential Usage of Thermoelectric Devices in a High-Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell System: Two Case Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Xin; Chen, Min; Andreasen, Søren Juhl; Kær, Søren Knudsen

    2012-06-01

    Methanol-fueled, high-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (HTPEMFC) power systems are promising as the next generation of vehicle engines, efficient and environmentally friendly. Currently, their performance still needs to be improved, and they still rely on a large Li-ion battery for system startup. In this article, to handle these two issues, the potential of thermoelectric (TE) devices applied in a HTPEMFC power system has been preliminarily evaluated. First, right after the fuel cell stack or the methanol reformer, thermoelectric generators (TEGs) are embedded inside a gas-liquid heat exchanger to form a heat recovery subsystem jointly for electricity production. It is calculated that the recovered power can increase the system efficiency and mitigate the dependence on Li-ion battery during system startup. To improve the TEG subsystem performance, a finite-difference model is then employed and two main parameters are identified. Second, TE coolers are integrated into the methanol steam reformer to regulate heat fluxes herein and improve the system dynamic performance. Similar modification is also done on the evaporator to improve its dynamic performance as well as to reduce the heat loss during system startup. The results demonstrate that the TE-assisted heat flux regulation and heat-loss reduction can also effectively help solve the abovementioned two issues. The preliminary analysis in this article shows that a TE device application inside HTPEMFC power systems is of great value and worthy of further study.

  20. Electrochemical corrosion studies of carbon supports and electrocatalysts and their effects on the durability of low-temperature PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dowlapalli, Madhusudhana R.

    Performance of a PEM fuel cell relies heavily on the durability of the platinum and platinum-alloy based electrocatalysts supported on carbon blacks. Carbon corrosion has been widely accepted as an important issue affecting the degradation of the catalytic layer in PEMFCs. Traditional carbon blacks used in today's fuel cell industry are not tailored to suit the corrosive conditions encountered in PEMFCs. Advanced carbon supports should have excellent electrochemical corrosion resistance, good conductivity, high surface area and optimum hydrophilic properties. The principal objective of this work is to investigate the corrosive behavior of carbon blacks and electrocatalysts supported on such carbon blacks in conditions that are typical for fuel cells. Physical and chemical changes during oxidation of these carbon blacks have been reviewed along with methodology for studying their corrosion in a low-temperature fuel cell environment. This study provides an ex-situ corrosion measurement protocol and a gas diffusion electrode half-cell setup to study the electrochemical oxidation resistance behavior of standard carbon blacks, modified carbon blacks, and advanced carbon supports in acid electrolyte at 25°C. Corrosion current-time relationships were evaluated and transient mode of corrosion study was employed to simulate automobile startup/shutdown. The effects of various surface modifications on carbon corrosion behavior have been studied in detail. The aggravated corrosion of carbon supports at potentials higher than the thermodynamic stable regime of water was investigated and a mechanism is proposed to address the same. The role of the metal phase on carbon corrosion at the catalyst-support interphase has also been investigated. The corrosion current dependence on the microstructure and nature of surface groups present on these carbons was examined. Further, measuring carbon corrosion effects on the durability of a single membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) cathode

  1. Three-Dimensional Transport Modeling for Proton Exchange Membrane(PEM) Fuel Cell with Micro Parallel Flow Field

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Pil Hyong; Han, Sang Seok; Hwang, Sang Soon

    2008-01-01

    Modeling and simulation for heat and mass transport in micro channel are being used extensively in researches and industrial applications to gain better understanding of the fundamental processes and to optimize fuel cell designs before building a prototype for engineering application. In this study, we used a single-phase, fully three dimensional simulation model for PEMFC that can deal with both anode and cathode flow field for examining the micro flow channel with electrochemical reaction. The results show that hydrogen and oxygen were solely supplied to the membrane by diffusion mechanism rather than convection transport, and the higher pressure drop at cathode side is thought to be caused by higher flow rate of oxygen at cathode. And it is found that the amount of water in cathode channel was determined by water formation due to electrochemical reaction plus electro-osmotic mass flux directing toward the cathode side. And it is very important to model the back diffusion and electro-osmotic mass flux accurately since the two flux was closely correlated each other and greatly influenced for determination of ionic conductivity of the membrane which directly affects the performance of fuel cell. PMID:27879774

  2. Long-term durability of HT-PEM fuel cells based on thermally cross-linked polybenzimidazole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Søndergaard, Tonny; Cleemann, Lars Nilausen; Becker, Hans; Aili, David; Steenberg, Thomas; Hjuler, Hans Aage; Seerup, Larisa; Li, Qingfeng; Jensen, Jens Oluf

    2017-02-01

    Long-term durability of high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells based on thermally cross-linked polybenzimidazole membranes was studied and compared with reference membranes based on linear polybenzimidazole. The test was conducted at 160 °C under constant load currents of 200 mA cm-2 for periods of 1000, 4400, and 13,000 h. Extensive beginning-of-life (BoL) and end-of-test (EoT) characterisation was carried out, and disturbance of the steady state operated cells was minimised by limiting in-line diagnostics to the low-invasive technique of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). Up until the operating time of 9200 h, the cell equipped with the cross-linked membrane showed an average degradation rate of 0.5 μV h-1, compared to 2.6 μV h-1 for the reference membrane, though parallel tests for a shorter period of time showed deviations, likely due to malfunctioning contact between layers or cell components. For the full test period of 13,000 h, the average voltage decay rate was about 1.4 and 4.6 μV h-1 for cells equipped with cross-linked and linear polybenzimidazole membranes, respectively. EIS and post-test analysis revealed that the cross-linked membrane showed better stability in terms of area specific resistance due to improved acid retention characteristics.

  3. Cost related sensitivity analysis for optimal operation of a grid-parallel PEM fuel cell power plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Sharkh, M. Y.; Tanrioven, M.; Rahman, A.; Alam, M. S.

    Fuel cell power plants (FCPP) as a combined source of heat, power and hydrogen (CHP&H) can be considered as a potential option to supply both thermal and electrical loads. Hydrogen produced from the FCPP can be stored for future use of the FCPP or can be sold for profit. In such a system, tariff rates for purchasing or selling electricity, the fuel cost for the FCPP/thermal load, and hydrogen selling price are the main factors that affect the operational strategy. This paper presents a hybrid evolutionary programming and Hill-Climbing based approach to evaluate the impact of change of the above mentioned cost parameters on the optimal operational strategy of the FCPP. The optimal operational strategy of the FCPP for different tariffs is achieved through the estimation of the following: hourly generated power, the amount of thermal power recovered, power trade with the local grid, and the quantity of hydrogen that can be produced. Results show the importance of optimizing system cost parameters in order to minimize overall operating cost.

  4. A Novel Method for Synthesis of OMC and M-OMC for PEM Fuel Cell Pt-electrocatalyst

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Worku, Dereje G.

    Abstract Commercialization of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) has become an important challenge since platinum (Pt), which is being used as the primary catalyst is highly expensive and susceptible to CO poisoning. Thus improving the catalytic efficiency and increase CO tolerance of the electrocatalyst is vital for commercialization of PEMFC. The aim of this research is to synthesize ordered mesoporous carbon (OMC) and modified ordered mesoporous carbon (mOMC) supports with high surface area that will allow low platinum loading minimizing the cost. OMC is synthesized using house made SBA-15 as a template whereas the mOMC is synthesized using 10%M/SBA-15 (M: Ni, Co, Fe, W) as templates and sugar as a carbon source prepared via impregnation method that is optimized through different techniques such as selection of precursor, precursor solvent, and its pH medium. The mOMCs with high surface area and improved electrical conductivity, and durability are obtained by optimizing the parameters employed in the synthesis processes of mOMC such as carbonization temperature. The objective of using mOMC as catalyst support is but not limited to enhance the transport of reactant gases by providing uniform interconnected pores and higher uniform Pt dispersion. The catalysts were tested for performance and polarization on 5 cm 2 membrane electrode assembly (MEAs) for 20 wt% Pt loading under controlled experimental conditions using well equipped Fuel Cell Testing Station (Model 850, Scribner Associates Inc.). The synthesized OMC and mOMC were also characterized by nitrogen adsorption desorption analysis (BET), and x-ray diffraction (XRD) to determine the pore size, specific surface area, and the ordered structure. BET analysis of the OMC and mOMC synthesized shows a specific surface area and pore size of 1239 m2/g (3.73 nm), 1228 m2/g (3.67nm) ,1321 m2/g (3.73 nm) and 1367 m2/g (3.59 nm) for Co, Ni, Fe, and W respectively with OMC being the highest with specific

  5. Mobile fuel cell development at Siemens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strasser, K.

    1992-01-01

    Recent mobile fuel cell developments are reported with particular attention given to fuel cell technology based on photon exchange membrane (PEM) as electrolyte. Advantages of PEM fuel cells over conventional systems include their overload capacity, low power degradation, long lifetime, and the possibility to operate the fuel cell at different temperatures. The PEM fuel cells can be operated with CO2-containing reactants and have a considerable potential for increasing power. These facts make it possible to construct energy storage systems with H2/air fuel cells for electric cars or long-term storage facilities for regenerative energy systems.

  6. Effects of porosity distribution variation on the liquid water flux through gas diffusion layers of PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhan, Zhigang; Xiao, Jinsheng; Li, Dayong; Pan, Mu; Yuan, Runzhang

    Flooding of the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) and dehydrating of the polymer electrolyte membrane have been the key problems to be solved for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). So far, almost no papers published have focused on studies of the liquid water flux through differently structured gas diffusion layers (GDLs). For gas diffusion layers including structures of uniform porosity, changes in porosity (GDL with microporous layer (MPL)) and gradient change porosity, using a one-dimensional model, the liquid saturation distribution is analyzed based on the assumption of a fixed liquid water flux through the GDL. And then the liquid water flux through the GDL is calculated based on the assumption of a fixed liquid saturation difference between the interfaces of the catalyst layer/GDL and the GDL/gas channel. Our results show that under steady-state conditions, the liquid water flux through the GDL increases as contact angle and porosity increase and as the GDL thickness decreases. When a MPL is placed between the catalyst layer and the GDL, the liquid saturation is redistributed across the MPL and GDL. This improves the liquid water draining performance. The liquid water flux through the GDL increases as the MPL porosity increases and the MPL thickness decreases. When the total thickness of the GDL and MPL is kept constant and when the MPL is thinned to 3 μm, the liquid water flux increases considerably, i.e. flooding of MEA is difficult. A GDL with a gradient of porosity is more favorable for liquid water discharge from catalyst layer into the gas channel; for the GDLs with the same equivalent porosity, the larger the gradient is, the more easily the liquid water is discharged. Of the computed cases, a GDL with a linear porosity 0.4 x + 0.4 is the best.

  7. Lattice-Boltzmann Simulations of Multiphase Flows in Gas-Diffusion-Layer (GDL) of a PEM Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    Mukherjeea, Shiladitya; Cole, J Vernon; Jainb, Kunal; Gidwania, Ashok

    2008-11-01

    Improved power density and freeze-thaw durability in automotive applications of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) requires effective water management at the membrane. This is controlled by a porous hydrophobic gas-diffusion-layer (GDL) inserted between the membrane catalyst layer and the gas reactant channels. The GDL distributes the incoming gaseous reactants on the catalyst surface and removes excess water by capillary action. There is, however, limited understanding of the multiphase, multi-component transport of liquid water, vapor and gaseous reactants within these porous materials. This is due primarily to the challenges of in-situ diagnostics for such thin (200 -“ 300 {microns}), optically opaque (graphite) materials. Transport is typically analyzed by fitting Darcy's Law type expressions for permeability, in conjunction with capillary pressure relations based on formulations derived for media such as soils. Therefore, there is significant interest in developing predictive models for transport in GDLs and related porous media. Such models could be applied to analyze and optimize systems based on the interactions between cell design, materials, and operating conditions, and could also be applied to evaluating material design concepts. Recently, the Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM) has emerged as an effective tool in modeling multiphase flows in general, and flows through porous media in particular. This method is based on the solution of a discrete form of the well-known Boltzmann Transport Equation (BTE) for molecular distribution, tailored to recover the continuum Navier-Stokes flow. The kinetic theory basis of the method allows simple implementation of molecular forces responsible for liquid-gas phase separation and capillary effects. The solution advances by a streaming and collision type algorithm that makes it suitable to implement for domains with complex boundaries. We have developed both single and multiphase LB models and applied them to

  8. Preventing CO poisoning in fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Gottesfeld, Shimshon

    1990-01-01

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell performance with CO contamination of the H.sub.2 fuel stream is substantially improved by injecting O.sub.2 into the fuel stream ahead of the fuel cell. It is found that a surface reaction occurs even at PEM operating temperatures below about 100.degree. C. to oxidatively remove the CO and restore electrode surface area for the H.sub.2 reaction to generate current. Using an O.sub.2 injection, a suitable fuel stream for a PEM fuel cell can be formed from a methanol source using conventional reforming processes for producing H.sub.2.

  9. Economics of Direct Hydrogen Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Mahadevan, Kathyayani

    2011-10-04

    Battelle's Economic Analysis of PEM Fuel Cell Systems project was initiated in 2003 to evaluate the technology and markets that are near-term and potentially could support the transition to fuel cells in automotive markets. The objective of Battelle?s project was to assist the DOE in developing fuel cell systems for pre-automotive applications by analyzing the technical, economic, and market drivers of direct hydrogen PEM fuel cell adoption. The project was executed over a 6-year period (2003 to 2010) and a variety of analyses were completed in that period. The analyses presented in the final report include: Commercialization scenarios for stationary generation through 2015 (2004); Stakeholder feedback on technology status and performance status of fuel cell systems (2004); Development of manufacturing costs of stationary PEM fuel cell systems for backup power markets (2004); Identification of near-term and mid-term markets for PEM fuel cells (2006); Development of the value proposition and market opportunity of PEM fuel cells in near-term markets by assessing the lifecycle cost of PEM fuel cells as compared to conventional alternatives used in the marketplace and modeling market penetration (2006); Development of the value proposition of PEM fuel cells in government markets (2007); Development of the value proposition and opportunity for large fuel cell system application at data centers and wastewater treatment plants (2008); Update of the manufacturing costs of PEM fuel cells for backup power applications (2009).

  10. A Materials-Based Mitigation Strategy for SU/SD in PEM Fuel Cells: Properties and Performance-Specific Testing of IrRu OER Catalysts.

    SciTech Connect

    Atanasoski, Radoslav; Cullen, David A; Vernstrom, George; Haugen, Gregory; Atanasoska, Liliana

    2013-01-01

    Catalysts that enable proton exchange membrane fuel cells to weather the damaging conditions experienced during transient periods of fuel starvation have been developed. The addition of minute amounts of iridium and ruthenium to the cathode enhances the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) during start-up/shutdown events, thus lowering the peak cell voltage closer to the onset of water oxidation. The catalyst loadings ranged from 1 to 10 g/cm2, but showed surprisingly high activity and durability. At such low loadings, it is possible to fully integrate the OER catalysts with negligible interference on fuel cell performance and a marginal increase in catalyst cost.

  11. A Total Cost of Ownership Model for Low Temperature PEM Fuel Cells in Combined Heat and Power and Backup Power Applications

    SciTech Connect

    University of California, Berkeley; Wei, Max; Lipman, Timothy; Mayyas, Ahmad; Chien, Joshua; Chan, Shuk Han; Gosselin, David; Breunig, Hanna; Stadler, Michael; McKone, Thomas; Beattie, Paul; Chong, Patricia; Colella, Whitney; James, Brian

    2014-06-23

    A total cost of ownership model is described for low temperature proton exchange membrane stationary fuel cell systems for combined heat and power (CHP) applications from 1-250kW and backup power applications from 1-50kW. System designs and functional specifications for these two applications were developed across the range of system power levels. Bottom-up cost estimates were made for balance of plant costs, and detailed direct cost estimates for key fuel cell stack components were derived using design-for-manufacturing-and-assembly techniques. The development of high throughput, automated processes achieving high yield are projected to reduce the cost for fuel cell stacks to the $300/kW level at an annual production volume of 100 MW. Several promising combinations of building types and geographical location in the U.S. were identified for installation of fuel cell CHP systems based on the LBNL modelling tool DER CAM. Life-cycle modelling and externality assessment were done for hotels and hospitals. Reduced electricity demand charges, heating credits and carbon credits can reduce the effective cost of electricity ($/kWhe) by 26-44percent in locations such as Minneapolis, where high carbon intensity electricity from the grid is displaces by a fuel cell system operating on reformate fuel. This project extends the scope of existing cost studies to include externalities and ancillary financial benefits and thus provides a more comprehensive picture of fuel cell system benefits, consistent with a policy and incentive environment that increasingly values these ancillary benefits. The project provides a critical, new modelling capacity and should aid a broad range of policy makers in assessing the integrated costs and benefits of fuel cell systems versus other distributed generation technologies.

  12. Nonhumidified High-Temperature Membranes Developed for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kinder, James D.

    2005-01-01

    Fuel cells are being considered for a wide variety of aerospace applications. One of the most versatile types of fuel cells is the proton-exchange-membrane (PEM) fuel cell. PEM fuel cells can be easily scaled to meet the power and space requirements of a specific application. For example, small 100-W PEM fuel cells are being considered for personal power for extravehicular activity suit applications, whereas larger PEM fuel cells are being designed for primary power in airplanes and in uninhabited air vehicles. Typically, PEM fuel cells operate at temperatures up to 80 C. To increase the efficiency and power density of the fuel cell system, researchers are pursuing methods to extend the operating temperature of the PEM fuel cell to 180 C. The most widely used membranes in PEM fuel cells are Nafion 112 and Nafion 117--sulfonated perfluorinated polyethers that were developed by DuPont. In addition to their relatively high cost, the properties of these membranes limit their use in a PEM fuel cell to around 80 C. The proton conductivity of Nafion membranes significantly decreases above 80 C because the membrane dehydrates. The useful operating range of Nafion-based PEM fuel cells can be extended to over 100 C if ancillary equipment, such as compressors and humidifiers, is added to maintain moisture levels within the membrane. However, the addition of these components reduces the power density and increases the complexity of the fuel cell system.

  13. Electronic circuit model for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Dachuan; Yuvarajan, S.

    The proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell is being investigated as an alternate power source for various applications like transportation and emergency power supplies. The paper presents a novel circuit model for a PEM fuel cell that can be used to design and analyze fuel cell power systems. The PSPICE-based model uses bipolar junction transistors (BJTs) and LC elements available in the PSPICE library with some modification. The model includes the phenomena like activation polarization, ohmic polarization, and mass transport effect present in a PEM fuel cell. The static and dynamic characteristics obtained through simulation are compared with experimental results obtained on a commercial fuel cell module.

  14. Electrochemical energy storage using PEM systems

    SciTech Connect

    Vanderborgh, N.E.; Hedstrom, J.C.; Huff, J.R.

    1991-01-01

    This paper gives the results of an engineering assessment for future, long-lived space power systems for extraterrestrial applications. Solar-based, regenerative fuel cell power plants formed from either alkaline or PEM components are the focus. Test results on advanced PEM fuel cell stack components are presented. 7 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  15. Electrochemical energy storage using PEM systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanderborgh, N. E.; Hedstrom, J. C.; Huff, J. R.

    This paper gives the results of an engineering assessment for future, long-lived space power systems for extraterrestrial applications. Solar based, regenerative fuel cell power plants formed from either alkaline or proton exchange membrane (PEM) components are the focus. Test results on advanced PEM fuel cell stack components are presented.

  16. Nanocrystalline cerium oxide materials for solid fuel cell systems

    DOEpatents

    Brinkman, Kyle S

    2015-05-05

    Disclosed are solid fuel cells, including solid oxide fuel cells and PEM fuel cells that include nanocrystalline cerium oxide materials as a component of the fuel cells. A solid oxide fuel cell can include nanocrystalline cerium oxide as a cathode component and microcrystalline cerium oxide as an electrolyte component, which can prevent mechanical failure and interdiffusion common in other fuel cells. A solid oxide fuel cell can also include nanocrystalline cerium oxide in the anode. A PEM fuel cell can include cerium oxide as a catalyst support in the cathode and optionally also in the anode.

  17. Hydrogen as fuel carrier in PEM fuelcell for automobile applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sk, Mudassir Ali; Venkateswara Rao, K.; Ramana Rao, Jagirdar V.

    2015-02-01

    The present work focuses the application of nanostructured materials for storing of hydrogen in different carbon materials by physisorption method. To market a hydrogen-fuel cell vehicle as competitively as the present internal combustion engine vehicles, there is a need for materials that can store a minimum of 6.5wt% of hydrogen. Carbon materials are being heavily investigated because of their promise to offer an economical solution to the challenge of safe storage of large hydrogen quantities. Hydrogen is important as a new source of energy for automotive applications. It is clear that the key challenge in developing this technology is hydrogen storage. Combustion of fossil fuels and their overuse is at present a serious concern as it is creates severe air pollution and global environmental problems; like global warming, acid rains, ozone depletion in stratosphere etc. This necessitated the search for possible alternative sources of energy. Though there are a number of primary energy sources available, such as thermonuclear energy, solar energy, wind energy, hydropower, geothermal energy etc, in contrast to the fossil fuels in most cases, these new primary energy sources cannot be used directly and thus they must be converted into fuels, that is to say, a new energy carrier is needed. Hydrogen fuel cells are two to three times more efficient than combustion engines. As they become more widely available, they will reduce dependence on fossil fuels. In a fuel cell, hydrogen and oxygen are combined in an electrochemical reaction that produces electricity and, as a byproduct, water.

  18. Research and development of a proton-exchange-membrane (PEM) fuel cell system for transportation applications. Progress report for Quarter 4 of the Phase II report

    SciTech Connect

    1995-10-20

    This 4th quarter report summarizes activity from July 1, 1995 through October 1, 1995; the report is organized as usual into sections describing background information and work performed under the main WBS categories: The Fuel Processor (WBS 1.0) team activity during this quarter focused on the continued design/development of the full scale fuel processing hardware. The combustor test stand has been completed allowing more detailed testing of the various parts of the combustor subsystem; this subsystem is currently being evaluated using the dual fuel (methanol/hydrogen) option to gain a better understanding of the control issues. The Fuel Cell Stack (WBS 2.0) team activity focused on material analysis and testing to determine the appropriate approach for the first GM stack. Five hundred hours of durability was achieved on a single cell fixture using coated titanium plates (anode and cathode) with no appreciable voltage degradation of the SEL (Stack Engineering Lab) produced MEA. Additionally, the voltage level drop across each of the plates remained low (<5mv) over the full test period; The system integration and control team focused on the initial layout and configuration of the system; and the Reference powertrain and commercialization studies are currently under review.

  19. Fuel cell and membrane therefore

    SciTech Connect

    Aindow, Tai-Tsui

    2016-08-09

    A fuel cell includes first and second flow field plates, and an anode electrode and a cathode electrode between the flow field plates. A polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) is arranged between the electrodes. At least one of the flow field plates influences, at least in part, an in-plane anisotropic physical condition of the PEM that varies in magnitude between a high value direction and a low value direction. The PEM has an in-plane physical property that varies in magnitude between a high value direction and a low value direction. The PEM is oriented with its high value direction substantially aligned with the high value direction of the flow field plate.

  20. Navy fuel cell demonstration project.

    SciTech Connect

    Black, Billy D.; Akhil, Abbas Ali

    2008-08-01

    This is the final report on a field evaluation by the Department of the Navy of twenty 5-kW PEM fuel cells carried out during 2004 and 2005 at five Navy sites located in New York, California, and Hawaii. The key objective of the effort was to obtain an engineering assessment of their military applications. Particular issues of interest were fuel cell cost, performance, reliability, and the readiness of commercial fuel cells for use as a standalone (grid-independent) power option. Two corollary objectives of the demonstration were to promote technological advances and to improve fuel performance and reliability. From a cost perspective, the capital cost of PEM fuel cells at this stage of their development is high compared to other power generation technologies. Sandia National Laboratories technical recommendation to the Navy is to remain involved in evaluating successive generations of this technology, particularly in locations with greater environmental extremes, and it encourages their increased use by the Navy.

  1. Fuel cell development for transportation: Catalyst development

    SciTech Connect

    Doddapaneni, N.

    1996-04-01

    Fuel cells are being considered as alternate power sources for transportation and stationary applications. With proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells the fuel crossover to cathodes causes severe thermal management and cell voltage drop due to oxidation of fuel at the platinized cathodes. The main goal of this project was to design, synthesize, and evaluate stable and inexpensive transition metal macrocyclic catalysts for the reduction of oxygen and be electrochemically inert towards anode fuels such as hydrogen and methanol.

  2. Novel proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrodes to improve performance of reversible fuel cell systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Tim Matthew

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells react fuel and oxidant to directly and efficiently produce electrical power, without the need for combustion, heat engines, or motor-generators. Additionally, PEM fuel cell systems emit zero to virtually zero criteria pollutants and have the ability to reduce CO2 emissions due to their efficient operation, including the production or processing of fuel. A reversible fuel cell (RFC) is one particular application for a PEM fuel cell. In this application the fuel cell is coupled with an electrolyzer and a hydrogen storage tank to complete a system that can store and release electrical energy. These devices can be highly tailored to specific energy storage applications, potentially surpassing the performance of current and future secondary battery technology. Like all PEM applications, RFCs currently suffer from performance and cost limitations. One approach to address these limitations is to improve the cathode performance by engineering more optimal catalyst layer geometry as compared to the microscopically random structure traditionally used. Ideal configurations are examined and computer modeling shows promising performance improvements are possible. Several novel manufacturing methods are used to build and test small PEM fuel cells with novel electrodes. Additionally, a complete, dynamic model of an RFC system is constructed and the performance is simulated using both traditional and novel cathode structures. This work concludes that PEM fuel cell microstructures can be tailored to optimize performance based on design operating conditions. Computer modeling results indicate that novel electrode microstructures can improve fuel cell performance, while experimental results show similar performance gains that bolster the theoretical predictions. A dynamic system model predicts that novel PEM fuel cell electrode structures may enable RFC systems to be more competitive with traditional energy storage technology options.

  3. ARPA advanced fuel cell development

    SciTech Connect

    Dubois, L.H.

    1995-08-01

    Fuel cell technology is currently being developed at the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) for several Department of Defense applications where its inherent advantages such as environmental compatibility, high efficiency, and low noise and vibration are overwhelmingly important. These applications range from man-portable power systems of only a few watts output (e.g., for microclimate cooling and as direct battery replacements) to multimegawatt fixed base systems. The ultimate goal of the ARPA program is to develop an efficient, low-temperature fuel cell power system that operates directly on a military logistics fuel (e.g., DF-2 or JP-8). The absence of a fuel reformer will reduce the size, weight, cost, and complexity of such a unit as well as increase its reliability. In order to reach this goal, ARPA is taking a two-fold, intermediate time-frame approach to: (1) develop a viable, low-temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell that operates directly on a simple hydrocarbon fuel (e.g., methanol or trimethoxymethane) and (2) demonstrate a thermally integrated fuel processor/fuel cell power system operating on a military logistics fuel. This latter program involves solid oxide (SOFC), molten carbonate (MCFC), and phosphoric acid (PAFC) fuel cell technologies and concentrates on the development of efficient fuel processors, impurity scrubbers, and systems integration. A complementary program to develop high performance, light weight H{sub 2}/air PEM and SOFC fuel cell stacks is also underway. Several recent successes of these programs will be highlighted.

  4. Fuel Cell Technologies: State And Perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sammes, Nigel; Smirnova, Alevtina; Vasylyev, Oleksandr

    Fuel Cells have become a potentially highly efficient sustainable source of energy and electricity for an ever-demanding power hungry world. The two main types of fuel cells ripe for commercialisation are the high temperature solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) and the low temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEM). The commercial uses of which include, but are not limited to, military, stand-by power, commercial and industrial, and remoter power. However, all aspects of the electricity market are being considered.

  5. The respective effect of under-rib convection and pressure drop of flow fields on the performance of PEM fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chao; Zhang, Qinglei; Shen, Shuiyun; Yan, Xiaohui; Zhu, Fengjuan; Cheng, Xiaojing; Zhang, Junliang

    2017-03-02

    The flow field configuration plays an important role on the performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). For instance, channel/rib width and total channel cross-sectional area determine the under-rib convection and pressure drop respectively, both of which directly influence the water removal, in turn affecting the oxygen supply and cathodic oxygen reduction reaction. In this study, effects of under-rib convection and pressure drop on cell performance are investigated experimentally and numerically by adjusting the channel/rib width and channel cross-sectional area of flow fields. The results show that the performance differences with various flow field configurations mainly derive from the oxygen transport resistance which is determined by the water accumulation degree, and the cell performance would benefit from the narrower channels and smaller cross sections. It reveals that at low current densities when water starts to accumulate in GDL at under-rib regions, the under-rib convection plays a more important role in water removal than pressure drop does; in contrast, at high current densities when water starts to accumulate in channels, the pressure drop dominates the water removal to facilitate the oxygen transport to the catalyst layer.

  6. The respective effect of under-rib convection and pressure drop of flow fields on the performance of PEM fuel cells

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Chao; Zhang, Qinglei; Shen, Shuiyun; Yan, Xiaohui; Zhu, Fengjuan; Cheng, Xiaojing; Zhang, Junliang

    2017-01-01

    The flow field configuration plays an important role on the performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). For instance, channel/rib width and total channel cross-sectional area determine the under-rib convection and pressure drop respectively, both of which directly influence the water removal, in turn affecting the oxygen supply and cathodic oxygen reduction reaction. In this study, effects of under-rib convection and pressure drop on cell performance are investigated experimentally and numerically by adjusting the channel/rib width and channel cross-sectional area of flow fields. The results show that the performance differences with various flow field configurations mainly derive from the oxygen transport resistance which is determined by the water accumulation degree, and the cell performance would benefit from the narrower channels and smaller cross sections. It reveals that at low current densities when water starts to accumulate in GDL at under-rib regions, the under-rib convection plays a more important role in water removal than pressure drop does; in contrast, at high current densities when water starts to accumulate in channels, the pressure drop dominates the water removal to facilitate the oxygen transport to the catalyst layer. PMID:28251983

  7. The respective effect of under-rib convection and pressure drop of flow fields on the performance of PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Chao; Zhang, Qinglei; Shen, Shuiyun; Yan, Xiaohui; Zhu, Fengjuan; Cheng, Xiaojing; Zhang, Junliang

    2017-03-01

    The flow field configuration plays an important role on the performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). For instance, channel/rib width and total channel cross-sectional area determine the under-rib convection and pressure drop respectively, both of which directly influence the water removal, in turn affecting the oxygen supply and cathodic oxygen reduction reaction. In this study, effects of under-rib convection and pressure drop on cell performance are investigated experimentally and numerically by adjusting the channel/rib width and channel cross-sectional area of flow fields. The results show that the performance differences with various flow field configurations mainly derive from the oxygen transport resistance which is determined by the water accumulation degree, and the cell performance would benefit from the narrower channels and smaller cross sections. It reveals that at low current densities when water starts to accumulate in GDL at under-rib regions, the under-rib convection plays a more important role in water removal than pressure drop does; in contrast, at high current densities when water starts to accumulate in channels, the pressure drop dominates the water removal to facilitate the oxygen transport to the catalyst layer.

  8. Unveiling N-protonation and anion-binding effects on Fe/N/C-catalysts for O2 reduction in PEM fuel cells

    PubMed Central

    Herranz, Juan; Jaouen, Frédéric; Lefèvre, Michel; Kramm, Ulrike I.; Proietti, Eric; Dodelet, Jean-Pol; Bogdanoff, Peter; Fiechter, Sebastian; Abs-Wurmbach, Irmgard; Bertrand, Patrick; Arruda, Thomas M.; Mukerjee, Sanjeev

    2013-01-01

    The high cost of proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells would be considerably reduced if platinumbased catalysts were replaced by iron-based substitutes, which have recently demonstrated comparable activity for oxygen reduction, but whose cause of activity decay in acidic medium has been elusive. Here, we reveal that the activity of Fe/N/C-catalysts prepared through a pyrolysis in NH3 is mostly imparted by acid-resistant FeN4-sites whose turnover frequency for the O2 reduction can be regulated by fine chemical changes of the catalyst surface. We show that surface N-groups protonate at pH 1 and subsequently bind anions. This results in decreased activity for the O2 reduction. The anions can be removed chemically or thermally, which restores the activity of acid-resistant FeN4-sites. These results are interpreted as an increased turnover frequency of FeN4-sites when specific surface N-groups protonate. These unprecedented findings provide new perspective for stabilizing the most active Fe/N/C-catalysts known to date. PMID:24179561

  9. DOE/FORD fuel cell contract for automotive application

    SciTech Connect

    Djong-Gie Oei

    1995-08-01

    The objectives of the contract are twofold. The first objective is to assess the feasibility of using a direct hydrogen fueled PEM fuel cell engine to power a midsize passenger car through the various drive cycles and test such a propulsion system on a test bed. The second objective is to study the supply infrastructure and safety aspects of hydrogen for future practical implementation of PEM fuel cells.

  10. Review of Fuel Cell Technologies for Military Land Vehicles

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-01

    fuel they use or limited power output. The report concludes that SOFC or PEM FC may be a valuable tool for silent watch extension in the future...OEM Original Equipment Manufacturer PEM Proton Exchange Membrane PEMFC Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell SOFC Solid Oxide Fuel Cell TRL Technical ...TYPE OF REPORT Technical Report 7. DOCUMENT DATE September 2014 8. FILE NUMBER 2014/1160976/1 9. TASK NUMBER 07/357 10. TASK SPONSOR

  11. Cortical anchorages and cell type segregations of maternal postplasmic/PEM RNAs in ascidians.

    PubMed

    Paix, Alexandre; Yamada, Lixy; Dru, Philippe; Lecordier, Helene; Pruliere, Gerard; Chenevert, Janet; Satoh, Nori; Sardet, Christian

    2009-12-01

    Ascidian postplasmic/PEM RNAs constitute a large class of cortical maternal RNAs which include developmental determinants (macho-1 and pem-1). We have analyzed the localization, cortical anchorage and cell type segregation of postplasmic/PEM RNAs in Ciona intestinalis and Phallusia mammillata using very high-resolution fluorescent in situ hybridization. We also compared RNAs extracted from whole oocytes and from isolated cortices using microarrays and localized RNAs possessing clusters of xCACx motifs in their 3'UTRs. Based on these combined approaches we conclude that: (1) the vast majority of the 39 postplasmic/PEM RNAs (including vasa) are localized in the egg cortex. (2) Many postplasmic/PEM RNAs 3'UTR are enriched in xCACx motifs, allowing us to identify 2 novel postplasmic/PEM RNAs (PSD and MnK). (3) Postplasmic/PEM RNAs anchored to cortical Endoplasmic Reticulum (cER) and those associated with granules have different cell destinations. We propose that there are 2 distinct categories of postplasmic/PEM RNAs on the basis of their cortical anchorages and cell destinations: (1) macho-1-like postplasmic/PEM RNAs anchored to cER which segregate into somatic B8.11 cells. (2) vasa-like postplasmic/PEM RNAs associated with granules which in addition to B8.11 cells segregate into B8.12 germ cells.

  12. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell technology for transportation applications

    SciTech Connect

    Swathirajan, S.

    1996-04-01

    Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells are extremely promising as future power plants in the transportation sector to achieve an increase in energy efficiency and eliminate environmental pollution due to vehicles. GM is currently involved in a multiphase program with the US Department of Energy for developing a proof-of-concept hybrid vehicle based on a PEM fuel cell power plant and a methanol fuel processor. Other participants in the program are Los Alamos National Labs, Dow Chemical Co., Ballard Power Systems and DuPont Co., In the just completed phase 1 of the program, a 10 kW PEM fuel cell power plant was built and tested to demonstrate the feasibility of integrating a methanol fuel processor with a PEM fuel cell stack. However, the fuel cell power plant must overcome stiff technical and economic challenges before it can be commercialized for light duty vehicle applications. Progress achieved in phase I on the use of monolithic catalyst reactors in the fuel processor, managing CO impurity in the fuel cell stack, low-cost electrode-membrane assembles, and on the integration of the fuel processor with a Ballard PEM fuel cell stack will be presented.

  13. PEM Degradation Investigation Final Technical Report

    SciTech Connect

    Dan Stevenson; Lee H Spangler

    2010-10-18

    This project conducted fundamental studies of PEM MEA degradation. Insights gained from these studies were disseminated to assist MEA manufacturers in understanding degradation mechanisms and work towards DOE 2010 fuel cell durability targets.

  14. Fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1984-12-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Fossil Energy, has supported and managed a fuel cell research and development (R and D) program since 1976. Responsibility for implementing DOE's fuel cell program, which includes activities related to both fuel cells and fuel cell systems, has been assigned to the Morgantown Energy Technology Center (METC) in Morgantown, West Virginia. The total United States effort of the private and public sectors in developing fuel cell technology is referred to as the National Fuel Cell Program (NFCP). The goal of the NFCP is to develop fuel cell power plants for base-load and dispersed electric utility systems, industrial cogeneration, and on-site applications. To achieve this goal, the fuel cell developers, electric and gas utilities, research institutes, and Government agencies are working together. Four organized groups are coordinating the diversified activities of the NFCP. The status of the overall program is reviewed in detail.

  15. Desulfurization of Logistic Fuels for Fuel Cell Apus

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-12-01

    temperature fuel cells (e.g. PEM) require clean (essentially pure) hydrogen feed to prevent the poisoning of the anode catalyst . Even the more robust...could also have slightly more polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) than JP-5. The presence of additives, moisture, PAHs and organo -nitrogen compounds

  16. A Novel Unitized Regenerative Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphy, O. J.; Cisar, A. J.; Gonzalez-Martin, A.; Salinas, C. E.; Simpson, S. F.

    1996-01-01

    A difficulty encountered in designing a unitized regenerative proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell lies in the incompatibility of electrode structures and electrocatalyst materials optimized for either of the two functions (fuel cell or electrolyzer) with the needs of the other function. This difficulty is compounded in previous regenerative fuel cell designs by the fact that water, which is needed for proton conduction in the PEM during both modes of operation, is the reactant supplied to the anode in the electrolyzer mode of operation and the product formed at the cathode in the fuel cell mode. Drawbacks associated with existing regenerative fuel cells have been addressed. In a first innovation, electrodes function either as oxidation electrodes (hydrogen ionization or oxygen evolution) or as reduction electrodes (oxygen reduction or hydrogen evolution) in the fuel cell and electrolyzer modes, respectively. Control of liquid water within the regenerative fuel cell has been brought about by a second innovation. A novel PEM has been developed with internal channels that permit the direct access of water along the length of the membrane. Lateral diffusion of water along the polymer chains of the PEM provides the water needed at electrode/PEM interfaces. Fabrication of the novel single cell unitized regenerative fuel cell and results obtained on testing it are presented.

  17. A novel unitized regenerative proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphy, O. J.; Cisar, A. J.; Gonzalez-Martin, A.; Salinas, C. E.; Simpson, S. F.

    1995-01-01

    A difficulty encountered in designing a unitized regenerative proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell lies in the incompatibility of electrode structures and electrocatalyst materials optimized for either of the two functions (fuel cell or electrolyzer) with the needs of the other function. This difficulty is compounded in previous regenerative fuel cell designs by the fact that water, which is needed for proton conduction in the PEM during both modes of operation, is the reactant supplied to the anode in the electrolyzer mode of operation and the product formed at the cathode in the fuel cell mode. Drawbacks associated with existing regenerative fuel cells have been addressed in work performed at Lynntech. In a first innovation, electrodes function either as oxidation electrodes (hydrogen ionization or oxygen evolution) or as reduction electrodes (oxygen reduction or hydrogen evolution) in the fuel cell and electrolyzer modes, respectively. Control of liquid water within the regenerative fuel cell has been brought about by a second innovation. A novel PEM has been developed with internal channels that permit the direct access of water along the length of the membrane. Lateral diffusion of water along the polymer chains of the PEM provides the water needed at electrode/PEM interfaces. Fabrication of the novel unitized regenerative fuel cell and results obtained on testing it will be presented.

  18. Fuel cell development at McDermott Technology, Inc.

    SciTech Connect

    Tharp, M.R.; Privette, R.M.; Rowley, D.R.; Khandkar, A.

    1999-07-01

    McDermott Technology, Inc. (MTI) has been involved with the development of a wide variety of fuel cell technologies since 1990. Current programs include the development of planar solid fuel cell (pSOFC) stacks and systems and fuel processing and balance of plant development for proton exchange membrane (PEM) systems. These programs are described.

  19. Self-humidified proton exchange membrane fuel cells: Operation of larger cells and fuel cell stacks

    SciTech Connect

    Dhar, H.P.; Lee, J.H.; Lewinski, K.A.

    1996-12-31

    The PEM fuel cell is promising as the power source for use in mobile and stationary applications primarily because of its high power density, all solid components, and simplicity of operation. For wide acceptability of this power source, its cost has to be competitive with the presently available energy sources. The fuel cell requires continuous humidification during operation as a power source. The humidification unit however, increases fuel cell volume, weight, and therefore decreases its overall power density. Great advantages in terms of further fuel cell simplification can be achieved if the humidification process can be eliminated or minimized. In addition, cost reductions are associated with the case of manufacturing and operation. At BCS Technology we have developed a technology of self-humidified operation of PEM fuel cells based on the mass balance of the reactants and products and the ability of membrane electrode assembly (MEA) to retain water necessary for humidification under the cell operating conditions. The reactants enter the fuel cell chambers without carrying any form of water, whether in liquid or vapor form. Basic principles of self-humidified operation of fuel cells as practiced by BCS Technology, Inc. have been presented previously in literature. Here, we report the operation of larger self-humidified single cells and fuel cell stacks. Fuel cells of areas Up to 100 cm{sup 2} have been operated. We also show the self-humidified operation of fuel cell stacks of 50 and 100 cm{sup 2} electrode areas.

  20. Opportunities for portable Ballard Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Voss, H.H.; Huff, J.R.

    1996-12-31

    With the increasing proliferation and sophistication of portable electronic devices in both commercial and military markets, the need has arisen for small, lightweight power supplies that can provide increased operating life over those presently available. A solution to this power problem is the development of portable Ballard Fuel Cell power systems that operate with a hydrogen fuel source and air. Ballard has developed PEM fuel cell stacks and power systems in the 25 to 100 watt range for both of these markets. For military use, Ballard has teamed with Ball Corporation and Hydrogen Consultants, Inc. and has provided the Ballard Fuel Cell stack for an ambient PEM fuel cell power system for the DoD. The system provides power from idle to I 00 watts and has the capability of delivering overloads of 125 watts for short periods of time. The system is designed to operate over a wide range of temperature, relative humidity and altitude. Hydrogen is supplied as a compressed gas, metal hydride or chemical hydride packaged in a unit that is mated to the power/control unit. The hydrogen sources provide 1.5, 5 and 15 kWh of operation, respectively. The design of the fuel cell power system enables the unit to operate at 12 volts or 24 volts depending upon the equipment being used. For commercial applications, as with the military, fuel cell power sources in the 25 to 500 watt range will be competing with advanced batteries. Ambient PEM fuel cell designs and demonstrators are being developed at 25 watts and other low power levels. Goals are minimum stack volume and weight and greatly enhanced operating life with reasonable system weight and volume. This paper will discuss ambient PEM fuel cell designs and performance and operating parameters for a number of power levels in the multiwatt range.

  1. Fuel cells 101

    SciTech Connect

    Hirschenhofer, J.H.

    1999-07-01

    This paper discusses the various types of fuel cells, the importance of cell voltage, fuel processing for natural gas, cell stacking, fuel cell plant description, advantages and disadvantages of the types of fuel cells, and applications. The types covered include: polymer electrolyte fuel cell, alkaline fuel cell, phosphoric acid fuel cell; molten carbonate fuel cell, and solid oxide fuel cell.

  2. Metrology for Fuel Cell Manufacturing

    SciTech Connect

    Stocker, Michael; Stanfield, Eric

    2015-02-04

    The project was divided into three subprojects. The first subproject is Fuel Cell Manufacturing Variability and Its Impact on Performance. The objective was to determine if flow field channel dimensional variability has an impact on fuel cell performance. The second subproject is Non-contact Sensor Evaluation for Bipolar Plate Manufacturing Process Control and Smart Assembly of Fuel Cell Stacks. The objective was to enable cost reduction in the manufacture of fuel cell plates by providing a rapid non-contact measurement system for in-line process control. The third subproject is Optical Scatterfield Metrology for Online Catalyst Coating Inspection of PEM Soft Goods. The objective was to evaluate the suitability of Optical Scatterfield Microscopy as a viable measurement tool for in situ process control of catalyst coatings.

  3. FUEL CELL BUS DEMONSTRATION IN MEXICO CITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    The report discusses the performance of a cull-size, zero-emission, Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel-cell-powered transit bus in the atmospheric environment of Mexico City. To address the air quality problems caused by vehicle emissions in Mexico City, a seminar on clean vehic...

  4. Fuel cell flooding detection and correction

    DOEpatents

    DiPierno Bosco, Andrew; Fronk, Matthew Howard

    2000-08-15

    Method and apparatus for monitoring an H.sub.2 -O.sub.2 PEM fuel cells to detect and correct flooding. The pressure drop across a given H.sub.2 or O.sub.2 flow field is monitored and compared to predetermined thresholds of unacceptability. If the pressure drop exists a threshold of unacceptability corrective measures are automatically initiated.

  5. Fuel cells - from the laboratory to the road

    SciTech Connect

    Fronk, M.H.

    1996-12-31

    The polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell faces stiff competition from existing automotive powerplants and other Hybrid APUs. To be successful, the Fuel Cell will have to demonstrate real customer advantages such as fuel economy and emissions. The PEM technology has an inherent advantage over other powerplants in both thermal efficiency and emission performance, and as such fits in very well with the future regulations that strive to clean up the environment. In addition, it will need to be cost competitive and provide acceptable performance. The majority of development activity on PEM Fuel Cells to date has concentrated primarily in the area of Stack refinement and optimization with improvements coming in higher power densities and higher specific power. To make the Fuel Cell compatible with an automotive environment the entire system will need to be analyzed, understood, and then engineered to work together in an efficient manner.

  6. Final Report - Effects of Impurities on Fuel Cell Performance and Durability

    SciTech Connect

    Trent Molter

    2012-08-18

    This program is focused on the experimental determination of the effects of key hydrogen side impurities on the performance of PEM fuel cells. Experimental data has been leveraged to create mathematical models that predict the performance of PEM fuel cells that are exposed to specific impurity streams. These models are validated through laboratory experimentation and utilized to develop novel technologies for mitigating the effects of contamination on fuel cell performance. Results are publicly disseminated through papers, conference presentations, and other means.

  7. Automotive Fuel Processor Development and Demonstration with Fuel Cell Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Nuvera Fuel Cells

    2005-04-15

    The potential for fuel cell systems to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions over conventional power systems has generated significant interest in fuel cell technologies. While fuel cells are being investigated for use in many applications such as stationary power generation and small portable devices, transportation applications present some unique challenges for fuel cell technology. Due to their lower operating temperature and non-brittle materials, most transportation work is focusing on fuel cells using proton exchange membrane (PEM) technology. Since PEM fuel cells are fueled by hydrogen, major obstacles to their widespread use are the lack of an available hydrogen fueling infrastructure and hydrogen's relatively low energy storage density, which leads to a much lower driving range than conventional vehicles. One potential solution to the hydrogen infrastructure and storage density issues is to convert a conventional fuel such as gasoline into hydrogen onboard the vehicle using a fuel processor. Figure 2 shows that gasoline stores roughly 7 times more energy per volume than pressurized hydrogen gas at 700 bar and 4 times more than liquid hydrogen. If integrated properly, the fuel processor/fuel cell system would also be more efficient than traditional engines and would give a fuel economy benefit while hydrogen storage and distribution issues are being investigated. Widespread implementation of fuel processor/fuel cell systems requires improvements in several aspects of the technology, including size, startup time, transient response time, and cost. In addition, the ability to operate on a number of hydrocarbon fuels that are available through the existing infrastructure is a key enabler for commercializing these systems. In this program, Nuvera Fuel Cells collaborated with the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop efficient, low-emission, multi-fuel processors for transportation applications. Nuvera's focus was on (1) developing fuel processor

  8. Nanostructure-based proton exchange membrane for fuel cell applications at high temperature.

    PubMed

    Li, Junsheng; Wang, Zhengbang; Li, Junrui; Pan, Mu; Tang, Haolin

    2014-02-01

    As a clean and highly efficient energy source, the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) has been considered an ideal alternative to traditional fossil energy sources. Great efforts have been devoted to realizing the commercialization of the PEMFC in the past decade. To eliminate some technical problems that are associated with the low-temperature operation (such as catalyst poisoning and poor water management), PEMFCs are usually operated at elevated temperatures (e.g., > 100 degrees C). However, traditional proton exchange membrane (PEM) shows poor performance at elevated temperature. To achieve a high-performance PEM for high temperature fuel cell applications, novel PEMs, which are based on nanostructures, have been developed recently. In this review, we discuss and summarize the methods for fabricating the nanostructure-based PEMs for PEMFC operated at elevated temperatures and the high temperature performance of these PEMs. We also give an outlook on the rational design and development of the nanostructure-based PEMs.

  9. Measurement of Species Distributions in Operating Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Partridge Jr, William P; Toops, Todd J; Parks, II, James E; Armstrong, Timothy R.

    2004-10-01

    Measurement and understanding of transient species distributions across and within fuel cells is a critical need for advancing fuel cell technology. The Spatially Resolved Capillary Inlet Mass Spectrometer (SpaciMS) instrument has been applied for in-situ measurement of transient species distributions within operating reactors; including diesel catalyst, air-exhaust mixing systems, and non-thermal plasma reactors. The work described here demonstrates the applicability of this tool to proton exchange membrane (PEM) and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) research. Specifically, we have demonstrated SpaciMS measurements of (1) transient species dynamics across a PEM fuel cell (FC) associated with load switching, (2) intra-PEM species distributions, and transient species dynamics at SOFC temperatures associated with FC load switching.

  10. Mirrored serpentine flow channels for fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Rock, Jeffrey Allan

    2000-08-08

    A PEM fuel cell having serpentine flow field channels wherein the input/inlet legs of each channel border the input/inlet legs of the next adjacent channels in the same flow field, and the output/exit legs of each channel border the output/exit legs of the next adjacent channels in the same flow field. The serpentine fuel flow channels may be longer, and may contain more medial legs, than the serpentine oxidant flow channels.

  11. Regenerative fuel cell engineering - FY99

    SciTech Connect

    Michael A. Inbody; Rodney L. Borup; James C. Hedstrom; Jose Tafoya; Byron Morton; Lois Zook; Nicholas E. Vanderborgh

    2000-01-01

    The authors report the work conducted by the ESA-EPE Fuel Cell Engineering Team at Los Alamos National Laboratory during FY99 on regenerative fuel cell system engineering. The work was focused on the evaluation of regenerative fuel cell system components obtained through the RAFCO program. These components included a 5 kW PEM electrolyzer, a two-cell regenerative fuel cell stack, and samples of the electrolyzer membrane, anode, and cathode. The samples of the electrolyzer membrane, anode, and cathode were analyzed to determine their structure and operating characteristics. Tests were conducted on the two-cell regenerative fuel cell stack to characterize its operation as an electrolyzer and as a fuel cell. The 5 kW PEM electrolyzer was tested in the Regenerative Fuel Cell System Test Facility. These tests served to characterize the operation of the electrolyzer and, also, to verify the operation of the newly completed test facility. Future directions for this work in regenerative fuel cell systems are discussed.

  12. Fuel Cells

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawkins, M. D.

    1973-01-01

    Discusses the theories, construction, operation, types, and advantages of fuel cells developed by the American space programs. Indicates that the cell is an ideal small-scale power source characterized by its compactness, high efficiency, reliability, and freedom from polluting fumes. (CC)

  13. Fuel cell-fuel cell hybrid system

    DOEpatents

    Geisbrecht, Rodney A.; Williams, Mark C.

    2003-09-23

    A device for converting chemical energy to electricity is provided, the device comprising a high temperature fuel cell with the ability for partially oxidizing and completely reforming fuel, and a low temperature fuel cell juxtaposed to said high temperature fuel cell so as to utilize remaining reformed fuel from the high temperature fuel cell. Also provided is a method for producing electricity comprising directing fuel to a first fuel cell, completely oxidizing a first portion of the fuel and partially oxidizing a second portion of the fuel, directing the second fuel portion to a second fuel cell, allowing the first fuel cell to utilize the first portion of the fuel to produce electricity; and allowing the second fuel cell to utilize the second portion of the fuel to produce electricity.

  14. Properties and degradation of the gasket component of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell--a review.

    PubMed

    Basuli, Utpal; Jose, Jobin; Lee, Ran Hee; Yoo, Yong Hwan; Jeong, Kwang-Un; Ahn, Jou-Hyeon; Nah, Changwoon

    2012-10-01

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack requires gaskets and seals in each cell to keep the reactant gases within their respective regions. Gasket performance is integral to the successful long-term operation of a fuel cell stack. This review focuses on properties, performance and degradation mechanisms of the different polymer gasket materials used in PEM fuel cell under normal operating conditions. The different degradation mechanisms and their corresponding representative mitigation strategies are also presented here. Summary of various properties of elastomers and their advantages and disadvantages in fuel cell'environment are presented. By considering the level of chemical degradation, mechanical properties and cost effectiveness, it can be proposed that EPDM is one of the best choices for gasket material in PEM fuel cell. Finally, the challenges that remain in using rubber component as in PEM fuel cell, as well as the prospects for exploiting them in the future are discussed.

  15. Chrysler Pentastar direct hydrogen fuel cell program

    SciTech Connect

    Kimble, M.; Deloney, D.

    1995-08-01

    The Chrysler Pentastar Electronics, Inc. Direct Hydrogen Fueled PEM Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle Program (DPHV) was initiated 1 July, 1994 with the following mission, {open_quotes}Design, fabricate, and test a Direct Hydrogen Fueled Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell System including onboard hydrogen storage, an efficient lightweight fuel cell, a gas management system, peak power augmentation and a complete system controls that can be economically mass produced and comply with all safety environmental and consumer requirements for vehicle applications for the 21st century.{close_quotes} The Conceptual Design for the entire system based upon the selection of an applicable vehicle and performance requirements that are consistent with the PNGV goals will be discussed. A Hydrogen Storage system that has been selected, packaged, and partially tested in accordance with perceived Hydrogen Safety and Infrastructure requirements will be discussed in addition to our Fuel Cell approach along with design of the {open_quotes}real{close_quotes} module. The Gas Management System and the Load Leveling System have been designed and the software programs have been developed and will be discussed along with a complete fuel cell test station that has the capability to test up to a 60 kW fuel cell system.

  16. Improving dynamic performance of proton-exchange membrane fuel cell system using time delay control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Young-Bae

    Transient behaviour is a key parameter for the vehicular application of proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. The goal of this presentation is to construct better control technology to increase the dynamic performance of a PEM fuel cell. The PEM fuel cell model comprises a compressor, an injection pump, a humidifier, a cooler, inlet and outlet manifolds, and a membrane-electrode assembly. The model includes the dynamic states of current, voltage, relative humidity, stoichiometry of air and hydrogen, cathode and anode pressures, cathode and anode mass flow rates, and power. Anode recirculation is also included with the injection pump, as well as anode purging, for preventing anode flooding. A steady-state, isothermal analytical fuel cell model is constructed to analyze the mass transfer and water transportation in the membrane. In order to prevent the starvation of air and flooding in a PEM fuel cell, time delay control is suggested to regulate the optimum stoichiometry of oxygen and hydrogen, even when there are dynamical fluctuations of the required PEM fuel cell power. To prove the dynamical performance improvement of the present method, feed-forward control and Linear Quadratic Gaussian (LQG) control with a state estimator are compared. Matlab/Simulink simulation is performed to validate the proposed methodology to increase the dynamic performance of a PEM fuel cell system.

  17. Computational modeling study on polymer electrolyte membranes for fuel cell applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choe, Yoong-Kee; Tsuchida, Eiji

    2016-12-01

    Properties of polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) for use in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEFCs) were investigated using the first-principles molecular dynamics simulations. One important issue in PEMs is how to improve the proton conductivity of PEMs under low hydration conditions. Results of the simulation show that perfluorinated type membranes such as Nafion exhibit excellent hydrophilic/hydrophobic phase separation while a hydrocarbon membrane has a relatively poor phase separation property. We found that such a poor phase separation behavior of a hydrocarbon membrane arise from hydrophilic functional groups attached to the PEMs.

  18. Irradiation selectively inhibits expression from the androgen-dependent Pem homeobox gene promoter in sertoli cells.

    PubMed

    Maiti, S; Meistrich, M L; Wilson, G; Shetty, G; Marcelli, M; McPhaul, M J; Morris, P L; Wilkinson, M F

    2001-04-01

    How radiation blocks spermatogenesis in certain strains of rats, such as LBNF(1), is not known. Because the block depends on androgen, we propose that androgen affects Sertoli cell function in irradiated LBNF(1) rats, resulting in the failure of spermatogonial differentiation. To begin to identify genes that may participate in this irradiation-induced blockade of spermatogenesis, we investigated the expression of several Sertoli genes in response to irradiation. The expression of the PEM: homeobox gene from its androgen-dependent Sertoli-specific proximal promoter (Pp) was dramatically reduced more than 100-fold in response to irradiation. In contrast, most other genes and gene products reported to be localized to the Sertoli cell, including FSH receptor (FSHR), androgen receptor (AR), SGP1, and the transcription factor CREB, did not exhibit significant changes in expression, whereas transferrin messenger RNA (mRNA) expression dramatically increased in response to irradiation. Irradiation also decreased Pp-driven PEM: mRNA levels in mouse testes (approximately 10-fold), although higher doses of irradiation than in rats were required to inhibit PEM: gene expression in testes of mice, consistent with their greater radioresistance. The decrease in Pem gene expression in mouse testis was also selective, as the expression of CREB, GATA-1, and SGP1 were little affected by irradiation. We conclude that the dramatic irradiation-triggered reduction of Pem expression in Sertoli cells is a conserved response that may be a marker for functional changes in response to irradiation.

  19. Fabrication Method for Laboratory-Scale High-Performance Membrane Electrode Assemblies for Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Sassin, Megan B; Garsany, Yannick; Gould, Benjamin D; Swider-Lyons, Karen E

    2017-01-03

    Custom catalyst-coated membranes (CCMs) and membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) are necessary for the evaluation of advanced electrocatalysts, gas diffusion media (GDM), ionomers, polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs), and electrode structures designed for use in next-generation fuel cells, electrolyzers, or flow batteries. This Feature provides a reliable and reproducible fabrication protocol for laboratory scale (10 cm(2)) fuel cells based on ultrasonic spray deposition of a standard Pt/carbon electrocatalyst directly onto a perfluorosulfonic acid PEM.

  20. Dynamic first principles model of a complete reversible fuel cell system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Tim M.; Brouwer, Jacob; Samuelsen, G. Scott; Holcomb, Franklin H.; King, Joel

    A dynamic model of a discrete reversible fuel cell (RFC) system has been developed in a Matlab Simulink ® environment. The model incorporates first principles dynamic component models of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell, a PEM electrolyzer, a metal hydride hydrogen storage tank, and a cooling system radiator, as well as empirical models of balance of plant components. Dynamic simulations show unique charging and discharging control issues and highlight factors contributing to overall system efficiency.

  1. Selection of optimal sensors for predicting performance of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, Lei; Jackson, Lisa

    2016-10-01

    In this paper, sensor selection algorithms are investigated based on a sensitivity analysis, and the capability of optimal sensors in predicting PEM fuel cell performance is also studied using test data. The fuel cell model is developed for generating the sensitivity matrix relating sensor measurements and fuel cell health parameters. From the sensitivity matrix, two sensor selection approaches, including the largest gap method, and exhaustive brute force searching technique, are applied to find the optimal sensors providing reliable predictions. Based on the results, a sensor selection approach considering both sensor sensitivity and noise resistance is proposed to find the optimal sensor set with minimum size. Furthermore, the performance of the optimal sensor set is studied to predict fuel cell performance using test data from a PEM fuel cell system. Results demonstrate that with optimal sensors, the performance of PEM fuel cell can be predicted with good quality.

  2. Near-infrared imaging of water in a polymer electrolyte membrane during a fuel cell operation.

    PubMed

    Morita, Shigeaki; Jojima, Yuki; Miyata, Yasushi; Kitagawa, Kuniyuki

    2010-11-15

    A novel technique of spectroscopic imaging using a near-infrared (NIR) laser sheet beam was developed for visualization of liquid water in a proton-exchange membrane (PEM) sandwiched between two opaque electrodes set in a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC). In-plane two-dimensional distribution of water in the thin membrane was clearly visualized during the fuel cell operation. Under the condition of fuel feeding into the PEFC without humidification, water was generated by the fuel cell reaction in the whole electrode area. In contrast, under the condition of fuel feeding with humidification, the PEM got wet in the vicinity of a gas flow field locally.

  3. The NASA fuel cell upgrade program for the Space Shuttle Orbiter

    SciTech Connect

    Warshay, M.; Prokopius, P.; Le, M.; Voecks, G.

    1997-12-31

    As part of NASA`s overall efforts to improve the Space Shuttle operations, a program to upgrade the existing fuel cell powerplant has begun. The upgrade will involve replacing the alkaline fuel cell (AFC) system with a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system, resulting in a much lower life cycle cost of the powerplant. The program is being implemented by a team comprised of NASA/JSC, NASA/LeRC, and JPL personnel, with support from NASA/KSC. With extremely high annual maintenance costs and subsystem replacement costs, the need for a lower cost Orbiter fuel cell powerplant is obvious. Earlier NASA plant to upgrade the shuttle fuel cell were not adequately funded and only focused upon upgrading the existing AFC. For the current program, the PEM fuel cell system will be implemented because the projected long life (10,000 hrs. vs. 2,000 hrs. for AFC), high power density (PEM projected to produce 50% more power), and enhanced system reliability and safety all lead to significantly lower life cycle powerplant costs. And in addition to the Orbiter application, PEM fuel cell development would support a number of important space applications that the AFC would not, such as Lunar/Mars transportation, the Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV), Space Station emergency power and/or future energy storage applications, and various portable applications. NASA is also leveraging all of the large scale PEM fuel cell development activities that are ongoing for DOE, DOD, and commercial applications. There is no activity in the AFC area. The Shuttle Fuel Cell Upgrade plan of the JSC/LeRC/JPL team includes the following key elements: (1) Systems Analyses to assure compatibility/maximum utilization by shuttle of the best PEM fuel cell characteristics; (2) Short Stack Testing of the leading PEM fuel cell contractors` hardware; (3) Detailed Task Objective (DTO) Flight Experiment to verify PEM system water management and thermal management under zero-g operation; (4) A Downselect to the best

  4. Ex-situ and In-situ Stability Studies of PEM Fuel Cell Catalysts: the effect of carbon type and humidification on the thermal degradation of carbon supported catalysts

    SciTech Connect

    Haugen, G. M.; Stevens, D. A.; Hicks, M. T.; Dahn, J. R.

    2005-11-01

    One of the most significant challenges for proton exchange membrane fuel cells in stationary power generation systems is lifetime, where 40,000 hours of operation with less than 10% decay in performance is desired. There are several different membrane electrode assembly (MEA) associated degradation mechanisms inhibiting MEAs from obtaining their desired lifetime targets. The focus of this research is on the loss of cathode surface area over time, which results in MEA performance losses, since MEA performance is proportional to cathode catalyst surface area. Two proposed mechanisms, support oxidation and platinum dissolution, are studied using different accelerated tests. These results are compared to cathode catalyst surface area loss data from real-time fuel cell tests in order to decouple the two degradation mechanisms.

  5. Comparative analysis of selected fuel cell vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    1993-05-07

    Vehicles powered by fuel cells operate more efficiently, more quietly, and more cleanly than internal combustion engines (ICEs). Furthermore, methanol-fueled fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) can utilize major elements of the existing fueling infrastructure of present-day liquid-fueled ICE vehicles (ICEVs). DOE has maintained an active program to stimulate the development and demonstration o fuel cell technologies in conjunction with rechargeable batteries in road vehicles. The purpose of this study is to identify and assess the availability of data on FCVs, and to develop a vehicle subsystem structure that can be used to compare both FCVs and ICEV, from a number of perspectives--environmental impacts, energy utilization, materials usage, and life cycle costs. This report focuses on methanol-fueled FCVs fueled by gasoline, methanol, and diesel fuel that are likely to be demonstratable by the year 2000. The comparative analysis presented covers four vehicles--two passenger vehicles and two urban transit buses. The passenger vehicles include an ICEV using either gasoline or methanol and an FCV using methanol. The FCV uses a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell, an on-board methanol reformer, mid-term batteries, and an AC motor. The transit bus ICEV was evaluated for both diesel and methanol fuels. The transit bus FCV runs on methanol and uses a Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell (PAFC) fuel cell, near-term batteries, a DC motor, and an on-board methanol reformer. 75 refs.

  6. Breaking down the barriers to commercialization of fuel cells in transportation through Government - industry R&D programs

    SciTech Connect

    Chalk, S.G.; Venkateswaran, S.R.

    1996-12-31

    PEM fuel cell technology is rapidly emerging as a viable propulsion alternative to the internal combustion engine. Fuel cells offer the advantages of low emissions, high efficiency, fuel flexibility, quiet and continuous operation, and modularity. Over the last decade, dramatic advances have been achieved in the performance and cost of PEM fuel cell technologies for automotive applications. However, significant technical barriers remain to making fuel cell propulsion systems viable alternatives to the internal combustion engine. This paper focuses on the progress achieved and remaining technical barriers while highlighting Government-industry R&D efforts that are accelerating fuel cell technology toward commercialization.

  7. Fuel Cell Activities at the NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kohout, Lisa L.; Lyons, Valerie (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Fuel cells have a long history in space applications and may have potential application in aeronautics as well. A fuel cell is an electrochemical energy conversion device that directly transforms the chemical energy of a fuel and oxidant into electrical energy. Alkaline fuel cells have been the mainstay of the U.S. space program, providing power for the Apollo missions and the Space Shuttle. However, Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells offer potential benefits over alkaline systems and are currently under development for the next generation Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV). Furthermore, primary and regenerative systems utilizing PEM technology are also being considered for future space applications such as surface power and planetary aircraft. In addition to these applications, the NASA Glenn Research Center is currently studying the feasibility of the use of both PEM and solid oxide fuel cells for low- or zero-emission electric aircraft propulsion. These types of systems have potential applications for high altitude environmental aircraft, general aviation and commercial aircraft, and high attitude airships. NASA Glenn has a unique set of capabilities and expertise essential to the successful development of advanced fuel cell power systems for space and aeronautics applications. NASA Glenn's role in past fuel cell development programs as well as current activities to meet these new challenges will be presented

  8. Fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Struthers, R.C.

    1983-06-28

    An improved fuel cell comprising an anode section including an anode terminal, an anode fuel, and an anolyte electrolyte, a cathode section including a cathode terminal, an electron distributor and a catholyte electrolyte, an ion exchange section between the anode and cathode sections and including an ionolyte electrolyte, ion transfer membranes separating the ionolyte from the anolyte and the catholyte and an electric circuit connected with and between the terminals conducting free electrons from the anode section and delivering free electrons to the cathode section, said ionolyte receives ions of one polarity moving from the anolyte through the membrane related thereto preventing chemical equilibrium in the anode section and sustaining chemical reaction and the generating of free electrons therein, said ions received by the ionolyte from the anolyte release different ions from the ionolyte which move through the membrane between the ionolyte and catholyte and which add to the catholyte.

  9. Fuel cell development for transportation: Catalyst development

    SciTech Connect

    Doddapaneni, N.; Ingersoll, D.

    1996-12-31

    Fuel cells are being considered as alternative power sources for transportation and stationary applications. The degradation of commonly used electrode catalysts (e.g. Pt, Ag, and others) and corrosion of carbon substrates are making commercialization of fuel cells incorporating present day technologies economically problematic. Furthermore, due to the instability of the Pt catalyst, the performance of fuel cells declines on long-term operation. When methanol is used as the fuel, a voltage drop, as well as significant thermal management problems can be encountered, the later being due to chemical oxidation of methanol at the platinized carbon at the cathode. Though extensive work was conducted on platinized electrodes for both the oxidation and reduction reactions, due to the problems mentioned above, fuel cells have not been fully developed for widespread commercial use. Several investigators have previously evaluated metal macrocyclic complexes as alternative catalysts to Pt and Pt/Ru in fuel cells. Unfortunately, though they have demonstrated catalytic activity, these materials were found to be unstable on long term use in the fuel cell environment. In order to improve the long-term stability of metal macrocyclic complexes, we have chemically bonded these complexes to the carbon substrate, thereby enhancing their catalytic activity as well as their chemical stability in the fuel cell environment. We have designed, synthesized, and evaluated these catalysts for O{sub 2} reduction, H{sub 2} oxidation, and direct methanol oxidation in Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) and aqueous carbonate fuel cells. These catalysts exhibited good catalytic activity and long-term stability. In this paper we confine our discussion to the initial performance results of some of these catalysts in H{sub 2}/O{sub 2} PEM fuel cells, including their long-term performance characteristics as well as CO poisoning effects on these catalysts.

  10. Modelling of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells with variable degrees of water flooding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baschuk, J. J.; Li, Xianguo

    Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells have received increasing attention from both the public and fuel cell community due to their great potential for transport applications. The phenomenon of water flooding in the PEM fuel cells is not well understood, and few modelling studies have included the effect of water flooding. On the other hand, water management is one of the critical issues to be resolved in the design and operation of PEM fuel cells. In the present study, a mathematical model has been formulated for the performance and operation of a single polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. This model incorporates all the essential fundamental physical and electrochemical processes occurring in the membrane electrolyte, cathode catalyst layer, electrode backing and flow channel. A special feature of the model is that it includes the effect of variable degree of water flooding in the cathode catalyst layer and/or cathode electrode backing region on the cell performance. The model predictions have been compared with the existing experimental results available in the literature and excellent agreement has been demonstrated between the model results and the measured data for the cell polarisation curves. Hence, this model can be used for the optimisation of PEM fuel cell design and operation, and can serve as a building block for the modelling and understanding of PEM fuel cell stacks and systems.

  11. The direct methanol fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Halpert, G.; Narayanan, S.R.; Frank, H.

    1995-08-01

    This presentation describes the approach and progress in the ARPA-sponsored effort to develop a Direct Methanol, Liquid-Feed Fuel Cell (DMLFFC) with a solid Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) for battery replacement in small portable applications. Using Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEAs) developed by JPL and Giner, significant voltage was demonstrated at relatively high current densities. The DMLFFC utilizes a 3 percent aqueous solution of methanol that is oxidized directly in the anode (fuel) chamber and oxygen (air) in the cathode chamber to produce water and significant power. The only products are water and CO{sub 2}. The ARPA effort is aimed at replacing the battery in the BA 5590 military radio.

  12. Emerging Fuel Cell Technology Being Developed: Offers Many Benefits to Air Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walker, James F.; Civinskas, Kestutis C.

    2004-01-01

    Fuel cells, which have recently received considerable attention for terrestrial applications ranging from automobiles to stationary power generation, may enable new aerospace missions as well as offer fuel savings, quiet operations, and reduced emissions for current and future aircraft. NASA has extensive experience with fuel cells, having used them on manned space flight systems over four decades. Consequently, the NASA Glenn Research Center has initiated an effort to investigate and develop fuel cell technologies for multiple aerospace applications. Two promising fuel cell types are the proton exchange membrane (PEM) and solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC). PEM technology, first used on the Gemini spacecraft in the sixties, remained unutilized thereafter until the automotive industry recently recognized the potential. PEM fuel cells are low-temperature devices offering quick startup time but requiring relatively pure hydrogen fuel. In contrast, SOFCs operate at high temperatures and tolerate higher levels of impurities. This flexibility allows SOFCs to use hydrocarbon fuels, which is an important factor considering our current liquid petroleum infrastructure. However, depending on the specific application, either PEM or SOFC can be attractive. As only NASA can, the Agency is pursuing fuel cell technology for civil uninhabited aerial vehicles (UAVs) because it offers enhanced scientific capabilities, including enabling highaltitude, long-endurance missions. The NASA Helios aircraft demonstrated altitudes approaching 100,000 ft using solar power in 2001, and future plans include the development of a regenerative PEM fuel cell to provide nighttime power. Unique to NASA's mission, the high-altitude aircraft application requires the PEM fuel cell to operate on pure oxygen, instead of the air typical of terrestrial applications.

  13. Intra-fuel cell stack measurements of transient concentration distributions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Partridge, W. P.; Toops, T. J.; Green, J. B.; Armstrong, T. R.

    Intra-fuel-cell measurements are required to understand detailed fuel-cell chemistry and physics, validate models, optimize system design and control, and realize enhanced efficiency regimes; in comparison, conventional integrated fuel-cell supply and effluent measurements are fundamentally limited in value. Intra-reactor measurements are needed for all fuel cell types. This paper demonstrates the ability of a capillary-inlet mass spectrometer to resolve transient species distributions within operating polymer-electrolyte-membrane (PEM) fuel cells and at temperatures typical of solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFC). This is the first such demonstration of a diagnostic that is sufficiently minimally invasive as to allow measurements throughout an operating fuel cell stack. Measurements of transient water, hydrogen, oxygen and diluent concentration dynamics associated with fuel-cell load switching suggest oxygen-limited chemistry. Intra-PEM fuel cell measurements of oxygen distribution at various fuel-cell loads are used to demonstrate concentration gradients, non-uniformities, and anomalous fuel cell operation.

  14. Advanced proton-exchange materials for energy efficient fuel cells.

    SciTech Connect

    Fujimoto, Cy H.; Grest, Gary Stephen; Hickner, Michael A.; Cornelius, Christopher James; Staiger, Chad Lynn; Hibbs, Michael R.

    2005-12-01

    The ''Advanced Proton-Exchange Materials for Energy Efficient Fuel Cells'' Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project began in October 2002 and ended in September 2005. This LDRD was funded by the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy strategic business unit. The purpose of this LDRD was to initiate the fundamental research necessary for the development of a novel proton-exchange membranes (PEM) to overcome the material and performance limitations of the ''state of the art'' Nafion that is used in both hydrogen and methanol fuel cells. An atomistic modeling effort was added to this LDRD in order to establish a frame work between predicted morphology and observed PEM morphology in order to relate it to fuel cell performance. Significant progress was made in the area of PEM material design, development, and demonstration during this LDRD. A fundamental understanding involving the role of the structure of the PEM material as a function of sulfonic acid content, polymer topology, chemical composition, molecular weight, and electrode electrolyte ink development was demonstrated during this LDRD. PEM materials based upon random and block polyimides, polybenzimidazoles, and polyphenylenes were created and evaluated for improvements in proton conductivity, reduced swelling, reduced O{sub 2} and H{sub 2} permeability, and increased thermal stability. Results from this work reveal that the family of polyphenylenes potentially solves several technical challenges associated with obtaining a high temperature PEM membrane. Fuel cell relevant properties such as high proton conductivity (>120 mS/cm), good thermal stability, and mechanical robustness were demonstrated during this LDRD. This report summarizes the technical accomplishments and results of this LDRD.

  15. Operation of the 25kW NASA Lewis Research Center Solar Regenerative Fuel Cell Tested Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, S. H.; Voecks, G. E.

    1997-01-01

    Assembly of the NASA Lewis Research Center(LeRC)Solar Regenerative Fuel Cell (RFC) Testbed Facility has been completed and system testing has proceeded. This facility includes the integration of two 25kW photovoltaic solar cell arrays, a 25kW proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis unit, four 5kW PEM fuel cells, high pressure hydrogen and oxygen storage vessels, high purity water storage containers, and computer monitoring, control and data acquisition.

  16. System level modeling and component level control of fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xue, Xingjian

    This dissertation investigates the fuel cell systems and the related technologies in three aspects: (1) system-level dynamic modeling of both PEM fuel cell (PEMFC) and solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC); (2) condition monitoring scheme development of PEM fuel cell system using model-based statistical method; and (3) strategy and algorithm development of precision control with potential application in energy systems. The dissertation first presents a system level dynamic modeling strategy for PEM fuel cells. It is well known that water plays a critical role in PEM fuel cell operations. It makes the membrane function appropriately and improves the durability. The low temperature operating conditions, however, impose modeling difficulties in characterizing the liquid-vapor two phase change phenomenon, which becomes even more complex under dynamic operating conditions. This dissertation proposes an innovative method to characterize this phenomenon, and builds a comprehensive model for PEM fuel cell at the system level. The model features the complete characterization of multi-physics dynamic coupling effects with the inclusion of dynamic phase change. The model is validated using Ballard stack experimental result from open literature. The system behavior and the internal coupling effects are also investigated using this model under various operating conditions. Anode-supported tubular SOFC is also investigated in the dissertation. While the Nernst potential plays a central role in characterizing the electrochemical performance, the traditional Nernst equation may lead to incorrect analysis results under dynamic operating conditions due to the current reverse flow phenomenon. This dissertation presents a systematic study in this regard to incorporate a modified Nernst potential expression and the heat/mass transfer into the analysis. The model is used to investigate the limitations and optimal results of various operating conditions; it can also be utilized to perform the

  17. Correlations between mass activity and physicochemical properties of Fe/N/C catalysts for the ORR in PEM fuel cell via 57Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy and other techniques.

    PubMed

    Kramm, Ulrike I; Lefèvre, Michel; Larouche, Nicholas; Schmeisser, Dieter; Dodelet, Jean-Pol

    2014-01-22

    The aim of this work is to clarify the origin of the enhanced PEM-FC performance of catalysts prepared by the procedures described in Science 2009, 324, 71 and Nat. Commun. 2011, 2, 416. Catalysts were characterized after a first heat treatment in argon at 1050 °C (Ar) and a second heat treatment in ammonia at 950 °C (Ar + NH3). For the NC catalysts a variation of the nitrogen precursor was also implemented. (57)Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, neutron activation analysis, and N2 sorption measurements were used to characterize all catalysts. The results were correlated to the mass activity of these catalysts measured at 0.8 V in H2/O2 PEM-FC. It was found that all catalysts contain the same FeN4-like species already found in INRS Standard (Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2012, 14, 11673). Among all FeN4-like species, only D1 sites, assigned to FeN4/C, and D3, assigned to N-FeN2+2 /C sites, were active for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). The difference between INRS Standard and the new catalysts is simply that there are many more D1 and D3 sites available in the new catalysts. All (Ar + NH3)-type catalysts have a much larger porosity than Ar-type catalysts, while the maximum number of their active sites is only slightly larger after a second heat treatment in NH3. The large difference in activity between the Ar-type catalysts and the Ar + NH3 ones stems from the availability of the sites to perform ORR, as many sites of the Ar-type catalysts are secluded in the material, while they are available at the surface of the Ar + NH3-type catalysts.

  18. Dynamic behavior of gasoline fuel cell electric vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchell, William; Bowers, Brian J.; Garnier, Christophe; Boudjemaa, Fabien

    As we begin the 21st century, society is continuing efforts towards finding clean power sources and alternative forms of energy. In the automotive sector, reduction of pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions from the power plant is one of the main objectives of car manufacturers and innovative technologies are under active consideration to achieve this goal. One technology that has been proposed and vigorously pursued in the past decade is the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell, an electrochemical device that reacts hydrogen with oxygen to produce water, electricity and heat. Since today there is no existing extensive hydrogen infrastructure and no commercially viable hydrogen storage technology for vehicles, there is a continuing debate as to how the hydrogen for these advanced vehicles will be supplied. In order to circumvent the above issues, power systems based on PEM fuel cells can employ an on-board fuel processor that has the ability to convert conventional fuels such as gasoline into hydrogen for the fuel cell. This option could thereby remove the fuel infrastructure and storage issues. However, for these fuel processor/fuel cell vehicles to be commercially successful, issues such as start time and transient response must be addressed. This paper discusses the role of transient response of the fuel processor power plant and how it relates to the battery sizing for a gasoline fuel cell vehicle. In addition, results of fuel processor testing from a current Renault/Nuvera Fuel Cells project are presented to show the progress in transient performance.

  19. Using Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells in a Hybrid Surface Ship Propulsion Plant to Increase Fuel Efficiency

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-06-01

    designing more cleanly running propulsion plants . 15. SUBJECT TERMS 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 17. LIMITATION OF ABSTRACT Same as Report (SAR) 18...can be confidently used in a naval engineering application. To provide reliable power for the ships service electric plant and propulsion, the fuel cell...acceptable for shipboard use. 3. Propulsion Plant Model Now that fuel cells as an alternate power source and PEM fuel cells in specific were selected as a

  20. An operationally flexible fuel cell based on quaternary ammonium-biphosphate ion pairs

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Kwan -Soo; Spendelow, Jacob Schatz; Choe, Yoong -Kee; Fujimoto, Cy; Kim, Yu Seung

    2016-08-22

    Here, fuel cells are promising devices for clean power generation in a variety of economically and environmentally significant applications. Low-temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells utilizing Nafion require a high level of hydration, which limits the operating temperature to less than 100°C. In contrast, high-temperature PEM fuel cells utilizing phosphoric acid-doped polybenzimidazole can operate effectively up to 180°C; however, these devices degrade when exposed to water below 140°C. Here we present a different class of PEM fuel cells based on quaternary ammonium-biphosphate ion pairs that can operate under conditions unattainable with existing fuel cell technologies. These fuel cells exhibit stable performance at 80–160°C with a conductivity decay rate more than three orders of magnitude lower than that of a commercial high-temperature PEM fuel cell. By increasing the operational flexibility, this class of fuel cell can simplify the requirements for heat and water management, and potentially reduce the costs associated with the existing fully functional fuel cell systems.

  1. An operationally flexible fuel cell based on quaternary ammonium-biphosphate ion pairs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Kwan-Soo; Spendelow, Jacob S.; Choe, Yoong-Kee; Fujimoto, Cy; Kim, Yu Seung

    2016-09-01

    Fuel cells are promising devices for clean power generation in a variety of economically and environmentally significant applications. Low-temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells utilizing Nafion require a high level of hydration, which limits the operating temperature to less than 100 ∘C. In contrast, high-temperature PEM fuel cells utilizing phosphoric acid-doped polybenzimidazole can operate effectively up to 180 ∘C however, these devices degrade when exposed to water below 140 ∘C. Here we present a different class of PEM fuel cells based on quaternary ammonium-biphosphate ion pairs that can operate under conditions unattainable with existing fuel cell technologies. These fuel cells exhibit stable performance at 80-160 ∘C with a conductivity decay rate more than three orders of magnitude lower than that of a commercial high-temperature PEM fuel cell. By increasing the operational flexibility, this class of fuel cell can simplify the requirements for heat and water management, and potentially reduce the costs associated with the existing fully functional fuel cell systems.

  2. An operationally flexible fuel cell based on quaternary ammonium-biphosphate ion pairs

    DOE PAGES

    Lee, Kwan -Soo; Spendelow, Jacob Schatz; Choe, Yoong -Kee; ...

    2016-08-22

    Here, fuel cells are promising devices for clean power generation in a variety of economically and environmentally significant applications. Low-temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells utilizing Nafion require a high level of hydration, which limits the operating temperature to less than 100°C. In contrast, high-temperature PEM fuel cells utilizing phosphoric acid-doped polybenzimidazole can operate effectively up to 180°C; however, these devices degrade when exposed to water below 140°C. Here we present a different class of PEM fuel cells based on quaternary ammonium-biphosphate ion pairs that can operate under conditions unattainable with existing fuel cell technologies. These fuel cells exhibitmore » stable performance at 80–160°C with a conductivity decay rate more than three orders of magnitude lower than that of a commercial high-temperature PEM fuel cell. By increasing the operational flexibility, this class of fuel cell can simplify the requirements for heat and water management, and potentially reduce the costs associated with the existing fully functional fuel cell systems.« less

  3. Fuel cells: A survey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crowe, B. J.

    1973-01-01

    A survey of fuel cell technology and applications is presented. The operating principles, performance capabilities, and limitations of fuel cells are discussed. Diagrams of fuel cell construction and operating characteristics are provided. Photographs of typical installations are included.

  4. Hydrogen Fuel Cell development in Columbia (SC)

    SciTech Connect

    Reifsnider, Kenneth; Chen, Fanglin; Popov, Branko; Chao, Yuh; Xue, Xingjian

    2012-09-15

    This is an update to the final report filed after the extension of this program to May of 2011. The activities of the present program contributed to the goals and objectives of the Fuel Cell element of the Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Infrastructure Technologies Program of the Department of Energy through five sub-projects. Three of these projects have focused on PEM cells, addressing the creation of carbon-based metal-free catalysts, the development of durable seals, and an effort to understand contaminant adsorption/reaction/transport/performance relationships at low contaminant levels in PEM cells. Two programs addressed barriers in SOFCs; an effort to create a new symmetrical and direct hydrocarbon fuel SOFC designs with greatly increased durability, efficiency, and ease of manufacturing, and an effort to create a multiphysics engineering durability model based on electrochemical impedance spectroscopy interpretations that associate the micro-details of how a fuel cell is made and their history of (individual) use with specific prognosis for long term performance, resulting in attendant reductions in design, manufacturing, and maintenance costs and increases in reliability and durability.

  5. Hydrogen Fuel Cell Development in Columbia (SC)

    SciTech Connect

    Reifsnider, Kenneth

    2011-07-31

    This is an update to the final report filed after the extension of this program to May of 2011. The activities of the present program contributed to the goals and objectives of the Fuel Cell element of the Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Infrastructure Technologies Program of the Department of Energy through five sub-projects. Three of these projects have focused on PEM cells, addressing the creation of carbon-based metal-free catalysts, the development of durable seals, and an effort to understand contaminant adsorption/reaction/transport/performance relationships at low contaminant levels in PEM cells. Two programs addressed barriers in SOFCs; an effort to create a new symmetrical and direct hydrocarbon fuel SOFC designs with greatly increased durability, efficiency, and ease of manufacturing, and an effort to create a multiphysics engineering durability model based on electrochemical impedance spectroscopy interpretations that associate the micro-details of how a fuel cell is made and their history of (individual) use with specific prognosis for long term performance, resulting in attendant reductions in design, manufacturing, and maintenance costs and increases in reliability and durability.

  6. Experimental research on water management in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Li-jun; Chen, Wen-can; Qin, Ming-jun; Ren, Geng-po

    A simulated cathode flow channel experiment system was set up based on the gas flow rate and water flow rate in the PEM fuel cell. With the assistance of the visualization system, high-sensitivity double parallel conductance probes flow regime inspecting technique was adopted successfully in the experiment system to inspect the flow regime of the gas-liquid two-phase flow in the PEM fuel cell. The research results show that the double parallel conductance probes inspecting system and the flow regime image system for the gas-liquid two-phase flow in the PEM fuel cell simulated channel both can judge the slug flow and annular flow in it, and the double parallel conductance probes flow regime inspecting system can divide the annular flow into three subtypes. The main probes inspecting system and the assistant image system validate reciprocally, which enhances the experimental veracity. The typical flow regimes of the PEM fuel cell simulated channel include slug flow, annular flow with big water film wave, annular flow with small water film wave and annular flow without water film wave. With the increase of the liquid superficial velocity, the frequencies of liquid slug and wave of liquid film increase. The flow regime map in the flow channel of the PEM fuel cell was developed. The flow regime of the gas-liquid two-phase flow in a PEM fuel cell in different operating conditions can be forecasted with this map. With the PEM fuel cell operating condition in this study, the flow regimes of gas-liquid two-phase flow for different cases are all annular flow with small water film wave, and the liquid film waves more with bigger current density. With the location closer to the channel outlet, the liquid film waves are more for the same current density.

  7. An Overview of Stationary Fuel Cell Technology

    SciTech Connect

    DR Brown; R Jones

    1999-03-23

    Technology developments occurring in the past few years have resulted in the initial commercialization of phosphoric acid (PA) fuel cells. Ongoing research and development (R and D) promises further improvement in PA fuel cell technology, as well as the development of proton exchange membrane (PEM), molten carbonate (MC), and solid oxide (SO) fuel cell technologies. In the long run, this collection of fuel cell options will be able to serve a wide range of electric power and cogeneration applications. A fuel cell converts the chemical energy of a fuel into electrical energy without the use of a thermal cycle or rotating equipment. In contrast, most electrical generating devices (e.g., steam and gas turbine cycles, reciprocating engines) first convert chemical energy into thermal energy and then mechanical energy before finally generating electricity. Like a battery, a fuel cell is an electrochemical device, but there are important differences. Batteries store chemical energy and convert it into electrical energy on demand, until the chemical energy has been depleted. Depleted secondary batteries may be recharged by applying an external power source, while depleted primary batteries must be replaced. Fuel cells, on the other hand, will operate continuously, as long as they are externally supplied with a fuel and an oxidant.

  8. Corrugated Membrane Fuel Cell Structures

    SciTech Connect

    Grot, Stephen

    2013-09-30

    One of the most challenging aspects of traditional PEM fuel cell stacks is the difficulty achieving the platinum catalyst utilization target of 0.2 gPt/kWe set forth by the DOE. Good catalyst utilization can be achieved with state-of-the-art catalyst coated membranes (CCM) when low catalyst loadings (<0.3 mg/cm2) are used at a low current. However, when low platinum loadings are used, the peak power density is lower than conventional loadings, requiring a larger total active area and a larger bipolar plate. This results in a lower overall stack power density not meeting the DOE target. By corrugating the fuel cell membrane electrode structure, Ion Power?s goal is to realize both the Pt utilization targets as well as the power density targets of the DOE. This will be achieved by demonstrating a fuel cell single cell (50 cm2) with a twofold increase in the membrane active area over the geometric area of the cell by corrugating the MEA structure. The corrugating structure must be able to demonstrate the target properties of < 10 mOhm-cm2 electrical resistance at > 20 psi compressive strength over the active area, in combination with offering at least 80% of power density that can be achieved by using the same MEA in a flat plate structure. Corrugated membrane fuel cell structures also have the potential to meet DOE power density targets by essentially packaging more membrane area into the same fuel cell volume as compared to conventional stack constructions.

  9. Power output and load following in a fuel cell fueled by membrane reactor hydrogen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buxbaum, Robert; Lei, Hanwei

    Hydrogen for current polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) and alkaline fuel cells must be supplied with not more than a few tens of ppm of CO or CO 2, respectively. If the hydrogen is generated, as it is used, it must be produced efficiently over a broad fuel cell demand range, and follow load changes on the order of seconds. We generated hydrogen for a broad variety of demands from a 1.09/1 molar mix of methanol/water using a commercial water-gas shift catalyst and a membrane reactor. The reactor output hydrogen was fed directly into a PEM fuel cell. Demand was varied between 0 and 0.9 A/cm 2, both in flow through operation and in dead-end operation. We found power densities virtually identical to those with bottled gas. We also demonstrated inherent load following on a time scale ≤2000 μs.

  10. GATE Center for Automotive Fuel Cell Systems at Virginia Tech

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, Douglas

    2011-09-30

    The Virginia Tech GATE Center for Automotive Fuel Cell Systems (CAFCS) achieved the following objectives in support of the domestic automotive industry: Expanded and updated fuel cell and vehicle technologies education programs; Conducted industry directed research in three thrust areas development and characterization of materials for PEM fuel cells; performance and durability modeling for PEM fuel cells; and fuel cell systems design and optimization, including hybrid and plug-in hybrid fuel cell vehicles; Developed MS and Ph.D. engineers and scientists who are pursuing careers related to fuel cells and automotive applications; Published research results that provide industry with new knowledge which contributes to the advancement of fuel cell and vehicle systems commercialization. With support from the Dept. of Energy, the CAFCS upgraded existing graduate course offerings; introduced a hands-on laboratory component that make use of Virginia Tech's comprehensive laboratory facilities, funded 15 GATE Fellowships over a five year period; and expanded our program of industry interaction to improve student awareness of challenges and opportunities in the automotive industry. GATE Center graduate students have a state-of-the-art research experience preparing them for a career to contribute to the advancement fuel cell and vehicle technologies.

  11. A review of radiation-grafted polymer electrolyte membranes for alkaline polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Tianchi; Shao, Rong; Chen, Song; He, Xuemei; Qiao, Jinli; Zhang, Jiujun

    2015-10-01

    The past two decades have witnessed many efforts to develop radiation-grafted alkaline membranes for alkaline PEM fuel cell applications, as such membranes have certain advantages over other kinds of alkaline membranes, including well-controlled composition, functionality, and other promising properties. To facilitate research and development in this area, the present paper reviews radiation-grafted alkaline membranes. We examine their synthesis/fabrication/characterization, membrane material selection, and theoretical approaches for fundamental understanding. We also present detailed examinations of their application in fuel cell in terms of the working principles of the radiation grafting process, the fabrication of MEAs using radiation-grafted membranes, the membranes' corresponding performance in alkaline PEM fuel cells, as well as performance optimization. The paper also summarizes the challenges and mitigation strategies for radiation-grafted alkaline membranes and their application in PEM fuel cells, presenting an overall picture of the technology as it presently stands.

  12. Anionic-cationic bi-cell design for direct methanol fuel cell stack

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Hyea; Ünlü, Murat; Zhou, Junfeng; Anestis-Richard, Irene; Kohl, Paul A.

    A new fuel cell stack design is described using an anion exchange membrane (AEM) fuel cell and a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell in series with a single fuel tank servicing both anodes in a passive direct methanol fuel cell configuration. The anionic-cationic bi-cell stack has alkaline and acid fuel cells in series (twice the voltage), one fuel tank, and simplified water management. The series connection between the two cells involves shorting the cathode of the anionic cell to the anode of the acidic cell. It is shown that these two electrodes are at essentially the same potential which avoids an undesired potential difference and resulting loss in current between the two electrodes. Further, the complimentary direction of water transport in the two kinds of fuel cells simplifies water management at both the anodes and cathodes. The effect of ionomer content on the AEM electrode potential and the activity of methanol oxidation were investigated. The individual performance of AEM and PEM fuel cells were evaluated. The effect of ion-exchange capacity in the alkaline electrodes was studied. A fuel wicking material in the methanol fuel tank was used to provide orientation-independent operation. The open circuit potential of the bi-cell was 1.36 V with 2.0 M methanol fuel and air at room temperature.

  13. Optimal design of a hybridization scheme with a fuel cell using genetic optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez, Marco A.

    Fuel cell is one of the most dependable "green power" technologies, readily available for immediate application. It enables direct conversion of hydrogen and other gases into electric energy without any pollution of the environment. However, the efficient power generation is strictly stationary process that cannot operate under dynamic environment. Consequently, fuel cell becomes practical only within a specially designed hybridization scheme, capable of power storage and power management functions. The resultant technology could be utilized to its full potential only when both the fuel cell element and the entire hybridization scheme are optimally designed. The design optimization in engineering is among the most complex computational tasks due to its multidimensionality, nonlinearity, discontinuity and presence of constraints in the underlying optimization problem. this research aims at the optimal utilization of the fuel cell technology through the use of genetic optimization, and advance computing. This study implements genetic optimization in the definition of optimum hybridization rules for a PEM fuel cell/supercapacitor power system. PEM fuel cells exhibit high energy density but they are not intended for pulsating power draw applications. They work better in steady state operation and thus, are often hybridized. In a hybrid system, the fuel cell provides power during steady state operation while capacitors or batteries augment the power of the fuel cell during power surges. Capacitors and batteries can also be recharged when the motor is acting as a generator. Making analogies to driving cycles, three hybrid system operating modes are investigated: 'Flat' mode, 'Uphill' mode, and 'Downhill' mode. In the process of discovering the switching rules for these three modes, we also generate a model of a 30W PEM fuel cell. This study also proposes the optimum design of a 30W PEM fuel cell. The PEM fuel cell model and hybridization's switching rules are postulated

  14. Fuel cell systems for personal and portable power applications

    SciTech Connect

    Fateen, S. A.

    2001-01-01

    Fuel cells are devices that electrochemically convert fuel, usually hydrogen gas, to directly produce electricity. Fuel cells were initially developed for use in the space program to provide electricity and drinking water for astronauts. Fuel cells are under development for use in the automobile industry to power cars and buses with the advantage of lower emissions and higher efficiency than internal combustion engines. Fuel cells also have great potential to be used in portable consumer products like cellular phones and laptop computers, as well as military applications. In fact, any products that use batteries can be powered by fuel cells. In this project, we examine fuel cell system trade-offs between fuel cell type and energy storage/hydrogen production for portable power generation. The types of fuel cells being examined include stored hydrogen PEM (polymer electrolyte), direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) and indirect methanol fuel cells, where methanol is reformed producing hydrogen. These fuel cells systems can operate at or near ambient conditions, which make them potentially optimal for use in manned personal power applications. The expected power production for these systems is in the range of milliwatts to 500 watts of electrical power for either personal or soldier field use. The fuel cell system trade-offs examine hydrogen storage by metal hydrides, carbon nanotubes, and compressed hydrogen tanks. We examine the weights each system, volume, fuel storage, system costs, system peripherals, power output, and fuel cell feasibility in portable devices.

  15. A Methanol Steam Reforming Micro Reactor for Proton Exchange Membrane Micro Fuel Cell System

    SciTech Connect

    Park, H G; Piggott, W T; Chung, J; Morse, J D; Havstad, M; Grigoropoulos, C P; Greif, R; Benett, W; Sopchak, D; Upadhye, R

    2003-07-28

    The heat, mass and momentum transfer from a fuel reforming packed bed to a surrounding silicon wafer has been simulated. Modeling showed quantitatively reasonable agreement with experimental data for fuel conversion efficiency, hydrogen production rate, outlet methanol mole fraction and outlet steam mole fraction. The variation in fuel conversion efficiency with the micro reformer thermal isolation can be used to optimize fuel-processing conditions for micro PEM fuel cells.

  16. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells for electrical power generation on-board commercial airplanes.

    SciTech Connect

    Curgus, Dita Brigitte; Munoz-Ramos, Karina; Pratt, Joseph William; Akhil, Abbas Ali; Klebanoff, Leonard E.; Schenkman, Benjamin L.

    2011-05-01

    Deployed on a commercial airplane, proton exchange membrane fuel cells may offer emissions reductions, thermal efficiency gains, and enable locating the power near the point of use. This work seeks to understand whether on-board fuel cell systems are technically feasible, and, if so, if they offer a performance advantage for the airplane as a whole. Through hardware analysis and thermodynamic and electrical simulation, we found that while adding a fuel cell system using today's technology for the PEM fuel cell and hydrogen storage is technically feasible, it will not likely give the airplane a performance benefit. However, when we re-did the analysis using DOE-target technology for the PEM fuel cell and hydrogen storage, we found that the fuel cell system would provide a performance benefit to the airplane (i.e., it can save the airplane some fuel), depending on the way it is configured.

  17. Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells for Electrical Power Generation On-Board Commercial Airplanes

    SciTech Connect

    Pratt, Joesph W.; Klebanoff, Leonard E.; Munoz-Ramos, Karina; Akhil, Abbas A.; Curgus, Dita B.; Schenkman, Benjamin L.

    2011-05-01

    Deployed on a commercial airplane, proton exchange membrane fuel cells may offer emissions reductions, thermal efficiency gains, and enable locating the power near the point of use. This work seeks to understand whether on-board fuel cell systems are technically feasible, and, if so, if they offer a performance advantage for the airplane as a whole. Through hardware analysis and thermodynamic and electrical simulation, we found that while adding a fuel cell system using today’s technology for the PEM fuel cell and hydrogen storage is technically feasible, it will not likely give the airplane a performance benefit. However, when we re-did the analysis using DOE-target technology for the PEM fuel cell and hydrogen storage, we found that the fuel cell system would provide a performance benefit to the airplane (i.e., it can save the airplane some fuel), depending on the way it is configured.

  18. A direct borohydride fuel cell with a polymer fiber membrane and non-noble metal catalysts.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiaodong; Liu, Yongning; Li, Sai; Wei, Xiaozhu; Wang, Li; Chen, Yuanzhen

    2012-01-01

    Polymer electrolyte membranes (PEM) and Pt-based catalysts are two crucial components which determine the properties and price of fuel cells. Even though, PEM faces problem of fuel crossover in liquid fuel cells such as direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) and direct borohydride fuel cell (DBFC), which lowers power output greatly. Here, we report a DBFC in which a polymer fiber membrane (PFM) was used, and metal oxides, such as LaNiO₃ and MnO₂, were used as cathode catalysts, meanwhile CoO was used as anode catalyst. Peak power density of 663 mW·cm⁻² has been achieved at 65°C, which increases by a factor of 1.7-3.7 compared with classic DBFCs. This fuel cell structure can also be extended to other liquid fuel cells, such as DMFC.

  19. A direct borohydride fuel cell with a polymer fiber membrane and non-noble metal catalysts

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Xiaodong; Liu, Yongning; Li, Sai; Wei, Xiaozhu; Wang, Li; Chen, Yuanzhen

    2012-01-01

    Polymer electrolyte membranes (PEM) and Pt-based catalysts are two crucial components which determine the properties and price of fuel cells. Even though, PEM faces problem of fuel crossover in liquid fuel cells such as direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) and direct borohydride fuel cell (DBFC), which lowers power output greatly. Here, we report a DBFC in which a polymer fiber membrane (PFM) was used, and metal oxides, such as LaNiO3 and MnO2, were used as cathode catalysts, meanwhile CoO was used as anode catalyst. Peak power density of 663 mW·cm−2 has been achieved at 65°C, which increases by a factor of 1.7–3.7 compared with classic DBFCs. This fuel cell structure can also be extended to other liquid fuel cells, such as DMFC. PMID:22880160

  20. Fuel cell with interdigitated porous flow-field

    DOEpatents

    Wilson, Mahlon S.

    1997-01-01

    A polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell is formed with an improved system for distributing gaseous reactants to the membrane surface. A PEM fuel cell has an ionic transport membrane with opposed catalytic surfaces formed thereon and separates gaseous reactants that undergo reactions at the catalytic surfaces of the membrane. The fuel cell may also include a thin gas diffusion layer having first and second sides with a first side contacting at least one of the catalytic surfaces. A macroporous flow-field with interdigitated inlet and outlet reactant channels contacts the second side of the thin gas diffusion layer for distributing one of the gaseous reactants over the thin gas diffusion layer for transport to an adjacent one of the catalytic surfaces of the membrane. The porous flow field may be formed from a hydrophilic material and provides uniform support across the backside of the electrode assembly to facilitate the use of thin backing layers.

  1. Fuel cell with interdigitated porous flow-field

    DOEpatents

    Wilson, M.S.

    1997-06-24

    A polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell is formed with an improved system for distributing gaseous reactants to the membrane surface. A PEM fuel cell has an ionic transport membrane with opposed catalytic surfaces formed thereon and separates gaseous reactants that undergo reactions at the catalytic surfaces of the membrane. The fuel cell may also include a thin gas diffusion layer having first and second sides with a first side contacting at least one of the catalytic surfaces. A macroporous flow-field with interdigitated inlet and outlet reactant channels contacts the second side of the thin gas diffusion layer for distributing one of the gaseous reactants over the thin gas diffusion layer for transport to an adjacent one of the catalytic surfaces of the membrane. The porous flow field may be formed from a hydrophilic material and provides uniform support across the backside of the electrode assembly to facilitate the use of thin backing layers. 9 figs.

  2. Fuel cells seminar

    SciTech Connect

    1996-12-01

    This year`s meeting highlights the fact that fuel cells for both stationary and transportation applications have reached the dawn of commercialization. Sales of stationary fuel cells have grown steadily over the past 2 years. Phosphoric acid fuel cell buses have been demonstrated in urban areas. Proton-exchange membrane fuel cells are on the verge of revolutionizing the transportation industry. These activities and many more are discussed during this seminar, which provides a forum for people from the international fuel cell community engaged in a wide spectrum of fuel cell activities. Discussions addressing R&D of fuel cell technologies, manufacturing and marketing of fuel cells, and experiences of fuel cell users took place through oral and poster presentations. For the first time, the seminar included commercial exhibits, further evidence that commercial fuel cell technology has arrived. A total of 205 papers is included in this volume.

  3. Fuel cell cooler-humidifier plate

    DOEpatents

    Vitale, Nicholas G.; Jones, Daniel O.

    2000-01-01

    A cooler-humidifier plate for use in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack assembly is provided. The cooler-humidifier plate combines functions of cooling and humidification within the fuel cell stack assembly, thereby providing a more compact structure, simpler manifolding, and reduced reject heat from the fuel cell. Coolant on the cooler side of the plate removes heat generated within the fuel cell assembly. Heat is also removed by the humidifier side of the plate for use in evaporating the humidification water. On the humidifier side of the plate, evaporating water humidifies reactant gas flowing over a moistened wick. After exiting the humidifier side of the plate, humidified reactant gas provides needed moisture to the proton exchange membranes used in the fuel cell stack assembly. The invention also provides a fuel cell plate that maximizes structural support within the fuel cell by ensuring that the ribs that form the boundaries of channels on one side of the plate have ends at locations that substantially correspond to the locations of ribs on the opposite side of the plate.

  4. Compact mixed-reactant fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Priestnall, Michael A.; Kotzeva, Vega P.; Fish, Deborah J.; Nilsson, Eva M.

    The compact mixed-reactant (CMR) fuel cell is an important new "platform" approach to the design and operation of all types of fuel cell stacks. Amongst several other advantages, CMR has the potential to reduce polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) stack component costs by around a third and to raise volumetric power densities by an order of magnitude. Mixed-reactant fuel cells, in which the fuel and oxidant within a cell are allowed to mix, rely upon the selectivity of anode and cathode electrocatalysts to separate the electrochemical oxidation of fuel and reduction of oxidant. A comprehensive review of the 50-year history of mixed-reactant literature has demonstrated that such systems can perform as well as and, in some circumstances, much better than conventional fuel cells. The significant innovation that Generics has introduced to this field is to combine the concept of mixed-reactant fuel cells with that of a fully porous membrane electrode assembly (MEA) structure. Passing a fuel-oxidant mixture through a stack of porous cells allows the conventional bipolar flow-field plates required in many fuel cell designs to be eliminated. In a conventional PEM stack, for example, the bipolar carbon flow-field plates may block up to half of the active cell area and account for up to 90% of the volume of the stack and of the order of one-third of the materials costs. In addition to all the advantages of mixed-reactant systems, the "flow-through" mode, embodied in Generics' CMR approach, significantly enhances mass-transport of reactants to the electrodes and can reduce reactant pressure drops across the stack. Redesigning fuel cells to operate in a CMR mode with selective electrodes offers the attractive prospect of much reduced stack costs and significantly higher stack power densities for all types of fuel cell. Initial modeling and proof of principle experiments using an alkaline system have confirmed the validity of the CMR approach and the potential for substantial

  5. Factors Affecting Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells Performance and Reproducibility

    SciTech Connect

    Moller-Holst S.

    1998-11-01

    Development of fuel cells is often based on small-scale laboratory studies. Due to limited time and budgets, a minimum number of cells are usually prepared and tested, thus, conclusions about improved performance are often drawn from studies of a few cells. Generally, statistics showing the significance of an effect are seldom reported. In this work a simple PEM fuel cell electrode optimization experiment is used as an example to illustrate the importance of statistical evaluation of factors affecting cell performance. The use of fractional factorial design of experiments to reduce the number of cells that have to be studied is also addressed.

  6. Understanding the transport processes in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheah, May Jean

    Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells are energy conversion devices suitable for automotive, stationary and portable applications. An engineering challenge that is hindering the widespread use of PEM fuel cells is the water management issue, where either a lack of water (resulting in membrane dehydration) or an excess accumulation of liquid water (resulting in fuel cell flooding) critically reduces the PEM fuel cell performance. The water management issue is addressed by this dissertation through the study of three transport processes occurring in PEM fuel cells. Water transport within the membrane is a combination of water diffusion down the water activity gradient and the dragging of water molecules by protons when there is a proton current, in a phenomenon termed electro-osmotic drag, EOD. The impact of water diffusion and EOD on the water flux across the membrane is reduced due to water transport resistance at the vapor/membrane interface. The redistribution of water inside the membrane by EOD causes an overall increase in the membrane resistance that regulates the current and thus EOD, thereby preventing membrane dehydration. Liquid water transport in the PEM fuel cell flow channel was examined at different gas flow regimes. At low gas Reynolds numbers, drops transitioned into slugs that are subsequently pushed out of the flow channel by the gas flow. The slug volume is dependent on the geometric shape, the surface wettability and the orientation (with respect to gravity) of the flow channel. The differential pressure required for slug motion primarily depends on the interfacial forces acting along the contact lines at the front and the back of the slug. At high gas Reynolds number, water is removed as a film or as drops depending on the flow channel surface wettability. The shape of growing drops at low and high Reynolds number can be described by a simple interfacial energy minimization model. Under flooding conditions, the fuel cell local current

  7. Microscale Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Holladay, Jamie D.; Viswanathan, Vish V.

    2005-11-03

    Perhaprs some of the most innovative work on fuel cells has been the research dedicated to applying silicon fabrication techniques to fuel cells technology creating low power microscale fuel cells applicable to microelectro mechanical systems (MEMS), microsensors, cell phones, PDA’s, and other low power (0.001 to 5 We) applications. In this small power range, fuel cells offer the decoupling of the energy converter from the energy storage which may enable longer operating times and instant or near instant charging. To date, most of the microscale fuel cells being developed have been based on proton exchange membrane fuel cell technology (PEMFC) or direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) technology. This section will discuss requirements and considerations that need to be addressed in the development of microscale fuel cells, as well as some proposed designs and fabrication strategies.

  8. FUEL CELL ELECTRODE MATERIALS

    DTIC Science & Technology

    FUEL CELL ELECTRODE MATERIALS. RAW MATERIAL SELECTION INFLUENCES POLARIZATION BUT IS NOT A SINGLE CONTROLLING FACTOR. AVAILABLE...DATA INDICATES THAT AN INTERRELATIONSHIP OF POROSITY, AVERAGE PORE VOLUME, AND PERMEABILITY CONTRIBUTES TO ELECTRODE FUEL CELL BEHAVIOR.

  9. DEVELOPMENT OF NOVEL ELECTROCATALYST FOR PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANE FUEL CELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Shamsuddin Ilias

    2000-01-19

    Proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is one of the strongest contenders as a power source for space & electric vehicle applications. Platinum catalyst is used for both fuel and air electrodes in PEMFCs. CO contamination of H{sub 2} greatly affects electrocatalysts used at the anode of polymer electrolyte fuel cells and decrease the cell performance. Pt-Ru catalyst had been recognized to alleviate this problem by showing better tolerance to CO poisoning than only Pt catalyst. This irreversible poisoning of the anode can be happened even in concentrations as little as a few ppm, and therefore, require expensive scrubbing to reduce the contaminant concentration to acceptable level. In order to commercialize this environmentally sound source of energy/power system, development of suitable impurity tolerant catalyst is needed. This project will develop novel electrocatalysts for the PEMFCs and demonstrate the feasibility of a H{sub 2}/O{sub 2} fuel cell base on these materials. This project, if successful, will reduce the costs due to reduce Pt catalyst loading or use non-precious metals. It will increase the PEM fuel cell performance by increasing catalyst tolerance to methanol oxidation intermediate products (CO) and fuel impurities (H{sub 2}S), which will generate substantial interest for commercialization of the PEM fuel cell technology.

  10. Fuel cell arrangement

    DOEpatents

    Isenberg, Arnold O.

    1987-05-12

    A fuel cell arrangement is provided wherein cylindrical cells of the solid oxide electrolyte type are arranged in planar arrays where the cells within a plane are parallel. Planes of cells are stacked with cells of adjacent planes perpendicular to one another. Air is provided to the interior of the cells through feed tubes which pass through a preheat chamber. Fuel is provided to the fuel cells through a channel in the center of the cell stack; the fuel then passes the exterior of the cells and combines with the oxygen-depleted air in the preheat chamber.

  11. Fuel cell arrangement

    DOEpatents

    Isenberg, A.O.

    1987-05-12

    A fuel cell arrangement is provided wherein cylindrical cells of the solid oxide electrolyte type are arranged in planar arrays where the cells within a plane are parallel. Planes of cells are stacked with cells of adjacent planes perpendicular to one another. Air is provided to the interior of the cells through feed tubes which pass through a preheat chamber. Fuel is provided to the fuel cells through a channel in the center of the cell stack; the fuel then passes the exterior of the cells and combines with the oxygen-depleted air in the preheat chamber. 3 figs.

  12. Photoregenerative I-/I3- couple as a liquid cathode for proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Zhen; Wang, Yadong; Ai, Xinping; Tu, Wenmao; Pan, Mu

    2014-10-01

    A photoassisted oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) through I-/I3- redox couple was investigated for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell cathode reaction. The I-/I3--based liquid cathode was used to replace conventional oxygen cathode, and its discharge product I- was regenerated to I3- by photocatalytic oxidation with the participation of oxygen. This new and innovative approach may provide a strategy to eliminate the usage of challenging ORR electrocatalysts, resulting in an avenue for developing low-cost and high-efficiency PEM fuel cells.

  13. Durability of sulfonated aromatic polymers for proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Hou, Hongying; Di Vona, Maria Luisa; Knauth, Philippe

    2011-11-18

    As a key component of proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), proton-exchange membranes (PEMs) must continuously withstand very harsh environments during long-term fuel cell operations. With the coming commercialization of PEMFCs, investigations into the durability and degradation of PEMs are becoming more and more urgent and interesting. Herein, various recent attempts and achievements to improve the durability of sulfonated aromatic polymers (SAPs) are reviewed and some further developments are predicted. Extensive investigations into inexpensive SAPs as alternative electrolyte membranes include modification of available polymer materials; design, synthesis, and optimization of new macromolecules; durability testing; and exploring the degradation mechanisms.

  14. Reforming of fuel inside fuel cell generator

    DOEpatents

    Grimble, R.E.

    1988-03-08

    Disclosed is an improved method of reforming a gaseous reformable fuel within a solid oxide fuel cell generator, wherein the solid oxide fuel cell generator has a plurality of individual fuel cells in a refractory container, the fuel cells generating a partially spent fuel stream and a partially spent oxidant stream. The partially spent fuel stream is divided into two streams, spent fuel stream 1 and spent fuel stream 2. Spent fuel stream 1 is burned with the partially spent oxidant stream inside the refractory container to produce an exhaust stream. The exhaust stream is divided into two streams, exhaust stream 1 and exhaust stream 2, and exhaust stream 1 is vented. Exhaust stream 2 is mixed with spent fuel stream 2 to form a recycle stream. The recycle stream is mixed with the gaseous reformable fuel within the refractory container to form a fuel stream which is supplied to the fuel cells. Also disclosed is an improved apparatus which permits the reforming of a reformable gaseous fuel within such a solid oxide fuel cell generator. The apparatus comprises a mixing chamber within the refractory container, means for diverting a portion of the partially spent fuel stream to the mixing chamber, means for diverting a portion of exhaust gas to the mixing chamber where it is mixed with the portion of the partially spent fuel stream to form a recycle stream, means for injecting the reformable gaseous fuel into the recycle stream, and means for circulating the recycle stream back to the fuel cells. 1 fig.

  15. Reforming of fuel inside fuel cell generator

    DOEpatents

    Grimble, Ralph E.

    1988-01-01

    Disclosed is an improved method of reforming a gaseous reformable fuel within a solid oxide fuel cell generator, wherein the solid oxide fuel cell generator has a plurality of individual fuel cells in a refractory container, the fuel cells generating a partially spent fuel stream and a partially spent oxidant stream. The partially spent fuel stream is divided into two streams, spent fuel stream I and spent fuel stream II. Spent fuel stream I is burned with the partially spent oxidant stream inside the refractory container to produce an exhaust stream. The exhaust stream is divided into two streams, exhaust stream I and exhaust stream II, and exhaust stream I is vented. Exhaust stream II is mixed with spent fuel stream II to form a recycle stream. The recycle stream is mixed with the gaseous reformable fuel within the refractory container to form a fuel stream which is supplied to the fuel cells. Also disclosed is an improved apparatus which permits the reforming of a reformable gaseous fuel within such a solid oxide fuel cell generator. The apparatus comprises a mixing chamber within the refractory container, means for diverting a portion of the partially spent fuel stream to the mixing chamber, means for diverting a portion of exhaust gas to the mixing chamber where it is mixed with the portion of the partially spent fuel stream to form a recycle stream, means for injecting the reformable gaseous fuel into the recycle stream, and means for circulating the recycle stream back to the fuel cells.

  16. Advances in proton-exchange membranes for fuel cells: an overview on proton conductive channels (PCCs).

    PubMed

    Wu, Liang; Zhang, Zhenghui; Ran, Jin; Zhou, Dan; Li, Chuanrun; Xu, Tongwen

    2013-04-14

    Proton-exchange membranes (PEM) display unique ion-selective transport that has enabled a breakthrough in high-performance proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Elemental understanding of the morphology and proton transport mechanisms of the commercially available Nafion® has promoted a majority of researchers to tune proton conductive channels (PCCs). Specifically, knowledge of the morphology-property relationship gained from statistical and segmented copolymer PEMs has highlighted the importance of the alignment of PCCs. Furthermore, increasing efforts in fabricating and aligning artificial PCCs in field-aligned copolymer PEMs, nanofiber composite PEMs and mesoporous PEMs have set new paradigms for improvement of membrane performances. This perspective profiles the recent development of the channels, from the self-assembled to the artificial, with a particular emphasis on their formation and alignment. It concludes with an outlook on benefits of highly aligned PCCs for fuel cell operation, and gives further direction to develop new PEMs from a practical point of view.

  17. Graphene oxide based nanohybrid proton exchange membranes for fuel cell applications: An overview.

    PubMed

    Pandey, Ravi P; Shukla, Geetanjali; Manohar, Murli; Shahi, Vinod K

    2017-02-01

    In the context of many applications, such as polymer composites, energy-related materials, sensors, 'paper'-like materials, field-effect transistors (FET), and biomedical applications, chemically modified graphene was broadly studied during the last decade, due to its excellent electrical, mechanical, and thermal properties. The presence of reactive oxygen functional groups in the grapheme oxide (GO) responsible for chemical functionalization makes it a good candidate for diversified applications. The main objectives for developing a GO based nanohybrid proton exchange membrane (PEM) include: improved self-humidification (water retention ability), reduced fuel crossover (electro-osmotic drag), improved stabilities (mechanical, thermal, and chemical), enhanced proton conductivity, and processability for the preparation of membrane-electrode assembly. Research carried on this topic may be divided into protocols for covalent grafting of functional groups on GO matrix, preparation of free-standing PEM or choice of suitable polymer matrix, covalent or hydrogen bonding between GO and polymer matrix etc. Herein, we present a brief literature survey on GO based nano-hybrid PEM for fuel cell applications. Different protocols were adopted to produce functionalized GO based materials and prepare their free-standing film or disperse these materials in various polymer matrices with suitable interactions. This review article critically discussed the suitability of these PEMs for fuel cell applications in terms of the dependency of the intrinsic properties of nanohybrid PEMs. Potential applications of these nanohybrid PEMs, and current challenges are also provided along with future guidelines for developing GO based nanohybrid PEMs as promising materials for fuel cell applications.

  18. Direct hydrocarbon fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Barnett, Scott A.; Lai, Tammy; Liu, Jiang

    2010-05-04

    The direct electrochemical oxidation of hydrocarbons in solid oxide fuel cells, to generate greater power densities at lower temperatures without carbon deposition. The performance obtained is comparable to that of fuel cells used for hydrogen, and is achieved by using novel anode composites at low operating temperatures. Such solid oxide fuel cells, regardless of fuel source or operation, can be configured advantageously using the structural geometries of this invention.

  19. Fuel Cell Handbook update

    SciTech Connect

    Owens, W.R.; Hirschenhofer, J.H.; Engleman, R.R. Jr.; Stauffer, D.B.

    1993-11-01

    The objective of this work was to update the 1988 version of DOE`s Fuel Cell Handbook. Significant developments in the various fuel cell technologies required revisions to reflect state-of-the-art configurations and performance. The theoretical presentation was refined in order to make the handbook more useful to both the casual reader and fuel cell or systems analyst. In order to further emphasize the practical application of fuel cell technologies, the system integration information was expanded. In addition, practical elements, such as suggestions and guidelines to approximate fuel cell performance, were provided.

  20. Fuel cells and fuel cell catalysts

    DOEpatents

    Masel, Richard I.; Rice, Cynthia A.; Waszczuk, Piotr; Wieckowski, Andrzej

    2006-11-07

    A direct organic fuel cell includes a formic acid fuel solution having between about 10% and about 95% formic acid. The formic acid is oxidized at an anode. The anode may include a Pt/Pd catalyst that promotes the direct oxidation of the formic acid via a direct reaction path that does not include formation of a CO intermediate.

  1. Fuel Cell Balance-of-Plant Reliability Testbed Project

    SciTech Connect

    Sproat, Vern; LaHurd, Debbie

    2016-10-29

    Reliability of the fuel cell system balance-of-plant (BoP) components is a critical factor that needs to be addressed prior to fuel cells becoming fully commercialized. Failure or performance degradation of BoP components has been identified as a life-limiting factor in fuel cell systems.1 The goal of this project is to develop a series of test beds that will test system components such as pumps, valves, sensors, fittings, etc., under operating conditions anticipated in real Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cell systems. Results will be made generally available to begin removing reliability as a roadblock to the growth of the PEM fuel cell industry. Stark State College students participating in the project, in conjunction with their coursework, have been exposed to technical knowledge and training in the handling and maintenance of hydrogen, fuel cells and system components as well as component failure modes and mechanisms. Three test beds were constructed. Testing was completed on gas flow pumps, tubing, and pressure and temperature sensors and valves.

  2. Interferometric tomography of fuel cells for monitoring membrane water content.

    PubMed

    Waller, Laura; Kim, Jungik; Shao-Horn, Yang; Barbastathis, George

    2009-08-17

    We have developed a system that uses two 1D interferometric phase projections for reconstruction of 2D water content changes over time in situ in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system. By modifying the filtered backprojection tomographic algorithm, we are able to incorporate a priori information about the object distribution into a fast reconstruction algorithm which is suitable for real-time monitoring.

  3. A monolithic integrated micro direct methanol fuel cell based on sulfo functionalized porous silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, M.; Lu, Y. X.; Liu, L. T.; Wang, X. H.

    2016-11-01

    In this paper, we demonstrate a monolithic integrated micro direct methanol fuel cell (μDMFC) for the first time. The monolithic integrated μDMFC combines proton exchange membrane (PEM) and Pt nanocatalysts, in which PEM is achieved by the functionalized porous silicon membrane and 3D Pt nanoflowers being synthesized in situ on it as catalysts. Sulfo groups functionalized porous silicon membrane serves as a PEM and a catalyst support simultaneously. The μDMFC prototype achieves an open circuit voltage of 0.3 V, a maximum power density of 5.5 mW/cm2. The monolithic integrated μDMFC offers several desirable features such as compatibility with micro fabrication techniques, an undeformable solid PEM and the convenience of assembly.

  4. Fuel cell generator

    DOEpatents

    Isenberg, Arnold O.

    1983-01-01

    High temperature solid oxide electrolyte fuel cell generators which allow controlled leakage among plural chambers in a sealed housing. Depleted oxidant and fuel are directly reacted in one chamber to combust remaining fuel and preheat incoming reactants. The cells are preferably electrically arranged in a series-parallel configuration.

  5. Conducting polymer-coated corrosion resistant metallic bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joseph, Shine

    2005-11-01

    Concerns over depleting stocks of natural resources and a growing awareness of the environmental damage caused by widespread burning of fossil fuels, and more energy demands brought the idea of alternative energy systems. Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells are one of the fast growing alternative energy technologies. PEM fuel cells generate electricity from an electrochemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen and produce electricity, a small amount of heat and water and therefore, they are environmentally friendly. Fuel cells are more efficient than internal combustion engines and operate continuously as long as fuel is supplied from an external tank. Fuel cells in stacks are used for most applications because the current output of a PEM fuel cell is around 0.3--0.5 A/cm2. In fuel cell stacks, bipolar plates combine two cells in series with anode and cathode of adjacent cells. The main functions of bipolar plates are electron and gas transport. Bipolar plates are major components in weight and volume of the PEM fuel cell stack and are a significant contributor to the stack cost. The bipolar plate is therefore a key component if power density is to increase and cost to come down. Bipolar plate material should be corrosion resistant, conductive, gas impermeable, light weight (mobile applications) and economical. Graphite plates are used for bipolar plate applications but they are expensive, are brittle to make in thin plates with gas channels on sides, have high manufacturing cost and are gas permeable if too thin. Metals are preferable for bipolar plate application because of better mechanical properties, higher electrical conductivity, lower gas permeability and low cost. In this work Al 6061 and 304 stainless steel alloys are the materials selected for bipolar plates. These metals form non-conductive surface oxides in a PEM fuel cell environment and cause a high contact resistance. This internal resistance lowers the efficiency of PEM fuel cell system. In

  6. European opportunities for fuel cell commercialisation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibbs, C. E.; Steel, M. C. F.

    1992-01-01

    developing European sub-systems, others have chosen to develop their own novel cell technology. This paper will survey the extent of the fuel cell activities in Europe and emphasise the particular markets which fuel cell manufacturers are targeting. Demand for fuel cells in defence and military applications will be the first sector to be commercially viable — European companies such as Siemens, Elenco and VSEL are already marketing AFC or PEM systems for naval and aerospace applications. The small-scale CHP sector is also a likely early market for fuel cell plant. Co-generation fuel cells are of great interest to gas companies like ENAGAS and British Gas looking to promote sales of gas by installing on-site gas-fired generators on their customers' premises. The market for utility scale fuel cell plants is expected to develop later in the decade. The largest demonstration planned for Europe is the 1 MW PAFC for Milan, due to come onstream in 1992. MBB GmbH is considering developing MW-scale MCFC plants with the US company ERC — a 2 MW demonstration is planned for the end of 1993. The potential market for utility fuel cells is large — installation rates could reach 500-1000 MW/year by the turn of the century. Fuel cells will probably not achieve significant use in transport applications in Europe until after the turn of the century unless very stringent emissions legislation for vehicles is introduced. The likely early markets for fuel cells in the transport sector seem to be for delivery and fleet vehicles. Examples of European projects in this area include the Amsterdam city bus project which will use Elenco's AFC technology and Siemens' fork lift truck which will incorporate a PEM fuel cell. Fuel cells also link conveniently with renewable energy systems — coupled with an electrolyser a fuel cell can store solar, wind or wave power. The electrolysis proces is used to generate hydrogen from water at times of surplus energy while the fuel cell consumes hydrogen fuel

  7. The Fuel Cell Powered Club Car Carryall

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eichenberg, Dennis J.

    2005-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center initiated development of the Fuel Cell Powered Club Car Carryall as a way to reduce pollution in industrial settings, reduce fossil fuel consumption and reduce operating costs for transportation systems. The Club Car Carryall provides an inexpensive approach to advance the state of the art in electric vehicle technology in a practical application. The project transfers space technology to terrestrial use via non-traditional partners, and provides power system data valuable for future aeronautics and space applications. The work was done under the Hybrid Power Management (HPM) Program. The Carryall is a state of the art, dedicated, electric utility vehicle. Hydrogen powered proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are the primary power source. Ultracapacitors were used for energy storage as long life, maintenance free operation, and excellent low temperature performance is essential. Metal hydride hydrogen storage was used to store hydrogen in a safe and efficient low-pressure solid form. The report concludes that the Fuel Cell Powered Club Car Carryall can provide excellent performance, and that the implementation of fuel cells in conjunction with ultracapacitors in the power system can provide significant reliability and performance improvements.

  8. Novel ACNT arrays based MEA structure-nano-Pt loaded ACNT/Nafion/ACNT for fuel cell applications.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Weimin; Chen, Jun; Minett, Andrew I; Swiegers, Gerhard F; Too, Chee O; Wallace, Gordon G

    2010-07-14

    A novel designed free-standing, sandwich-structured membrane electrode assembly (MEA), nano-Pt loaded (0.142 mg cm(-2)) ACNT/Nafion/ACNT via the attachment of two sets of aligned CNT array electrode structures to opposite sides of a Nafion PEM membrane exhibits significantly improved performance compared to commercially available Pt/CB catalysts used in PEM fuel cell applications.

  9. Carbon corrosion in PEM fuel cells during drive cycle operation

    DOE PAGES

    Borup, Rodney L.; Papadias, D. D.; Mukundan, Rangachary; ...

    2015-09-14

    One of the major contributors to degradation involves the electrocatalyst, including the corrosion of the carbons used as catalyst supports, which leads to changes in the catalyst layer structure. We have measured and quantified carbon corrosion during drive cycle operation and as a variation of the upper and lower potential limits used during drive cycle operation. The amount of carbon corrosion is exacerbated by the voltage cycling inherent in the drive cycle compared with constant potential operation. The potential gap between upper and lower potentials appears to be more important than the absolute operating potentials in the normal operating potentialmore » regime (0.40V to 0.95V) as changes in the measured carbon corrosion are similar when the upper potential was lower compared to raising the lower potential. Catalyst layer thinning was observed during the simulated drive cycle operation which had an associated decrease in catalyst layer porosity. This catalyst layer thinning is not due solely to carbon corrosion, although carbon corrosion likely plays a role; much of this thinning must be from compaction of the material in the catalyst layer. As a result, the decrease in catalyst layer porosity leads to additional performance losses due to mass transport losses.« less

  10. Carbon corrosion in PEM fuel cells during drive cycle operation

    SciTech Connect

    Borup, Rodney L.; Papadias, D. D.; Mukundan, Rangachary; Spernjak, Dusan; Langlois, David Alan; Ahluwalia, Rajesh; More, Karen L.; Grot, Steve

    2015-09-14

    One of the major contributors to degradation involves the electrocatalyst, including the corrosion of the carbons used as catalyst supports, which leads to changes in the catalyst layer structure. We have measured and quantified carbon corrosion during drive cycle operation and as a variation of the upper and lower potential limits used during drive cycle operation. The amount of carbon corrosion is exacerbated by the voltage cycling inherent in the drive cycle compared with constant potential operation. The potential gap between upper and lower potentials appears to be more important than the absolute operating potentials in the normal operating potential regime (0.40V to 0.95V) as changes in the measured carbon corrosion are similar when the upper potential was lower compared to raising the lower potential. Catalyst layer thinning was observed during the simulated drive cycle operation which had an associated decrease in catalyst layer porosity. This catalyst layer thinning is not due solely to carbon corrosion, although carbon corrosion likely plays a role; much of this thinning must be from compaction of the material in the catalyst layer. As a result, the decrease in catalyst layer porosity leads to additional performance losses due to mass transport losses.

  11. Ionomer Degradation in Electrodes of PEM Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    Borup, Rodney L.

    2011-01-01

    Although PEMFC Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA) durability related studies have increased dramatically since 2004, studies on ionomer degradation of the composite electrodes has received far less attention than that of the proton exchange membranes, electrocatalysts, and catalyst supports. The catalyst layer ionomer unavoidably gets involved in other components degradation processes since it is subjected to exposure to different operating effects, including the presence of the catalyst, catalyst support, and the porous nature of the electrode layer which includes 2-phase flow. PEMFC durability issues cannot be fully resolved without understanding the contribution of ionomer degradation in electrode to the performance decay in life time. However, addressing the impact of changes to the catalyst layer ionomer during durability tests is experimentally difficult mainly because of the need to separate the ionomer in the electrode from other components during chemical, electrical and materials characterization. The catalyst layer ionomer is essentially chemically identical to the membrane ionomeric material, and is composed of low atomic number elements, making characterization difficult. In the present work, MEAs with different Nafion ionomer types: stabilized and non-stablized ionomer in the electrode layer (Type I) and mixed membrane/ionomer MEAs (Type II) were designed to separate ionomer degradation from membrane degradation, as shown in Figure (1a) and (b) respectively. Stabilized and non stabilized ionomers were 5% Nafion{reg_sign} solutions (Ion Power, New Castle, Delaware). The non-stabilized version is the typical Nafion chemical structure with carboxylic acid (-COOH) end groups; these end groups are thought to be a susceptible point of degradative peroxide attack. The stabilized version replaces the -COOH end groups with -CF{sub 3} end groups to prevent peroxide attack at the end groups. Type I MEAs were designed to compare ionomer degradation and its effect on performance decay. Since F{sup -} ions are released only from PFSA based membranes, and not from non-PFSA based membranes, Type II MEAs use a hydrocarbon membrane with no fluorine with a PFSA (Nafion{reg_sign}) ionomer in the catalyst layer for FER measurements. Any F{sup -} ions measured will then have come only for the catalyst layer ionomer during degradation experiments. Type II MEAs allow more detailed chemical characterization exclusively of the catalyst layer ionomer to better understand its degradation.

  12. Hydrogen Supply System for Small PEM Fuel Cell Stacks

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1997-07-01

    hydride to control the reaction rate and to control the heat release. Heat release is controlled by mixing alkaline or alkaline earth metal hydrides with...the boron or aluminum complex hydrides. These materials decompose endothermically .. .We used this effect to limit the heat release of hydrogen pellets...it renders the solid product reactive with water as lithium hydride is formed when the pellet is reacted. The reaction rates used by Beckert & Dengel

  13. Fuel cell market applications

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, M.C.

    1995-12-31

    This is a review of the US (and international) fuel cell development for the stationary power generation market. Besides DOE, GRI, and EPRI sponsorship, the US fuel cell program has over 40% cost-sharing from the private sector. Support is provided by user groups with over 75 utility and other end-user members. Objectives are to develop and demonstrate cost-effective fuel cell power generation which can initially be commercialized into various market applications using natural gas fuel by the year 2000. Types of fuel cells being developed include PAFC (phosphoric acid), MCFC (molten carbonate), and SOFC (solid oxide); status of each is reported. Potential international applications are reviewed also. Fuel cells are viewed as a force in dispersed power generation, distributed power, cogeneration, and deregulated industry. Specific fuel cell attributes are discussed: Fuel cells promise to be one of the most reliable power sources; they are now being used in critical uninterruptible power systems. They need hydrogen which can be generated internally from natural gas, coal gas, methanol landfill gas, or other fuels containing hydrocarbons. Finally, fuel cell development and market applications in Japan are reviewed briefly.

  14. Fuel Cell Propulsion Systems for an All-electric Personal Air Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kohout, Lisa L.; Schmitz, Paul C.

    2003-01-01

    There is a growing interest in the use of fuel cells as a power source for all-electric aircraft propulsion as a means to substantially reduce or eliminate environmentally harmful emissions. Among the technologies under consideration for these concepts are advanced proton exchange membrane and solid oxide fuel cells, alternative fuels and fuel processing, and fuel storage. This paper summarizes the results of a first-order feasibility study for an all-electric personal air vehicle utilizing a fuel cell-powered propulsion system. A representative aircraft with an internal combustion engine was chosen as a baseline to provide key parameters to the study, including engine power and subsystem mass, fuel storage volume and mass, and aircraft range. The engine, fuel tank, and associated ancillaries were then replaced with a fuel cell subsystem. Various configurations were considered including: a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell with liquid hydrogen storage; a direct methanol PEM fuel cell; and a direct internal reforming solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC)/turbine hybrid system using liquid methane fuel. Each configuration was compared to the baseline case on a mass and range basis.

  15. Fuel Cell Propulsion Systems for an All-Electric Personal Air Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kohout, Lisa L.

    2003-01-01

    There is a growing interest in the use of fuel cells as a power source for all-electric aircraft propulsion as a means to substantially reduce or eliminate environmentally harmful emissions. Among the technologies under consideration for these concepts are advanced proton exchange membrane and solid oxide fuel cells, alternative fuels and fuel processing, and fuel storage. This paper summarizes the results of a first-order feasibility study for an all-electric personal air vehicle utilizing a fuel cell-powered propulsion system. A representative aircraft with an internal combustion engine was chosen as a baseline to provide key parameters to the study, including engine power and subsystem mass, fuel storage volume and mass, and aircraft range. The engine, fuel tank, and associated ancillaries were then replaced with a fuel cell subsystem. Various configurations were considered including: a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell with liquid hydrogen storage; a direct methanol PEM fuel cell; and a direct internal reforming solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC)/turbine hybrid system using liquid methane fuel. Each configuration was compared to the baseline case on a mass and range basis.

  16. The Advantages of Non-Flow-Through Fuel Cell Power Systems for Aerospace Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoberecht, Mark; Burke, Kenneth; Jakupca, Ian

    2011-01-01

    NASA has been developing proton-exchange-membrane (PEM) fuel cell power systems for the past decade, as an upgraded technology to the alkaline fuel cells which presently provide power for the Shuttle Orbiter. All fuel cell power systems consist of one or more fuel cell stacks in combination with appropriate balance-of-plant hardware. Traditional PEM fuel cells are characterized as flow-through, in which recirculating reactant streams remove product water from the fuel cell stack. NASA recently embarked on the development of non-flow-through fuel cell systems, in which reactants are dead-ended into the fuel cell stack and product water is removed by internal wicks. This simplifies the fuel cell power system by eliminating the need for pumps to provide reactant circulation, and mechanical water separators to remove the product water from the recirculating reactant streams. By eliminating these mechanical components, the resulting fuel cell power system has lower mass, volume, and parasitic power requirements, along with higher reliability and longer life. These improved non-flow-through fuel cell power systems therefore offer significant advantages for many aerospace applications.

  17. Molten carbonate fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Kaun, T.D.; Smith, J.L.

    1986-07-08

    A molten electrolyte fuel cell is disclosed with an array of stacked cells and cell enclosures isolating each cell except for access to gas manifolds for the supply of fuel or oxidant gas or the removal of waste gas. The cell enclosures collectively provide an enclosure for the array and effectively avoid the problems of electrolyte migration and the previous need for compression of stack components. The fuel cell further includes an inner housing about and in cooperation with the array enclosure to provide a manifold system with isolated chambers for the supply and removal of gases. An external insulated housing about the inner housing provides thermal isolation to the cell components.

  18. Molten carbonate fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Kaun, Thomas D.; Smith, James L.

    1987-01-01

    A molten electrolyte fuel cell with an array of stacked cells and cell enclosures isolating each cell except for access to gas manifolds for the supply of fuel or oxidant gas or the removal of waste gas, the cell enclosures collectively providing an enclosure for the array and effectively avoiding the problems of electrolyte migration and the previous need for compression of stack components, the fuel cell further including an inner housing about and in cooperation with the array enclosure to provide a manifold system with isolated chambers for the supply and removal of gases. An external insulated housing about the inner housing provides thermal isolation to the cell components.

  19. Fuel cell technology: A sweeter fuel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kendall, Kevin

    2002-12-01

    Eating sugar gives us a boost when we feel tired because our cells use it as fuel to produce energy. Likewise, sugar can now be used to produce power in artificial biological fuel cells that function in a physiological environment.

  20. Miniature ceramic fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Lessing, Paul A.; Zuppero, Anthony C.

    1997-06-24

    A miniature power source assembly capable of providing portable electricity is provided. A preferred embodiment of the power source assembly employing a fuel tank, fuel pump and control, air pump, heat management system, power chamber, power conditioning and power storage. The power chamber utilizes a ceramic fuel cell to produce the electricity. Incoming hydro carbon fuel is automatically reformed within the power chamber. Electrochemical combustion of hydrogen then produces electricity.

  1. Decentralized generation of electricity from biomass with proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toonssen, Richard; Woudstra, Nico; Verkooijen, Adrian H. M.

    Biomass can be applied as the primary source for the production of hydrogen in the future. The biomass is converted in an atmospheric fluidized bed gasification process using steam as the gasifying agent. The producer gas needs further cleaning and processing before the hydrogen can be converted in a fuel cell; it is assumed that the gas cleaning processes are able to meet the requirements for a PEM-FC. The compressed hydrogen is supplied to a hydrogen grid and can be used in small-scale decentralized CHP units. In this study it is assumed that the CHP units are based on low temperature PEM fuel cells. For the evaluation of alternative technologies the whole chain of centralized hydrogen production from biomass up to and including decentralized electricity production in PEM fuel cells is considered. Two models for the production of hydrogen from biomass and three models for the combined production of electricity and heat with PEM fuel cells are built using the computer program Cycle-Tempo. Two different levels of hydrogen purity are considered in this evaluation: 60% and 99.99% pure hydrogen. The purity of the hydrogen affects both the efficiencies of the hydrogen production as well as the PEM-FC systems. The electrical exergy efficiency of the PEM-FC system without additional heat production is calculated to be 27.66% in the case of 60% hydrogen and 29.06% in the case of 99.99% pure hydrogen. The electrical exergy efficiencies of the whole conversion chain appear to be 21.68% and 18.74%, respectively. The high losses during purification of the hydrogen gas result in a higher efficiency for the case with low purity hydrogen. The removal of the last impurities strongly increases the overall exergy losses of the conversion chain.

  2. Batteries and fuel cells working group report

    SciTech Connect

    Eberhardt, J. . Office of Advanced Transportation Materials); Landgrebe, A. . Electric and Hybrid Propulsion Systems); Lemons, R.; Wilson, M. ); MacAurther, D. (CH

    1991-01-01

    Electrochemical energy systems are dominated by interfacial phenomena. Catalysis, corrosion, electrical and ionic contact, and wetting behavior are critical to the performance of fuel cells and batteries. Accordingly, development of processing techniques to control these surface properties is important to successful commercialization of advanced batteries and fuel cells. Many of the surface processing issues are specific to a particular electrochemical system. Therefore, the working group focused on systems that are of specific interest to DOE/Conservation and Renewable Energy. These systems addressed were: Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells, Direct Methanol Oxidation (DMO) Fuel Cells, and Lithium/Polymer Batteries. The approach used by the working group for each of these systems was to follow the current path through the system and to identify the principal interfaces. The function of each interface was specified together with its desired properties. The degree to which surface properties limit performance in present systems was rated. Finally, the surface processing needs associated with the performance limiting interfaces were identified. This report summarizes this information.

  3. Batteries and fuel cells working group report

    SciTech Connect

    Eberhardt, J.; Landgrebe, A.; Lemons, R.; Wilson, M.; MacAurther, D.; Savenell, R.; Swathirajan, S.; Wilson, D.

    1991-12-31

    Electrochemical energy systems are dominated by interfacial phenomena. Catalysis, corrosion, electrical and ionic contact, and wetting behavior are critical to the performance of fuel cells and batteries. Accordingly, development of processing techniques to control these surface properties is important to successful commercialization of advanced batteries and fuel cells. Many of the surface processing issues are specific to a particular electrochemical system. Therefore, the working group focused on systems that are of specific interest to DOE/Conservation and Renewable Energy. These systems addressed were: Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells, Direct Methanol Oxidation (DMO) Fuel Cells, and Lithium/Polymer Batteries. The approach used by the working group for each of these systems was to follow the current path through the system and to identify the principal interfaces. The function of each interface was specified together with its desired properties. The degree to which surface properties limit performance in present systems was rated. Finally, the surface processing needs associated with the performance limiting interfaces were identified. This report summarizes this information.

  4. The fuel cell in space: Yesterday, today and tomorrow

    SciTech Connect

    Warshay, M.; Prokopius, P.R.

    1989-09-01

    The past, present, and future of space fuel cell power systems is reviewed, starting with the first practical fuel cell by F.T. Bacon which led to the 1.5 kW Apollo alkaline fuel cell. However, the first fuel cell to be used for space power was the Gemini 1.0 kW Acid IEM fuel cell. The successor to the Apollo fuel cell is today's 12 kW Orbiter alkaline fuel cell whose technology is considerably different and considerably better than that of its ancestor, the Bacon cell. And in terms of specific weight there has been a steady improvement from the past to the present, from the close to 200 lb/kW of Apollo to the 20 lb/kW of the orbiter. For NASA future Lunar and Martian surface power requirements the regenerative fuel cell (RFC) energy storage system is enabling technology, with the alkaline and the PEM the leading RFC candidate systems. The U.S. Air Force continues to support fuel cell high power density technology development for its future short duration applications.

  5. The fuel cell in space: Yesterday, today and tomorrow

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Warshay, Marvin; Prokopius, Paul R.

    1989-01-01

    The past, present, and future of space fuel cell power systems is reviewed, starting with the first practical fuel cell by F.T. Bacon which led to the 1.5 kW Apollo alkaline fuel cell. However, the first fuel cell to be used for space power was the Gemini 1.0 kW Acid IEM fuel cell. The successor to the Apollo fuel cell is today's 12 kW Orbiter alkaline fuel cell whose technology is considerably different and considerably better than that of its ancestor, the Bacon cell. And in terms of specific weight there has been a steady improvement from the past to the present, from the close to 200 lb/kW of Apollo to the 20 lb/kW of the orbiter. For NASA future Lunar and Martian surface power requirements the regenerative fuel cell (RFC) energy storage system is enabling technology, with the alkaline and the PEM the leading RFC candidate systems. The U.S. Air Force continues to support fuel cell high power density technology development for its future short duration applications.

  6. The fuel cell in space - Yesterday, today and tomorrow

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Warshay, Marvin; Prokopius, Paul R.

    1990-01-01

    The past, present, and future of space fuel cell power systems is reviewed, starting with the first practical fuel cell by F. T. Bacon which led to the 1.5 kW Apollo alkaline fuel cell. However, the first fuel cell to be used for space power was the Gemini 1.0 kW Acid IEM fuel cell. The successor to the Apollo fuel cell is today's 12 kW Orbiter alkaline fuel cell whose technology is considerably different and considerably better than that of its ancestor, the Bacon cell. And in terms of specific weight there has been a steady improvement from the past to the present, from the close to 200 lb/kW of Apollo to the 20 lb/kW of the orbiter. For NASA future Lunar and Martian surface power requirements the regenerative fuel cell (RFC) energy storage system is enabling technology, with the alkaline and the PEM the leading RFC candidate systems. The U.S. Air Force continues to support fuel cell high power density technology development for its future short duration applications.

  7. HYDROGEN PRODUCTION FOR FUEL CELLS VIA REFORMING COAL-DERIVED METHANOL

    SciTech Connect

    Paul A. Erickson

    2006-01-01

    Hydrogen can be produced from many feedstocks including coal. The objectives of this project are to establish and prove a hydrogen production pathway from coal-derived methanol for fuel cell applications. This progress report is the ninth report submitted to the DOE reporting on the status and progress made during the course of the project. This report covers the time period of October 1, 2005-December 31, 2005. This quarter saw progress in four areas. These areas are: (1) reformate purification, (2) heat transfer enhancement, (3) autothermal reforming coal-derived methanol degradation test; and (4) model development for fuel cell system integration. The project is on schedule and is now shifting towards the design of an integrated PEM fuel cell system capable of using the coal-derived product. This system includes a membrane clean up unit and a commercially available PEM fuel cell.

  8. A review on the performance and modelling of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boucetta, A.; Ghodbane, H.; Ayad, M. Y.; Bahri, M.

    2016-07-01

    Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC), are energy efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional energy conversion for various applications in stationary power plants, portable power device and transportation. PEM fuel cells provide low operating temperature and high-energy efficiency with near zero emission. A PEM fuel cell is a multiple distinct parts device and a series of mass, energy, transport through gas channels, electric current transport through membrane electrode assembly and electrochemical reactions at the triple-phase boundaries. These processes play a decisive role in determining the performance of the Fuel cell, so that studies on the phenomena of gas flows and the performance modelling are made deeply. This paper gives a comprehensive overview of the state of the art on the Study of the phenomena of gas flow and performance modelling of PEMFC.

  9. Solid oxide fuel cell generator

    DOEpatents

    Di Croce, A. Michael; Draper, Robert

    1993-11-02

    A solid oxide fuel cell generator has a plenum containing at least two rows of spaced apart, annular, axially elongated fuel cells. An electrical conductor extending between adjacent rows of fuel cells connects the fuel cells of one row in parallel with each other and in series with the fuel cells of the adjacent row.

  10. Energy: Reimagine Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Lemmon, John P.

    2015-09-24

    New types of fuel cell on the horizon could eliminate the need for such trade-offs and ease the integration of renewables into the grid. Currently, fuel cells are used to generate only electricity and heat. They can be modified to store energy and produce liquid fuels such as methanol, thanks to breakthroughs in materials and designs. Developing fuel cells with a battery mode is one focus of the programme I direct at the US Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E). I lead 13 projects across academia, industry and national laboratories.

  11. Fuel Cell Research at the University of South Carolina

    SciTech Connect

    Van Zee, John W.

    2006-09-25

    Five projects were conducted in an effort to supplement the efforts of fuel cell research at the University of South Carolina and to contribute to the Technical Plan for Fuel Cells of the Department of Energy. These efforts include significant interaction with the industrial community through DOE funded projects and through the National Science Foundation's Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (NSF-I/UCRC) for Fuel Cells at USC. The allocation of projects described below leveraged all of these sources of funding without overlap and redundancy. 1. "Novel Non-Precious Metal Catalyst For PEMFCs" (Dr. Branko Popov) 2. "Non Carbon Supported Catalysts" (Dr. John Weidner) 3. "Hydrogen Quality" (Dr. Jean St-Pierre) 4. "Gasket Materials: Mechanical and Chemical Stability in PEMFC" (Dr. Y.J. (Bill) Chao) 5. "Mathematical Modeling of PEM Fuel Cells," (Dr. Sirivatch (Vatch) Shimpalee)

  12. Developing and Implementing a Simple, Affordable Hydrogen Fuel Cell Laboratory in Introductory Chemistry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klara, Kristina; Hou, Ning; Lawman, Allison; Wu, Liheng; Morrill, Drew; Tente, Alfred; Wang, Li-Qiong

    2014-01-01

    A simple, affordable hydrogen proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell laboratory was developed through a collaborative effort between faculty and undergraduate students at Brown University. It has been incorporated into the introductory chemistry curriculum and successfully implemented in a class of over 500 students per academic year for over 3…

  13. Liquid fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Soloveichik, Grigorii L

    2014-01-01

    The advantages of liquid fuel cells (LFCs) over conventional hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells include a higher theoretical energy density and efficiency, a more convenient handling of the streams, and enhanced safety. This review focuses on the use of different types of organic fuels as an anode material for LFCs. An overview of the current state of the art and recent trends in the development of LFC and the challenges of their practical implementation are presented.

  14. Liquid fuel cells

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Summary The advantages of liquid fuel cells (LFCs) over conventional hydrogen–oxygen fuel cells include a higher theoretical energy density and efficiency, a more convenient handling of the streams, and enhanced safety. This review focuses on the use of different types of organic fuels as an anode material for LFCs. An overview of the current state of the art and recent trends in the development of LFC and the challenges of their practical implementation are presented. PMID:25247123

  15. Fuel Cells Vehicle Systems Analysis (Fuel Cell Freeze Investigation)

    SciTech Connect

    Pesaran, A.; Kim, G.; Markel, T.; Wipke, K.

    2005-05-01

    Presentation on Fuel Cells Vehicle Systems Analysis (Fuel Cell Freeze Investigation) for the 2005 Hydrogen, Fuel Cells & Infrastructure Technologies Program Annual Review held in Arlington, Virginia on May 23-26, 2005.

  16. The Investigation and Development of Low Cost Hardware Components for Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells - Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    George A. Marchetti

    1999-12-15

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell components, which would have a low-cost structure in mass production, were fabricated and tested. A fuel cell electrode structure, comprising a thin layer of graphite (50 microns) and a front-loaded platinum catalyst layer (600 angstroms), was shown to produce significant power densities. In addition, a PEM bipolar plate, comprising flexible graphite, carbon cloth flow-fields and an integrated polymer gasket, was fabricated. Power densities of a two-cell unit using this inexpensive bipolar plate architecture were shown to be comparable to state-of-the-art bipolar plates.

  17. Electrochemical durability of heat-treated carbon nanospheres as catalyst supports for proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Lv, Haifeng; Wu, Peng; Wan, Wei; Mu, Shichun

    2014-09-01

    Carbon nanospheres is wildly used to support noble metal nanocatalysts in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, however they show a low resistance to electrochemical corrosion. In this study, the N-doped treatment of carbon nanospheres (Vulcan XC-72) is carried out in ammonia gas. The effect of heating treatment (up to 1000 degrees C) on resistances to electrochemical oxidation of the N-doped carbon nanospheres (HNC) is investigated. The resistance to electrochemical oxidation of carbon supports and stability of the catalysts are investigated with potentiostatic oxidation and accelerated durability test by simulating PEM fuel cell environment. The HNC exhibit a higher resistance to electrochemical oxidation than traditional Vulcan XC-72. The results show that the N-doped carbon nanospheres have a great potential application in PEM fuel cells.

  18. CEROLYTE FUEL CELL.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    construction of a power plant for space. A 50-watt cerolyte battery will be constructed and a 500-watt fuel - cell power plant will be designed. Research...evaluation of a 500-watt cerolyte fuel - cell power system for space. During the first quarter work has been concentrated in the first two areas.

  19. PLATINUM AND FUEL CELLS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Platinum requirements for fuel cell vehicles (FCVS) have been identified as a concern and possible problem with FCV market penetration. Platinum is a necessary component of the electrodes of fuel cell engines that power the vehicles. The platinum is deposited on porous electrodes...

  20. Fuel Cells for Society

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    Through a SBIR contract with Lewis Research Center, ElectroChem, Inc. developed a hydrogen/oxygen fuel cell. The objective for Lewis Research Center's collaboration with ElectroChem was to develop a fuel cell system that could deliver 200-W (minimum) approximately to 10kWh of electrical energy.

  1. Tilted fuel cell apparatus

    DOEpatents

    Cooper, John F.; Cherepy, Nerine; Krueger, Roger L.

    2005-04-12

    Bipolar, tilted embodiments of high temperature, molten electrolyte electrochemical cells capable of directly converting carbon fuel to electrical energy are disclosed herein. The bipolar, tilted configurations minimize the electrical resistance between one cell and others connected in electrical series. The tilted configuration also allows continuous refueling of carbon fuel.

  2. Fuel cells: Operating flexibly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Young Moo

    2016-09-01

    Fuel cells typically function well only in rather limited temperature and humidity ranges. Now, a proton exchange membrane consisting of ion pair complexes is shown to enable improved fuel cell performance under a wide range of conditions that are unattainable with conventional approaches.

  3. High power density proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphy, Oliver J.; Hitchens, G. Duncan; Manko, David J.

    1993-01-01

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells use a perfluorosulfonic acid solid polymer film as an electrolyte which simplifies water and electrolyte management. Their thin electrolyte layers give efficient systems of low weight, and their materials of construction show extremely long laboratory lifetimes. Their high reliability and their suitability for use in a microgravity environment makes them particularly attractive as a substitute for batteries in satellites utilizing high-power, high energy-density electrochemical energy storage systems. In this investigation, the Dow experimental PEM (XUS-13204.10) and unsupported high platinum loading electrodes yielded very high power densities, of the order of 2.5 W cm(exp -2). A platinum black loading of 5 mg per cm(exp 2) was found to be optimum. On extending the three-dimensional reaction zone of fuel cell electrodes by impregnating solid polymer electrolyte into the electrode structures, Nafion was found to give better performance than the Dow experimental PEM. The depth of penetration of the solid polymer electrolyte into electrode structures was 50-70 percent of the thickness of the platinum-catalyzed active layer. However, the degree of platinum utilization was only 16.6 percent and the roughness factor of a typical electrode was 274.

  4. Fuel cell stack arrangements

    DOEpatents

    Kothmann, Richard E.; Somers, Edward V.

    1982-01-01

    Arrangements of stacks of fuel cells and ducts, for fuel cells operating with separate fuel, oxidant and coolant streams. An even number of stacks are arranged generally end-to-end in a loop. Ducts located at the juncture of consecutive stacks of the loop feed oxidant or fuel to or from the two consecutive stacks, each individual duct communicating with two stacks. A coolant fluid flows from outside the loop, into and through cooling channels of the stack, and is discharged into an enclosure duct formed within the loop by the stacks and seals at the junctures at the stacks.

  5. Direct-hydrogen-fueled proton-exchange-membrane fuel cell system for transportation applications

    SciTech Connect

    Oei, D.; Adams, J.A.; Kinnelly, A.A.

    1997-07-01

    In partial fulfillment of the U.S. Department of Energy Contract No. DE-ACO2-94CE50389, {open_quotes}Direct Hydrogen-Fueled Proton-Exchange-Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell System for Transportation Applications{close_quotes}, this conceptual vehicle design report addresses the design and packaging of battery augmented fuel cell powertrain vehicles. This report supplements the {open_quotes}Conceptual Vehicle Design Report - Pure Fuel Cell Powertrain Vehicle{close_quotes} and includes a cost study of the fuel cell power system. The three classes of vehicles considered in this design and packaging exercise are the same vehicle classes that were studied in the previous report: the Aspire, representing the small vehicle class; the AIV (Aluminum Intensive Vehicle) Sable, representing the mid-size vehicle; and the E-150 Econoline, representing the van-size class. A preliminary PEM fuel cell power system manufacturing cost study is also presented. As in the case of the previous report concerning the {open_quotes}Pure Fuel Cell Powertrain Vehicle{close_quotes}, the same assumptions are made for the fuel cell power system. These assumptions are fuel cell system power densities of 0.33 kW/ka and 0.33 kW/l, platinum catalyst loading of less than or equal to 0.25 mg/cm{sup 2} total, and hydrogen tanks containing compressed gaseous hydrogen under 340 atm (5000 psia) pressure. The batteries considered for power augmentation of the fuel cell vehicle are based on the Ford Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) program. These are state-of-the-art high power lead acid batteries with power densities ranging from 0.8 kW/kg to 2 kW/kg. The results reported here show that battery augmentation provides the fuel cell vehicle with a power source to meet instant high power demand for acceleration and start-up. Based on the assumptions made in this report, the packaging of the battery augmented fuel cell vehicle appears to be as feasible as the packaging of the pure fuel cell powered vehicle.

  6. Air-Independent Solid Oxide Fuel Cells for NASA's LOX-CH4 Landers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ryan, Abigail C.; Araghi, Koorosh R.; Farmer, Serene C.

    2013-01-01

    Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle used fuel cells as main power source for vehicle and water source for life support and thermal PEM (Gemini) and Alkaline (Apollo, Shuttle) fuel cells were used Ideal for short (less than 3 weeks) missions when the required O2 and H2 can be launched with the vehicle. New missions that might require long-duration stays in orbit or at a habitat, cannot rely on the availability of pure reactants but should also aim to be sun-independent - a problem for which Solid Oxide Fuel Cells might be the answer. Recently, NASA has investigated & developed LOX/CH4-propelled landers (Altair, MORPHEUS). In order to preserve mission flexibility, fuel cells are being studied as a potential power source. Much of NASA's fuel cell development has been focused on creating a dead-headed, non-flow through PEM fuel cells which would weigh less and be more reliable than the existing Alkaline and PEM technology; however, LOX/CH4 as a propellant introduces SOFCs as a power option due to their ability to accept those reactants without much reforming.

  7. The effect of porosity on performance of phosphoric acid doped polybenzimidazole polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Celik, Muhammet; Genc, Gamze; Elden, Gulsah; Yapici, Huseyin

    2016-03-01

    A polybenzimidazole (PBI) based polymer electrolyte fuel cells, which called high temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells (HT-PEMS), operate at higher temperatures (120-200°C) than conventional PEM fuel cells. Although it is known that HT-PEMS have some of the significant advantages as non-humidification requirements for membrane and the lack of liquid water at high temperature in the fuel cell, the generated water as a result of oxygen reduction reaction causes in the degradation of these systems. The generated water absorbed into membrane side interacts with the hydrophilic PBI matrix and it can cause swelling of membrane, so water transport mechanism in a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) needs to be well understood and water balance must be calculated in MEA. Therefore, the water diffusion transport across the electrolyte should be determined. In this study, various porosity values of gas diffusion layers are considered in order to investigate the effects of porosity on the water management for two phase flow in fuel cell. Two-dimensional fuel cell with interdigitated flow-field is modelled using COMSOL Multiphysics 4.2a software. The operating temperature and doping level is selected as 160°C and 6.75mol H3PO4/PBI, respectively.

  8. Rejuvenation of automotive fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Yu Seung; Langlois, David A.

    2016-08-23

    A process for rejuvenating fuel cells has been demonstrated to improve the performance of polymer exchange membrane fuel cells with platinum/ionomer electrodes. The process involves dehydrating a fuel cell and exposing at least the cathode of the fuel cell to dry gas (nitrogen, for example) at a temperature higher than the operating temperature of the fuel cell. The process may be used to prolong the operating lifetime of an automotive fuel cell.

  9. Fuel cell water transport

    DOEpatents

    Vanderborgh, Nicholas E.; Hedstrom, James C.

    1990-01-01

    The moisture content and temperature of hydrogen and oxygen gases is regulated throughout traverse of the gases in a fuel cell incorporating a solid polymer membrane. At least one of the gases traverses a first flow field adjacent the solid polymer membrane, where chemical reactions occur to generate an electrical current. A second flow field is located sequential with the first flow field and incorporates a membrane for effective water transport. A control fluid is then circulated adjacent the second membrane on the face opposite the fuel cell gas wherein moisture is either transported from the control fluid to humidify a fuel gas, e.g., hydrogen, or to the control fluid to prevent excess water buildup in the oxidizer gas, e.g., oxygen. Evaporation of water into the control gas and the control gas temperature act to control the fuel cell gas temperatures throughout the traverse of the fuel cell by the gases.

  10. Proton Exchange Membranes for Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Devanathan, Ramaswami

    2010-11-01

    Proton exchange membrane, also known as polymer electrolyte membrane, fuel cells (PEMFCs) offer the promise of efficient conversion of chemical energy of fuel, such as hydrogen or methanol, into electricity with minimal pollution. Their widespread use to power zero-emission automobiles as part of a hydrogen economy can contribute to enhanced energy security and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. However, the commercial viability of PEMFC technology is hindered by high cost associated with the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) and poor membrane durability under prolonged operation at elevated temperature. Membranes for automotive fuel cell applications need to perform well over a period comparable to the life of an automotive engine and under heavy load cycling including start-stop cycling under sub-freezing conditions. The combination of elevated temperature, changes in humidity levels, physical stresses and harsh chemical environment contribute to membrane degradation. Perfluorinated sulfonic acid (PFSA)-based membranes, such as Nafion®, have been the mainstay of PEMFC technology. Their limitations, in terms of cost and poor conductivity at low hydration, have led to continuing research into membranes that have good proton conductivity at elevated temperatures above 120 °C and under low humidity conditions. Such membranes have the potential to avoid catalyst poisoning, simplify fuel cell design and reduce the cost of fuel cells. Hydrocarbon-based membranes are being developed as alternatives to PFSA membranes, but concerns about chemical and mechanical stability and durability remain. Novel anhydrous membranes based on polymer gels infused with protic ionic liquids have also been recently proposed, but considerable fundamental research is needed to understand proton transport in novel membranes and evaluate durability under fuel cell operating conditions. In order to advance this promising technology, it is essential to rationally design the next generation

  11. A PEMS study of the emissions of gaseous pollutants and ultrafine particles from gasoline- and diesel-fueled vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Cheng; Lou, Diming; Hu, Zhiyuan; Feng, Qian; Chen, Yiran; Chen, Changhong; Tan, Piqiang; Yao, Di

    2013-10-01

    On-road emission measurements of gasoline- and diesel-fueled vehicles were conducted by a portable emission measurement system (PEMS) in Shanghai, China. Horiba OBS 2200 and TSI EEPS 3090 were employed to detect gaseous and ultrafine particle emissions during the tests. The driving-based emission factors of gaseous pollutants and particle mass and number were obtained on various road types. The average NOx emission factors of the diesel bus, diesel car, and gasoline car were 8.86, 0.68, and 0.17 g km-1, all of which were in excess of their emission limits. The particle number emission factors were 7.06 × 1014, 6.08 × 1014, and 1.57 × 1014 km-1, generally higher than the results for similar vehicle types reported in the previous studies. The size distributions of the particles emitted from the diesel vehicles were mainly concentrated in the accumulation mode, while those emitted from the gasoline car were mainly distributed in the nucleation mode. Both gaseous and particle emission rates exhibit significant correlations with the change in vehicle speed and power demand. The lowest emission rates for each vehicle type were produced during idling. The highest emission rates for each vehicle type were generally found in high-VSP bins. The particle number emission rates of the gasoline car show the strongest growth trend with increasing VSP and speed. The particle number emission for the gasoline car increased by 3 orders of magnitude from idling to the highest VSP and driving speed conditions. High engine power caused by aggressive driving or heavy loads is the main contributor to high emissions for these vehicles in real-world situations.

  12. Quantum-beam technology: A versatile tool for developing polymer electrolyte fuel-cell membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamaki, Tetsuya

    This paper describes the versatile application of quantum beam-based technology to the development of proton exchange membranes (PEMs) for fuel-cell applications. The γ-ray or electron-beam induced radiation grafting offers a way to prepare PEMs; typically, the radical-initiated polymerization of a styrene or styrene-derivative monomer on a base polymer is followed by a sulfonation step. Novel PEMs were previously obtained using radiation-crosslinked fluoropolymers as the base material. Interestingly, combining this radiation-crosslinking process with the well-known chemical crosslinker method enabled one to obtain the "multiply"-crosslinked PEMs, in which both the main and grafted chains have covalently bridged structures leading to a high durability. The bombardment of heavy ions accelerated to MeV or higher energies produces a continuous trail of excited and ionized molecules in polymers, which is known as a latent track. The approach using this ion-track technology is based on the chemical etching and/or modification of each track with diameters of tens to hundreds of nanometers. The resulting "nano-structure controlled" PEM was found to have perfect one-dimensional proton-conductive pathways parallel to its thickness direction, while, in contrast, other existing PEMs mostly exhibited proton transport in the three-dimensional random media. The hierarchical structures of the PEMs, ranging from nanometers to micrometers, were revealed by small-angle neutron scattering experiments using a cold or thermal neutron beam. The information in such a wide length scale led to a deep insight into the dynamic properties inside the PEM from a molecular to macroscopic level, which can provide feedback for the reconsideration and optimization of the preparation procedure. As demonstrated above in the author's studies, it is important to understand that every quantum beam is different, thereby making the right beam choice.

  13. Internet Fuel Cells Forum

    SciTech Connect

    Sudhoff, Frederick A.

    1996-08-01

    The rapid development and integration of the Internet into the mainstream of professional life provides the fuel cell industry with the opportunity to share new ideas with unprecedented capabilities. The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Morgantown Energy Technology Center (METC) has undertaken the task to maintain a Fuel Cell Forum on the Internet. Here, members can exchange ideas and information pertaining to fuel cell technologies. The purpose of this forum is to promote a better understanding of fuel cell concepts, terminology, processes, and issues relating to commercialization of fuel cell power technology. The Forum was developed by METC to provide those interested with fuel cell conference information for its current concept of exchanging ideas and information pertaining to fuel cells. Last August, the Forum expanded to an on-line and world-wide network. There are 250 members, and membership is growing at a rate of several new subscribers per week. The forum currently provides updated conference information and interactive information exchange. Forum membership is encouraged from utilities, industry, universities, and government. Because of the public nature of the internet, business sensitive, confidential, or proprietary information should not be placed on this system. The Forum is unmoderated; therefore, the views and opinions of authors expressed in the forum do not necessarily state or reflect those of the U.S. government or METC.

  14. Fuel Cell Research at the University of Delaware

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Jingguang G; Advani, Suresh G

    2006-01-27

    The grant initiated nine basic and applied research projects to improve fundamental understanding and performance of the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, to explore innovative methods for hydrogen production and storage, and to address the critical issues and barriers to commercialization. The focus was on catalysis, hydrogen production and storage, membrane durability and flow modeling and characterization of Gas Diffusion Media. Three different types of equipment were purchase with this grant to provide testing and characterization infrastructure for fuel cell research and to provide undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to study fuel cell membrane design and operation. They are (i) Arbin Hydrogen cell testing station, (ii) MTS Alliance RT/5 material testing system with an ESPEC custom-designed environmental chamber for membrane Durability Testing and (iii) Chemisorption for surface area measurements of electrocatalysts. The research team included ten faculty members who addressed various issues that pertain to Fuel Cells, Hydrogen Production and Storage, Fuel Cell transport mechanisms. Nine research tasks were conducted to address the critical issues and various barriers to commercialization of Fuel Cells. These research tasks are subdivided in the general areas of (i) Alternative electrocatalysis (ii) Fuel Processing and Hydrogen Storage and (iii) Modeling and Characterization of Membranes as applied to Fuel Cells research.. The summary of accomplishments and approaches for each of the tasks is presented below

  15. Fuel Cells: Reshaping the Future

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Toay, Leo

    2004-01-01

    In conjunction with the FreedomCAR (Cooperative Automotive Research) and Fuel Initiative, President George W. Bush has pledged nearly two billion dollars for fuel cell research. Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors have unveiled fuel cell demonstration vehicles, and all three of these companies have invested heavily in fuel cell research. Fuel cell…

  16. Fuel cell generator energy dissipator

    DOEpatents

    Veyo, Stephen Emery; Dederer, Jeffrey Todd; Gordon, John Thomas; Shockling, Larry Anthony

    2000-01-01

    An apparatus and method are disclosed for eliminating the chemical energy of fuel remaining in a fuel cell generator when the electrical power output of the fuel cell generator is terminated. During a generator shut down condition, electrically resistive elements are automatically connected across the fuel cell generator terminals in order to draw current, thereby depleting the fuel

  17. Bipolar fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    McElroy, James F.

    1989-01-01

    The present invention discloses an improved fuel cell utilizing an ion transporting membrane having a catalytic anode and a catalytic cathode bonded to opposite sides of the membrane, a wet-proofed carbon sheet in contact with the cathode surface opposite that bonded to the membrane and a bipolar separator positioned in electrical contact with the carbon sheet and the anode of the adjacent fuel cell. Said bipolar separator and carbon sheet forming an oxidant flowpath, wherein the improvement comprises an electrically conductive screen between and in contact with the wet-proofed carbon sheet and the bipolar separator improving the product water removal system of the fuel cell.

  18. Fuel dissipater for pressurized fuel cell generators

    DOEpatents

    Basel, Richard A.; King, John E.

    2003-11-04

    An apparatus and method are disclosed for eliminating the chemical energy of fuel remaining in a pressurized fuel cell generator (10) when the electrical power output of the fuel cell generator is terminated during transient operation, such as a shutdown; where, two electrically resistive elements (two of 28, 53, 54, 55) at least one of which is connected in parallel, in association with contactors (26, 57, 58, 59), a multi-point settable sensor relay (23) and a circuit breaker (24), are automatically connected across the fuel cell generator terminals (21, 22) at two or more contact points, in order to draw current, thereby depleting the fuel inventory in the generator.

  19. Fast measurement of proton exchange membrane fuel cell impedance based on pseudo-random binary sequence perturbation signals and continuous wavelet transform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Debenjak, Andrej; Boškoski, Pavle; Musizza, Bojan; Petrovčič, Janko; Juričić, Đani

    2014-05-01

    This paper proposes an approach to the estimation of PEM fuel cell impedance by utilizing pseudo-random binary sequence as a perturbation signal and continuous wavelet transform with Morlet mother wavelet. With the approach, the impedance characteristic in the frequency band from 0.1 Hz to 500 Hz is identified in 60 seconds, approximately five times faster compared to the conventional single-sine approach. The proposed approach was experimentally evaluated on a single PEM fuel cell of a larger fuel cell stack. The quality of the results remains at the same level compared to the single-sine approach.

  20. Design and performance of a prototype fuel cell powered vehicle

    SciTech Connect

    Lehman, P.A.; Chamberlin, C.E.

    1996-12-31

    The Schatz Energy Research Center (SERC) is now engaged in the Palm Desert Renewable Hydrogen Transportation System Project. The Project involves a consortium which includes the City of Palm Desert, SERC, the U.S. Department of Energy, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, and Sandia and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. Its goal to develop a clean and sustainable transportation system for a community will be accomplished by producing a fleet of fuel cell vehicles, installing a refueling infrastructure utilizing hydrogen generated from solar and wind power, and developing and staffing a fuel cell service and diagnostic center. We will describe details of the project and performance goals for the fuel cell vehicles and associated peripheral systems. In the past year during the first stage in the project, SERC has designed and built a prototype fuel cell powered personal utility vehicle (PUV). These steps included: (1) Designing, building, and testing a 4.0 kW proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell as a power plant for the PUV. (2) Designing, building and testing peripherals including the air delivery, fuel storage/delivery, refueling, water circulation, cooling, and electrical systems. (3) Devising a control algorithm for the fuel cell power plant in the PUV. (4) Designing and building a test bench in which running conditions in the PUV could be simulated and the fuel cell and its peripheral systems tested. (5) Installing an onboard computer and associated electronics into the PUV (6) Assembling and road testing the PUV.

  1. Fuel Cell Animation

    NASA Video Gallery

    Oxygen (O2) and hydrogen (H2) migrate into the fuel cell. The oxygen molecules migrate to the catalyst where the anode strips some of their electrons. This allows them to move through the cathode a...

  2. Well-to-wheels analysis of fuel-cell vehicle/fuel systems.

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, M.

    2002-01-22

    Major automobile companies worldwide are undertaking vigorous research and development efforts aimed at developing fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs). Proton membrane exchange (PEM)-based FCVs require hydrogen (H{sub 2}) as the fuel-cell (FC) fuel. Because production and distribution infrastructure for H{sub 2} off board FCVs as a transportation fuel does not exist yet, researchers are developing FCVs that can use hydrocarbon fuels, such as methanol (MeOH) and gasoline, for onboard production of H{sub 2} via fuel processors. Direct H{sub 2} FCVs have no vehicular emissions, while FCVs powered by hydrocarbon fuels have near-zero emissions of criteria pollutants and some carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) emissions. However, production of H{sub 2} can generate a large amount of emissions and suffer significant energy losses. A complete evaluation of the energy and emission impacts of FCVs requires an analysis of energy use and emissions during all stages, from energy feedstock wells to vehicle wheels--a so-called ''well-to-wheels'' (WTW) analysis. This paper focuses on FCVs powered by several transportation fuels. Gasoline vehicles (GVs) equipped with internal combustion engines (ICEs) are the baseline technology to which FCVs are compared. Table 1 lists the 13 fuel pathways included in this study. Petroleum-to-gasoline (with 30-ppm sulfur [S] content) is the baseline fuel pathway for GVs.

  3. Fuel cells for transportation program: FY1997 national laboratory annual report

    SciTech Connect

    1997-12-31

    The Department of Energy (DOE) Fuel Cells for Transportation Program is structured to effectively implement the research and development (R and D) required for highly efficient, low or zero emission fuel cell power systems to be a viable replacement for the internal combustion engine in automobiles. The Program is part of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV), a government-industry initiative aimed at development of an 80 mile-per-gallon vehicle. This Annual Report summarizes the technical accomplishments of the laboratories during 1997. Participants include: Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). During 1997, the laboratory R and D included one project on solid oxide fuel cells; this project has since been terminated to focus Department resources on PEM fuel cells. The technical component of this report is divided into five key areas: fuel cell stack research and development; fuel processing; fuel cell modeling, testing, and evaluation; direct methanol PEM fuel cells; and solid oxide fuel cells.

  4. Fuel processor for fuel cell power system

    DOEpatents

    Vanderborgh, Nicholas E.; Springer, Thomas E.; Huff, James R.

    1987-01-01

    A catalytic organic fuel processing apparatus, which can be used in a fuel cell power system, contains within a housing a catalyst chamber, a variable speed fan, and a combustion chamber. Vaporized organic fuel is circulated by the fan past the combustion chamber with which it is in indirect heat exchange relationship. The heated vaporized organic fuel enters a catalyst bed where it is converted into a desired product such as hydrogen needed to power the fuel cell. During periods of high demand, air is injected upstream of the combustion chamber and organic fuel injection means to burn with some of the organic fuel on the outside of the combustion chamber, and thus be in direct heat exchange relation with the organic fuel going into the catalyst bed.

  5. Electrocatalytic and fuel processing studies for portable fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matter, Paul H.

    In the field of catalysis, the development of alternative catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) cathodes has been an ongoing task for researchers over the past two decades. PEM fuel cells are considered to be potential replacements for internal combustion engines in automobiles, and their reduced emissions and better efficiency would have huge payoffs for our environment, and in reducing our nation's dependence on foreign oil. To date, PEMFC cathode over-potentials are still significant, and the only materials discovered to be highly active and stable catalysts in an acidic environment are platinum-based. Despite several major advances in recent years in reducing platinum loading in fuel cell electrodes, the high expense and low availability of platinum will hinder the large-scale commercialization of PEM fuel cells. The most hopeful advances being made in replacing platinum are related to pyrolyzed organic macrocycles with transition metal centers (such as Fe or Co porphyrins and phthalocyanines). Encouragingly, it has recently been discovered that active electrodes could be prepared by heat-treating metal and nitrogen precursors (not necessarily organic macrocycles) together in the presence of a carbon support. In the first study of this dissertation, catalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR) were prepared by the pyrolysis of acetonitrile over various supports. The supports used included Vulcan Carbon, high purity alumina, silica, magnesia, and these same supports impregnated with Fe, Co, or Ni in the form of acetate salt. The catalysts were characterized by BET surface area analysis, BJH Pore Size Distribution (PSD), conductivity testing, Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Temperature Programmed Oxidation (TPO), Thermo-Gravimetric Analysis (TGA), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), X-ray Photo-electron Spectroscopy (XPS), Mossbauer Spectroscopy, Rotating Disk Electrode (RDE) half cell testing, and

  6. Composite fuel cell membranes

    DOEpatents

    Plowman, K.R.; Rehg, T.J.; Davis, L.W.; Carl, W.P.; Cisar, A.J.; Eastland, C.S.

    1997-08-05

    A bilayer or trilayer composite ion exchange membrane is described suitable for use in a fuel cell. The composite membrane has a high equivalent weight thick layer in order to provide sufficient strength and low equivalent weight surface layers for improved electrical performance in a fuel cell. In use, the composite membrane is provided with electrode surface layers. The composite membrane can be composed of a sulfonic fluoropolymer in both core and surface layers.

  7. Composite fuel cell membranes

    DOEpatents

    Plowman, Keith R.; Rehg, Timothy J.; Davis, Larry W.; Carl, William P.; Cisar, Alan J.; Eastland, Charles S.

    1997-01-01

    A bilayer or trilayer composite ion exchange membrane suitable for use in a fuel cell. The composite membrane has a high equivalent weight thick layer in order to provide sufficient strength and low equivalent weight surface layers for improved electrical performance in a fuel cell. In use, the composite membrane is provided with electrode surface layers. The composite membrane can be composed of a sulfonic fluoropolymer in both core and surface layers.

  8. Compliant fuel cell system

    DOEpatents

    Bourgeois, Richard Scott; Gudlavalleti, Sauri

    2009-12-15

    A fuel cell assembly comprising at least one metallic component, at least one ceramic component and a structure disposed between the metallic component and the ceramic component. The structure is configured to have a lower stiffness compared to at least one of the metallic component and the ceramic component, to accommodate a difference in strain between the metallic component and the ceramic component of the fuel cell assembly.

  9. 2009 Fuel Cell Market Report

    SciTech Connect

    Vincent, Bill; Gangi, Jennifer; Curtin, Sandra; Delmont, Elizabeth

    2010-11-01

    Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, water, and heat. Unlike batteries, fuel cells continuously generate electricity, as long as a source of fuel is supplied. Moreover, fuel cells do not burn fuel, making the process quiet, pollution-free and two to three times more efficient than combustion. Fuel cell systems can be a truly zero-emission source of electricity, if the hydrogen is produced from non-polluting sources. Global concerns about climate change, energy security, and air pollution are driving demand for fuel cell technology. More than 630 companies and laboratories in the United States are investing $1 billion a year in fuel cells or fuel cell component technologies. This report provides an overview of trends in the fuel cell industry and markets, including product shipments, market development, and corporate performance. It also provides snapshots of select fuel cell companies, including general.

  10. Multi channel voltage control for fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heideck, G.; Purmann, M.; Styczynski, Z.

    Cell voltage control is a safe method to evaluate the operation of the single cells even though large efforts are being made to stabilise the behaviour of the fuel cells over the whole operating range. For fully developed systems only voltage control of single cells is necessary, whereas in test benches it is necessary to record data of the voltages during operation. Normally, a lot of cells are combined to a stack so that higher total voltages can be reached. Higher voltages make possible a high efficient transformation from direct current of the stack to alternate current of the public network. Sometimes more than 100 cells are connected together whereby the open circuit voltage of a single cell amounts to approximately 1 V. Therefore, the signal processing chips show a high supply maximum rating or the resolution of the values has to be reduced. This paper presents an economically priced multi channel voltage control for single cells of a PEM-fuel cell in combination with a microprocessor control and was developed at the Chair for Electric Power Networks and Renewable Energy Sources. The developed system can transfer the data of up to 32 single cells in serial connection. The resolution amounts to 10 bits per channel. The module has its own microprocessor, which is responsible for the intermediate storage of the collected data and the transfer to the RS-232 interface. Optionally, the module can be equipped with an LCD-display of 20 × 4 letters where different menus of the measured and calculated values can be indicated. The module is designed for a voltage of 1 V per channel and can be supplied with a direct voltage of between 6 and 24 V from the fuel cell stack.

  11. Rapidly refuelable fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Joy, Richard W.

    1983-01-01

    This invention is directed to a metal-air fuel cell where the consumable metal anode is movably positioned in the cell and an expandable enclosure, or bladder, is used to press the anode into contact with separating spacers between the cell electrodes. The bladder may be depressurized to allow replacement of the anode when consumed.

  12. Seventh Edition Fuel Cell Handbook

    SciTech Connect

    NETL

    2004-11-01

    Provides an overview of fuel cell technology and research projects. Discusses the basic workings of fuel cells and their system components, main fuel cell types, their characteristics, and their development status, as well as a discussion of potential fuel cell applications.

  13. Non-Flow-Through Fuel Cell System Test Results and Demonstration on the SCARAB Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scheidegger, Brianne, T.; Burke, Kenneth A.; Jakupca, Ian J.

    2012-01-01

    This paper describes the results of the demonstration of a non-flow-through PEM fuel cell as part of a power system on the SCARAB rover. A 16-cell non-flow-through fuel cell stack from Infinity Fuel Cell and Hydrogen, Inc. was incorporated into a power system designed to act as a range extender by providing power to the rover s hotel loads. This work represents the first attempt at a ground demonstration of this new technology aboard a mobile test platform. Development and demonstration were supported by the Office of the Chief Technologist s Space Power Systems Project and the Advanced Exploration System Modular Power Systems Project.

  14. A review of polymer electrolyte membranes for direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neburchilov, Vladimir; Martin, Jonathan; Wang, Haijiang; Zhang, Jiujun

    This review describes the polymer electrolyte membranes (PEM) that are both under development and commercialized for direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC). Unlike the membranes for hydrogen fuelled PEM fuel cells, among which perfluorosulfonic acid based membranes show complete domination, the membranes for DMFC have numerous variations, each has its advantages and disadvantages. No single membrane is emerging as absolutely superior to others. This review outlines the prospects of the currently known membranes for DMFC. The membranes are evaluated according to various properties, including: methanol crossover, proton conductivity, durability, thermal stability and maximum power density. Hydrocarbon and composite fluorinated membranes currently show the most potential for low cost membranes with low methanol permeability and high durability. Some of these membranes are already beginning to impact the portable fuel cell market.

  15. Evaluation of the humidification requirements of new proton exchange membranes for fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grot, Stephen; Hedstrom, J. C.; Vanderborgh, N. E.

    Measurements of PEM fuel cell device performance were made with different gas inlet temperatures and relative humidity using a newly-designed test fixture. Significant improvement in device performance was observed when the fuel inlet temperature was increased above the operating temperature of the cell. These measurements were then correlated to a model to describe energy and mass transport processes. Proton exchange membrane (PEM), fuel cells--the focus of this study--use an ion conducting polymer, especially polyperfluorosulfonic acid materials. These polymer materials, when imbibed with water, exhibit solution-like properties, but because the anions are chemically bound to the polymeric structure, the electrolyte is contained. Importantly, product water removal is simplified, as electrolyte dilution is not a concern. However, the proton transport rate is a function of the polymer geometry, which is set, in part, by the polymer water content. Consequently, dynamics of water flow are essential to understand the design of efficient conversion devices.

  16. Fuel cell cogeneration

    SciTech Connect

    Wimer, J.G.; Archer, D.

    1995-08-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy`s Morgantown Energy Technology Center (METC) sponsors the research and development of engineered systems which utilize domestic fuel supplies while achieving high standards of efficiency, economy, and environmental performance. Fuel cell systems are among the promising electric power generation systems that METC is currently developing. Buildings account for 36 percent of U.S. primary energy consumption. Cogeneration systems for commercial buildings represent an early market opportunity for fuel cells. Seventeen percent of all commercial buildings are office buildings, and large office buildings are projected to be one of the biggest, fastest-growing sectors in the commercial building cogeneration market. The main objective of this study is to explore the early market opportunity for fuel cells in large office buildings and determine the conditions in which they can compete with alternative systems. Some preliminary results and conclusions are presented, although the study is still in progress.

  17. Internal reforming fuel cell assembly with simplified fuel feed

    DOEpatents

    Farooque, Mohammad; Novacco, Lawrence J.; Allen, Jeffrey P.

    2001-01-01

    A fuel cell assembly in which fuel cells adapted to internally reform fuel and fuel reformers for reforming fuel are arranged in a fuel cell stack. The fuel inlet ports of the fuel cells and the fuel inlet ports and reformed fuel outlet ports of the fuel reformers are arranged on one face of the fuel cell stack. A manifold sealing encloses this face of the stack and a reformer fuel delivery system is arranged entirely within the region between the manifold and the one face of the stack. The fuel reformer has a foil wrapping and a cover member forming with the foil wrapping an enclosed structure.

  18. Performance of a Fuel-Cell-Powered, Small Electric Airplane Assessed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berton, Jeffrey J.

    2004-01-01

    Rapidly emerging fuel-cell-power technologies may be used to launch a new revolution of electric propulsion systems for light aircraft. Future small electric airplanes using fuel cell technologies hold the promise of high reliability, low maintenance, low noise, and - with the exception of water vapor - zero emissions. An analytical feasibility and performance assessment was conducted by NASA Glenn Research Center's Airbreathing Systems Analysis Office of a fuel-cell-powered, propeller-driven, small electric airplane based on a model of the MCR-01 two-place kitplane (Dyn'Aero, Darois, France). This assessment was conducted in parallel with an ongoing effort by the Advanced Technology Products Corporation and the Foundation for Advancing Science and Technology Education. Their project - partially funded by a NASA grant - is to design, build, and fly the first manned, continuously propelled, nongliding electric airplane. In our study, an analytical performance model of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell propulsion system was developed and applied to a notional, two-place light airplane modeled after the MCR-01 kitplane. The PEM fuel cell stack was fed pure hydrogen fuel and humidified ambient air via a small automotive centrifugal supercharger. The fuel cell performance models were based on chemical reaction analyses calibrated with published data from the fledgling U.S. automotive fuel cell industry. Electric propeller motors, rated at two shaft power levels in separate assessments, were used to directly drive a two-bladed, variable-pitch propeller. Fuel sources considered were compressed hydrogen gas and cryogenic liquid hydrogen. Both of these fuel sources provided pure, contaminant-free hydrogen for the PEM cells.

  19. Fuel cells for commercial energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huppmann, Gerhard; Weisse, Eckart; Bischoff, Manfred

    1990-04-01

    The development of various types of fuel cells is described. Advantges and drawbacks are considered for alkaline fuel cells, phosphoric acid fuel cells, and molten carbonate fuel cells. It is shown that their modular construction is particularly adapted to power heat systems. A comparison which is largely in favor of fuel cells, is made between coal, oil, natural gas power stations, and fuel cells. Safety risks in operation are also compared with those of conventional power stations. Fuel cells are particularly suited for dwellings, shopping centers, swimming pools, other sporting installations, and research facilities, whose high current and heat requirements can be covered by power heat coupling.

  20. Morphological features (defects) in fuel cell membrane electrode assemblies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kundu, S.; Fowler, M. W.; Simon, L. C.; Grot, S.

    Reliability and durability issues in fuel cells are becoming more important as the technology and the industry matures. Although research in this area has increased, systematic failure analysis, such as a failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA), are very limited in the literature. This paper presents a categorization scheme of causes, modes, and effects related to fuel cell degradation and failure, with particular focus on the role of component quality, that can be used in FMEAs for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells. The work also identifies component defects imparted on catalyst-coated membranes (CCM) by manufacturing and proposes mechanisms by which they can influence overall degradation and reliability. Six major defects have been identified on fresh CCM materials, i.e., cracks, orientation, delamination, electrolyte clusters, platinum clusters, and thickness variations.

  1. Analysis and Test of a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Power System for Space Power Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vasquez, Arturo; Varanauski, Donald; Clark, Robert, Jr.

    2000-01-01

    An effort is underway to develop a prototype Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell breadboard system for fuhlre space applications. This prototype will be used to develop a comprehensive design basis for a space-rated PEM fuel cell powerplant. The prototype system includes reactant pressure regulators, ejector-based reactant pumps, a 4-kW fuel cell stack and cooling system, and a passive, membranebased oxygen / water separator. A computer model is being developed concurrently to analytically predict fluid flow in the oxidant reactant system. Fuel cells have historically played an important role in human-rated spacecraft. The Gemini and Apollo spacecraft used fuel cells for vehicle electrical power. The Space Shuttle currently uses three Alkaline Fuel Cell Powerplants (AFCP) to generate all of the vehicle's 15-20kW electrical power. Engineers at the Johnson Space Center have leveraged off the development effort ongoing in the commercial arena to develop PEM fuel cel ls for terrestrial uses. The prototype design originated from efforts to develop a PEM fuel cell replacement for the current Space Shuttle AFCP' s. In order to improve on the life and an already excellent hi storical record of reliability and safety, three subsystems were focused on. These were the fuel cell stack itself, the reactant circulation devices, and reactant / product water separator. PEM fuel cell stack performance is already demonstrating the potential for greater than four times the useful life of the current Shuttle's AFCP. Reactant pumping for product water removal has historically been accomplished with mechanical pumps. Ejectors offer an effective means of reactant pumping as well as the potential for weight reduction, control simplification, and long life. Centrifugal water separation is used on the current AFCP. A passive, membrane-based water separator offers compatibility with the micro-gravity environment of space, and the potential for control simplification, elimination of

  2. Onboard fuel reformers for fuel cell vehicles: Equilibrium, kinetic and system modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Kreutz, T.G.; Steinbugler, M.M.; Ogden, J.M.

    1996-12-31

    On-board reforming of liquid fuels to hydrogen for use in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) has been the subject of numerous investigations. In many respects, liquid fuels represent a more attractive method of carrying hydrogen than compressed hydrogen itself, promising greater vehicle range, shorter refilling times, increased safety, and perhaps most importantly, utilization of the current fuel distribution infrastructure. The drawbacks of on-board reformers include their inherent complexity [for example a POX reactor includes: a fuel vaporizer, a reformer, water-gas shift reactors, a preferential oxidation (PROX) unit for CO cleanup, heat exchangers for thermal integration, sensors and controls, etc.], weight, and expense relative to compressed H{sub 2}, as well as degraded fuel cell performance due to the presence of inert gases and impurities in the reformate. Partial oxidation (POX) of automotive fuels is another alternative for hydrogen production. This paper provides an analysis of POX reformers and a fuel economy comparison of vehicles powered by on-board POX and SRM fuel processors.

  3. Power generation using a mesoscale fuel cell integrated with a microscale fuel processor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holladay, J. D.; Wainright, J. S.; Jones, E. O.; Gano, S. R.

    An integrated fuel reformer and fuel cell system for microscale (10-500 mW) power generation is being developed and demonstrated as an alternative to conventional batteries. In this system, thermal energy is transformed to electricity by stripping the hydrogen from the hydrocarbon fuel (reforming) and converting the hydrogen to electricity in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. The fabrication and operation of a mesoscale fuel cell based on phosphoric acid doped polybenzimidazole (PBI) technology is discussed, along with tests integrating the methanol processor with the fuel cell. The PBI membrane had high ionic conductivity at high temperatures (>150 °C), and sustained the high conductivity at low relative humidity at these temperatures. This high-temperature stability and high ionic conductivity enabled the membrane to tolerate extremely high levels of carbon monoxide up to 10% without significant degradation in performance. The combined fuel cell/reformer system was successfully operated to enable the production of 23 mW of electrical power.

  4. Fuel cell system

    DOEpatents

    Early, Jack; Kaufman, Arthur; Stawsky, Alfred

    1982-01-01

    A fuel cell system is comprised of a fuel cell module including sub-stacks of series-connected fuel cells, the sub-stacks being held together in a stacked arrangement with cold plates of a cooling means located between the sub-stacks to function as electrical terminals. The anode and cathode terminals of the sub-stacks are connected in parallel by means of the coolant manifolds which electrically connect selected cold plates. The system may comprise a plurality of the fuel cell modules connected in series. The sub-stacks are designed to provide a voltage output equivalent to the desired voltage demand of a low voltage, high current DC load such as an electrolytic cell to be driven by the fuel cell system. This arrangement in conjunction with switching means can be used to drive a DC electrical load with a total voltage output selected to match that of the load being driven. This arrangement eliminates the need for expensive voltage regulation equipment.

  5. Fuel cell system combustor

    DOEpatents

    Pettit, William Henry

    2001-01-01

    A fuel cell system including a fuel reformer heated by a catalytic combustor fired by anode and cathode effluents. The combustor includes a turbulator section at its input end for intimately mixing the anode and cathode effluents before they contact the combustors primary catalyst bed. The turbulator comprises at least one porous bed of mixing media that provides a tortuous path therethrough for creating turbulent flow and intimate mixing of the anode and cathode effluents therein.

  6. Fuel cell system configurations

    DOEpatents

    Kothmann, Richard E.; Cyphers, Joseph A.

    1981-01-01

    Fuel cell stack configurations having elongated polygonal cross-sectional shapes and gaskets at the peripheral faces to which flow manifolds are sealingly affixed. Process channels convey a fuel and an oxidant through longer channels, and a cooling fluid is conveyed through relatively shorter cooling passages. The polygonal structure preferably includes at least two right angles, and the faces of the stack are arranged in opposite parallel pairs.

  7. In-situ investigation water distribution in polymer electrolyte fuel cell using neutron radiography

    SciTech Connect

    Mishler, Jeffrey H; Mukundan, Rangachary; Borup, Rodney L; Wang, Eunkyoung Y; Jacobson, David L

    2010-01-01

    This paper investigates the water content within operating polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells using neutron radiography. We consider fuel cells with various PTFE loadings in their gas diffusion layers (GDL) and microporous layers (MPL), and examine the impacts of MPL/GDL properties on the liquid water behavior and fuel cell performance. Fuel cells are tested at both dry and fully hydrated conditions with different serpentine flow fields. Water contents in the projected areas of channel and land regions are probed. The fuel cell may be subject to more flooding at low current-density operation. Both MPL and GDL wetting properties have substantial impacts on the water content in fuel cell. Cell performance also varies on different scenarios of the MPL/GDL wetting properties. A quad-serpentine channel flow field exhibits higher water content without remarkable change in performance at low current densities. Liquid water profile along the channel is presented and on-set clearly indicated.

  8. New theoretical model for convergent nozzle ejector in the proton exchange membrane fuel cell system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Yinhai; Li, Yanzhong

    A new theoretical model for the convergent nozzle ejector in the anode recirculation line of the polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell system is established in this paper. A velocity function for analyzing the flow characteristics of the PEM ejector is proposed by employing a two-dimensional (2D) concave exponential curve. This treatment of velocity is an improvement compared to the conventional 1D "constant area mixing" or "constant pressure mixing" ejector theories. The computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technique together with the data regression and parameter identification methods are applied in the determination of the velocity function's exponent. Based on the model, the anode recirculation performances of a hybrid PEM system are studied under various stack currents. Results show that the model is capable of evaluating the performance of ejector in both the critical mode and subcritical mode.

  9. Handbook of fuel cell performance

    SciTech Connect

    Benjamin, T.G.; Camara, E.H.; Marianowski, L.G.

    1980-05-01

    The intent of this document is to provide a description of fuel cells, their performances and operating conditions, and the relationship between fuel processors and fuel cells. This information will enable fuel cell engineers to know which fuel processing schemes are most compatible with which fuel cells and to predict the performance of a fuel cell integrated with any fuel processor. The data and estimates presented are for the phosphoric acid and molten carbonate fuel cells because they are closer to commercialization than other types of fuel cells. Performance of the cells is shown as a function of operating temperature, pressure, fuel conversion (utilization), and oxidant utilization. The effect of oxidant composition (for example, air versus O/sub 2/) as well as fuel composition is examined because fuels provided by some of the more advanced fuel processing schemes such as coal conversion will contain varying amounts of H/sub 2/, CO, CO/sub 2/, CH/sub 4/, H/sub 2/O, and sulfur and nitrogen compounds. A brief description of fuel cells and their application to industrial, commercial, and residential power generation is given. The electrochemical aspects of fuel cells are reviewed. The phosphoric acid fuel cell is discussed, including how it is affected by operating conditions; and the molten carbonate fuel cell is discussed. The equations developed will help systems engineers to evaluate the application of the phosphoric acid and molten carbonate fuel cells to commercial, utility, and industrial power generation and waste heat utilization. A detailed discussion of fuel cell efficiency, and examples of fuel cell systems are given.

  10. Fuel economy of hybrid fuel cell vehicles.

    SciTech Connect

    Ahluwalia, R.; Wang, X.; Rousseau, A.; Nuclear Engineering Division

    2004-01-01

    The potential improvement in fuel economy of a mid-size fuel-cell vehicle by combining it with an energy storage system has been assessed. An energy management strategy is developed and used to operate the direct hydrogen, pressurized fuel-cell system in a load-following mode and the energy storage system in a charge-sustaining mode. The strategy places highest priority on maintaining the energy storage system in a state where it can supply unanticipated boost power when the fuel-cell system alone cannot meet the power demand. It is found that downsizing a fuel-cell system decreases its efficiency on a drive cycle which is compensated by partial regenerative capture of braking energy. On a highway cycle with limited braking energy the increase in fuel economy with hybridization is small but on the stop-and-go urban cycle the fuel economy can improve by 27%. On the combined highway and urban drive cycles the fuel economy of the fuel-cell vehicle is estimated to increase by up to 15% by hybridizing it with an energy storage system.

  11. Advanced fuel cells for transportation applications. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    1998-02-10

    This Research and Development (R and D) contract was directed at developing an advanced technology compressor/expander for supplying compressed air to Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells in transportation applications. The objective of this project was to develop a low-cost high-efficiency long-life lubrication-free integrated compressor/expander utilizing scroll technology. The goal of this compressor/expander was to be capable of providing compressed air over the flow and pressure ranges required for the operation of 50 kW PEM fuel cells in transportation applications. The desired ranges of flow, pressure, and other performance parameters were outlined in a set of guidelines provided by DOE. The project consisted of the design, fabrication, and test of a prototype compressor/expander module. The scroll CEM development program summarized in this report has been very successful, demonstrating that scroll technology is a leading candidate for automotive fuel cell compressor/expanders. The objectives of the program are: develop an integrated scroll CEM; demonstrate efficiency and capacity goals; demonstrate manufacturability and cost goals; and evaluate operating envelope. In summary, while the scroll CEM program did not demonstrate a level of performance as high as the DOE guidelines in all cases, it did meet the overriding objectives of the program. A fully-integrated, low-cost CEM was developed that demonstrated high efficiency and reliable operation throughout the test program. 26 figs., 13 tabs.

  12. Fuel Cells: Power System Option for Space Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaneeth, M.; Mohanty, Surajeet

    2012-07-01

    Fuel Cells are direct energy conversion devices and, thereby, they deliver electrical energy at very high efficiency levels. Hydrogen and Oxygen gases are electrochemically processed, producing clean electric power with water as the only by product. A typical, Fuel Cell based power system involve a Electrochemical power converter, gas storage and management systems, thermal management systems and relevant control units. While there exists different types of Fuel cells, Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells are considered as the most suitable one for portable applications. Generally, Fuel Cells are considered as the primary power system option in space missions requiring high power ( > 5kW) and long durations and also where water is a consumable, such as manned missions. This is primarily due to the advantage that fuel cell based power systems offer, in terms of specific energy. Fuel cells have the potential to attain specific energy > 500Wh/kg, specific power >500W/kg, energy density > 400Whr/L and also power density > 200 W/L. This apart, a fuel cell system operate totally independent of sun light, whereas as battery based system is fully dependent on the same. This uniqueness provides added flexibility and capabilities to the missions and modularity for power system. High power requiring missions involving reusable launch vehicles, manned missions etc are expected to be richly benefited from this. Another potential application of Fuel Cell would be interplanetary exploration. Unpredictable and dusty atmospheres of heavenly bodies limits sun light significantly and there fuel cells of different types, eg, Bio-Fuel Cells, PEMFC, DMFCs would be able to work effectively. Manned or unmanned lunar out post would require continuous power even during extra long lunar nights and high power levels are expected. Regenerative Fuel Cells, a combination of Fuel Cells and Electrolysers, are identified as strong candidate. While application of Fuel Cells in high power

  13. Model-based control of fuel cells:. (1) Regulatory control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golbert, Joshua; Lewin, Daniel R.

    This paper describes a model-based controller for the regulation of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. The model accounts for spatial dependencies of voltage, current, material flows, and temperatures in the fuel channel. Analysis of the process model shows that the effective gain of the process undergoes a sign change in the normal operating range of the fuel cell, indicating that it cannot be stabilized using a linear controller with integral action. Consequently, a nonlinear model-predictive-controller based on a simplified model has been developed, enabling the use of optimal control to satisfy power demands robustly. The models and controller have been realized in the MATLAB and SIMULINK environment. Initial results indicate improved performance and robustness when using model-based control in comparison with that obtained using an adaptive controller.

  14. Advanced fuel cell development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierce, R. D.; Baumert, B.; Claar, T. D.; Fousek, R. J.; Huang, H. S.; Kaun, T. D.; Krumpelt, M.; Minh, N.; Mrazek, F. C.; Poeppel, R. B.

    1985-01-01

    Fuel cell research and development activities at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) during the period January through March 1984 are described. These efforts have been directed principally toward seeking alternative cathode materials to NiO for molten carbonate fuel cells. Based on an investigation of the thermodynamically stable phases formed under cathode conditions, a number of prospective alternative cathode materials have been identified. From the list of candidates, LiFeO2, Li2MnO3, and ZnO were selected for further investigation. During this quarter, they were doped to promote conductivity and tested for solubility and ion migration in the cell environment. An investigation directed to understanding in cell densification of anode materials was initiated. In addition, calculations were made to evaluate the practicality of controlling sulfur accumulation in molten carbonate fuel cells by bleed off of a portion of the anode gas that could be recycled to the cathode. In addition, a model is being developed to predict the performance of solid oxide fuel cells as a function of cell design and operation.

  15. Fuel Cell Electrodes for Hydrogen-Air Fuel Cell Assemblies.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    The report describes the design and evaluation of a hydrogen-air fuel cell module for use in a portable hydrid fuel cell -battery system. The fuel ... cell module consists of a stack of 20 single assemblies. Each assembly contains 2 electrically independent cells with a common electrolyte compartment

  16. Conductivity fuel cell collector plate and method of fabrication

    DOEpatents

    Braun, James C.

    2002-01-01

    An improved method of manufacturing a PEM fuel cell collector plate is disclosed. During molding a highly conductive polymer composite is formed having a relatively high polymer concentration along its external surfaces. After molding the polymer rich layer is removed from the land areas by machining, grinding or similar process. This layer removal results in increased overall conductivity of the molded collector plate. The polymer rich surface remains in the collector plate channels, providing increased mechanical strength and other benefits to the channels. The improved method also permits greater mold cavity thickness providing a number of advantages during the molding process.

  17. Synthesis and Characterization of Polymers for Fuel Cells Application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tytko, Stephen F.

    2003-01-01

    The goal of this summer research is to prepare Polymer Exchange Membranes (PEM s) for fuel cell application. Several high temperature polymers such as polybenzimidazoles and polyether ketones were known to possess good high temperature stability and had been investigated by post-sulfonation to yield sulfonated polymers. The research project will involve two approaches: 1. Synthesis of polybenzimidazoles and then react with alkyl sultonse to attach an aliphatic sulfonic groups. 2. Synthesis of monomers containing sulfonic acid units either on a aromatic ring or on an aliphatic chain and then polymerize the monomers to form high molecular weight sulfonate polymers.

  18. Long life Regenerative Fuel Cell technology development plan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Littman, Franklin D.; Cataldo, Robert L.; Mcelroy, James F.; Stedman, Jay K.

    1992-01-01

    This paper summarizes a technology roadmap for completing advanced development of a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Regenerative Fuel Cell (RFC) to meet long life (20,000 hrs at 50 percent duty cycle) mobile or portable power system applications on the surface of the moon and Mars. Development of two different sized RFC power system modules is included in this plan (3 and 7.5 kWe). A conservative approach was taken which includes the development of a Ground Engineering System, Qualification Unit, and Flight Unit. This paper includes a concept description, technology assessment, development issues, development tasks, and development schedule.

  19. Bi-Cell Unit for Fuel Cell.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    The patent concerns a bi-cell unit for a fuel cell . The bi-cell unit is comprised of two electrode packs. Each of the electrode packs includes an...invention relates in general to a bi-cell unit for a fuel cell and in particular, to a bi-cell unit for a hydrazine-air fuel cell .

  20. Five Kilowatt Fuel Cell Demonstration for Remote Power Applications

    SciTech Connect

    Dennis Witmer; Tom Johnson; Jack Schmid

    2008-12-31

    While most areas of the US are serviced by inexpensive, dependable grid connected electrical power, many areas of Alaska are not. In these areas, electrical power is provided with Diesel Electric Generators (DEGs), at much higher cost than in grid connected areas. The reasons for the high cost of power are many, including the high relative cost of diesel fuel delivered to the villages, the high operational effort required to maintain DEGs, and the reverse benefits of scale for small utilities. Recent progress in fuel cell technologies have lead to the hope that the DEGs could be replaced with a more efficient, reliable, environmentally friendly source of power in the form of fuel cells. To this end, the University of Alaska Fairbanks has been engaged in testing early fuel cell systems since 1998. Early tests were conducted on PEM fuel cells, but since 2001, the focus has been on Solid Oxide Fuel Cells. In this work, a 5 kW fuel cell was delivered to UAF from Fuel Cell Technologies of Kingston, Ontario. The cell stack is of a tubular design, and was built by Siemens Westinghouse Fuel Cell division. This stack achieved a run of more than 1 year while delivering grid quality electricity from natural gas with virtually no degradation and at an electrical efficiency of nearly 40%. The project was ended after two control system failures resulted in system damage. While this demonstration was successful, considerable additional product development is required before this technology is able to provide electrical energy in remote Alaska. The major issue is cost, and the largest component of system cost currently is the fuel cell stack cost, although the cost of the balance of plant is not insignificant. While several manufactures are working on schemes for significant cost reduction, these systems do not as yet provide the same level of performance and reliability as the larger scale Siemens systems, or levels that would justify commercial deployment.

  1. A polymer electrolyte fuel cell stack for stationary power generation from hydrogen fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Zawodzinski, C.; Wilson, M.; Gottesfeld, S.

    1996-10-01

    The fuel cell is the most efficient device for the conversion of hydrogen fuel to electric power. As such, the fuel cell represents a key element in efforts to demonstrate and implement hydrogen fuel utilization for electric power generation. A central objective of a LANL/Industry collaborative effort supported by the Hydrogen Program is to integrate PEM fuel cell and novel stack designs at LANL with stack technology of H-Power Corporation (H-Power) in order to develop a manufacturable, low-cost/high-performance hydrogen/air fuel cell stack for stationary generation of electric power. A LANL/H-Power CRADA includes Tasks ranging from exchange, testing and optimization of membrane-electrode assemblies of large areas, development and demonstration of manufacturable flow field, backing and bipolar plate components, and testing of stacks at the 3-5 cell level and, finally, at the 4-5 kW level. The stack should demonstrate the basic features of manufacturability, overall low cost and high energy conversion efficiency. Plans for future work are to continue the CRADA work along the time line defined in a two-year program, to continue the LANL activities of developing and testing stainless steel hardware for longer term stability including testing in a stack, and to further enhance air cathode performance to achieve higher energy conversion efficiencies as required for stationary power application.

  2. Enhancement of water retention in UV-exposed fuel-cell proton exchange membranes studied using terahertz spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, Shaumik; Devi, Nirmala; Dash, Jyotirmayee; Rambabu, Gutru; Bhat, Santoshkumar D.; Pesala, Bala

    2016-02-01

    Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells are increasingly gaining importance as a clean energy source. PEMs need to possess high proton conductivity and should be chemically and mechanically stable in the fuel cell environment. Proton conductivity of PEM in fuel cells is directly proportional to water content in the membrane. Among the various PEMs available, Nafion has high proton conductivity even with low water content compared to SPEEK (Sulfonated Poly(ether ether ketone)) but is also expensive. SPEEK membranes and it's composites have better mechanical properties and have comparatively higher thermal stability. Operating the fuel cell at higher temperatures and at the same time maintaining the water content of the membrane is always a great challenge. In this paper, to increase water retention capacity, Nafion, SPEEK and it's composite (SPEEK PSSA-CNT) membranes are exposed to Ultra-Violet (UV) radiation for varied times. Terahertz Spectroscopy, in both pulsed and CW mode has been used as an efficient tool to quantify the water retention of the membrane. Results using Terahertz spectroscopy show that even though the initial water absorption capacity of Nafion membranes is more, SPEEK membranes and it's composites show considerable improvement in the water retention capacity upon high intensity UV irradiation.

  3. Comprehensive one-dimensional, semi-analytical, mathematical model for liquid-feed polymer electrolyte membrane direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kareemulla, D.; Jayanti, S.

    Polymer electrolyte membrane direct methanol fuel cells (PEM-DMFCs) have several advantages over hydrogen-fuelled PEM fuel cells; but sluggish methanol electrochemical oxidation and methanol crossover from the anode to the cathode through the PEM are two major problems with these cells. In the present work, a comprehensive one-dimensional, single phase, isothermal mathematical model is developed for a liquid-feed PEM-DMFC, taking into account all the necessary mass transport and electrochemical phenomena. Diffusion and convective effects are considered for methanol transport on the anode side and in the PEM, whereas only diffusional transport of species is considered on the cathode side. A multi-step reaction mechanism is used to describe the electrochemical oxidation of methanol at the anode. Stefan-Maxwell equations are used to describe multi-component diffusion on the cathode side and Tafel type of kinetics is used to describe the simultaneous methanol oxidation and oxygen reduction reactions at the cathode. The model fully accounts for the mixed potential effect caused by methanol crossover at the cathode. It shows excellent agreement with literature data of the limiting current density for different low methanol feed concentrations at different operating temperatures. At high methanol feed concentrations, oxygen depletion on the cathode side, due to excessive methanol crossover, results in mass-transport limitations. The model can be used to optimize the geometric and physical parameters with a view to extracting the highest current density while still keeping a tolerably low methanol crossover.

  4. Air Breathing Direct Methanol Fuel Cell

    DOEpatents

    Ren; Xiaoming

    2003-07-22

    A method for activating a membrane electrode assembly for a direct methanol fuel cell is disclosed. The method comprises operating the fuel cell with humidified hydrogen as the fuel followed by running the fuel cell with methanol as the fuel.

  5. CHP Fuel Cell Durability Demonstration - Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Petrecky, James; Ashley, Christopher J

    2014-07-21

    Plug Power has managed a demonstration project that has tested multiple units of its high-temperature, PEM fuel cell system in micro-combined heat and power (μ-CHP) applications in California. The specific objective of the demonstration project was to substantiate the durability of GenSys Blue, and, thereby, verify its technology and commercial readiness for the marketplace. In the demonstration project, Plug Power, in partnership with the National Fuel Cell Research Center (NFCRC) at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), and Sempra, will execute two major tasks: • Task 1: Internal durability/reliability fleet testing. Six GenSys Blue units will be built and will undergo an internal test regimen to estimate failure rates. This task was modified to include 3 GenSys Blue units installed in a lab at UCI. • Task 2: External customer testing. Combined heat and power units will be installed and tested in real-world residential and/or light commercial end user locations in California.

  6. Hydrogen-oxygen proton-exchange membrane fuel cells and electrolyzers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baldwin, R.; Pham, M.; Leonida, A.; Mcelroy, J.; Nalette, T.

    1989-01-01

    Hydrogen-oxygen solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) fuel cells and SPE electrolyzers (products of Hamilton Standard) both use a Proton-Exchange Membrane (PEM) as the sole electrolyte. These solid electrolyte devices have been under continuous development for over 30 years. This experience has resulted in a demonstrated ten-year SPE cell life capability under load conditions. Ultimate life of PEM fuel cells and electrolyzers is primarily related to the chemical stability of the membrane. For perfluorocarbon proton exchange membranes an accurate measure of the membrane stability is the fluoride loss rate. Millions of cell hours have contributed to establishing a relationship between fluoride loss rates and average expected ultimate cell life. This relationship is shown. Several features have been introduced into SPE fuel cells and SPE electrolyzers such that applications requiring greater than or equal to 100,000 hours of life can be considered. Equally important as the ultimate life is the voltage stability of hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells and electrolyzers. Here again the features of SPE fuel cells and SPE electrolyzers have shown a cell voltage stability in the order of 1 microvolt per hour. That level of stability has been demonstrated for tens of thousands of hours in SPE fuel cells at up to 500 amps per square foot (ASF) current density.

  7. Compact fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Jacobson, Craig; DeJonghe, Lutgard C.; Lu, Chun

    2010-10-19

    A novel electrochemical cell which may be a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) is disclosed where the cathodes (144, 140) may be exposed to the air and open to the ambient atmosphere without further housing. Current collector (145) extends through a first cathode on one side of a unit and over the unit through the cathode on the other side of the unit and is in electrical contact via lead (146) with housing unit (122 and 124). Electrical insulator (170) prevents electrical contact between two units. Fuel inlet manifold (134) allows fuel to communicate with internal space (138) between the anodes (154 and 156). Electrically insulating members (164 and 166) prevent the current collector from being in electrical contact with the anode.

  8. Effect of gas diffusion layer and membrane properties in an annular proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khazaee, I.; Ghazikhani, M.; Esfahani, M. Nasr

    2012-01-01

    A complete three-dimensional and single phase computational dynamics model for annular proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell is used to investigate the effect of changing gas diffusion layer and membrane properties on the performances, current density and gas concentration. The proposed model is a full cell model, which includes all the parts of the PEM fuel cell, flow channels, gas diffusion electrodes, catalyst layers and the membrane. Coupled transport and electrochemical kinetics equations are solved in a single domain; therefore no interfacial boundary condition is required at the internal boundaries between cell components. This computational fluid dynamics code is used as the direct problem solver, which is used to simulate the two-dimensional mass, momentum and species transport phenomena as well as the electron- and proton-transfer process taking place in a PEMFC that cannot be investigated experimentally. The results show that by increasing the thickness and decreasing the porosity of GDL the performance of the cell enhances that it is different with planner PEM fuel cell. Also the results show that by decreasing the thickness of the membrane the performance of the cell increases.

  9. Organic fuel cells and fuel cell conducting sheets

    DOEpatents

    Masel, Richard I.; Ha, Su; Adams, Brian

    2007-10-16

    A passive direct organic fuel cell includes an organic fuel solution and is operative to produce at least 15 mW/cm.sup.2 when operating at room temperature. In additional aspects of the invention, fuel cells can include a gas remover configured to promote circulation of an organic fuel solution when gas passes through the solution, a modified carbon cloth, one or more sealants, and a replaceable fuel cartridge.

  10. Direct-hydrogen-fueled proton-exchange-membrane fuel cell system for transportation applications: Conceptual vehicle design report pure fuel cell powertrain vehicle

    SciTech Connect

    Oei, D.; Kinnelly, A.; Sims, R.; Sulek, M.; Wernette, D.

    1997-02-01

    In partial fulfillment of the Department of Energy (DOE) Contract No. DE-AC02-94CE50389, {open_quotes}Direct-Hydrogen-Fueled Proton-Exchange-Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell for Transportation Applications{close_quotes}, this preliminary report addresses the conceptual design and packaging of a fuel cell-only powered vehicle. Three classes of vehicles are considered in this design and packaging exercise, the Aspire representing the small vehicle class, the Taurus or Aluminum Intensive Vehicle (AIV) Sable representing the mid-size vehicle and the E-150 Econoline representing the van-size class. A fuel cell system spreadsheet model and Ford`s Corporate Vehicle Simulation Program (CVSP) were utilized to determine the size and the weight of the fuel cell required to power a particular size vehicle. The fuel cell power system must meet the required performance criteria for each vehicle. In this vehicle design and packaging exercise, the following assumptions were made: fuel cell power system density of 0.33 kW/kg and 0.33 kg/liter, platinum catalyst loading less than or equal to 0.25 mg/cm{sup 2} total and hydrogen tanks containing gaseous hydrogen under 340 atm (5000 psia) pressure. The fuel cell power system includes gas conditioning, thermal management, humidity control, and blowers or compressors, where appropriate. This conceptual design of a fuel cell-only powered vehicle will help in the determination of the propulsion system requirements for a vehicle powered by a PEMFC engine in lieu of the internal combustion (IC) engine. Only basic performance level requirements are considered for the three classes of vehicles in this report. Each vehicle will contain one or more hydrogen storage tanks and hydrogen fuel for 560 km (350 mi) driving range. Under these circumstances, the packaging of a fuel cell-only powered vehicle is increasingly difficult as the vehicle size diminishes.

  11. Degradation modeling of high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells using dual time scale simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pohl, E.; Maximini, M.; Bauschulte, A.; vom Schloß, J.; Hermanns, R.