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Sample records for pem fuel cells

  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, 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.

  3. 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.

  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. NY); 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 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.

  8. 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.

  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 monitoring system

    DOEpatents

    Meltser, M.A.; Grot, S.A.

    1998-06-09

    Method and apparatus are disclosed 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. 2 figs.

  12. PEM fuel cell durability studies

    SciTech Connect

    Borup, Rodney L; Davey, John R; Ofstad, Axel B; Xu, Hui

    2008-01-01

    The durability of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells is a major barrier to the commercialization for stationary and transportation power applications. For transportation applications, the durability target for fuel cell power systems is a 5,000 hour lifespan and able to function over a range of vehicle operating conditions (-40{sup o} to +40{sup o}C). However, durability is difficult to quantify and improve because of the quantity and duration of testing required, and also because the fuel cell stack contains many components, for which the degradation mechanisms, component interactions and effects of operating conditions are not fully understood. These requirements have led to the development of accelerated testing protocols for PEM fuel cells. The need for accelerated testing methodology is exemplified by the times required for standard testing to reach their required targets: automotive 5,000 hrs = {approx} 7 months; stationary systems 40,000 hrs = {approx} 4.6 years. As new materials continue to be developed, the need for relevant accelerated testing increases. In this investigation, we examine the durability of various cell components, examine the effect of transportation operating conditions (potential cycling, variable RH, shut-down/start-up, freeze/thaw) and evaluate durability by accelerated durability protocols. PEM fuel cell durability testing is performed on single cells, with tests being conducted with steady-state conditions and with dynamic conditions using power cycling to simulate a vehicle drive cycle. Component and single-cell characterization during and after testing was conducted to identify changes in material properties and related failure mechanisms. Accelerated-testing experiments were applied to further examine material degradation.

  13. High temperature PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jianlu; Xie, Zhong; Zhang, Jiujun; Tang, Yanghua; Song, Chaojie; Navessin, Titichai; Shi, Zhiqing; Song, Datong; Wang, Haijiang; Wilkinson, David P.; Liu, Zhong-Sheng; Holdcroft, Steven

    There are several compelling technological and commercial reasons for operating H 2/air PEM fuel cells at temperatures above 100 °C. Rates of electrochemical kinetics are enhanced, water management and cooling is simplified, useful waste heat can be recovered, and lower quality reformed hydrogen may be used as the fuel. This review paper provides a concise review of high temperature PEM fuel cells (HT-PEMFCs) from the perspective of HT-specific materials, designs, and testing/diagnostics. The review describes the motivation for HT-PEMFC development, the technology gaps, and recent advances. HT-membrane development accounts for ∼90% of the published research in the field of HT-PEMFCs. Despite this, the status of membrane development for high temperature/low humidity operation is less than satisfactory. A weakness in the development of HT-PEMFC technology is the deficiency in HT-specific fuel cell architectures, test station designs, and testing protocols, and an understanding of the underlying fundamental principles behind these areas. The development of HT-specific PEMFC designs is of key importance that may help mitigate issues of membrane dehydration and MEA degradation.

  14. Fuel Processors for PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Levi T. Thompson

    2008-08-08

    Fuel cells are being developed to power cleaner, more fuel efficient automobiles. The fuel cell technology favored by many automobile manufacturers is PEM fuel cells operating with H2 from liquid fuels like gasoline and diesel. A key challenge to the commercialization of PEM fuel cell based powertrains is the lack of sufficiently small and inexpensive fuel processors. Improving the performance and cost of the fuel processor will require the development of better performing catalysts, new reactor designs and better integration of the various fuel processing components. These components and systems could also find use in natural gas fuel processing for stationary, distributed generation applications. Prototype fuel processors were produced, and evaluated against the Department of Energy technical targets. Significant advances were made by integrating low-cost microreactor systems, high activity catalysts, π-complexation adsorbents, and high efficiency microcombustor/microvaporizers developed at the University of Michigan. The microreactor system allowed (1) more efficient thermal coupling of the fuel processor operations thereby minimizing heat exchanger requirements, (2) improved catalyst performance due to optimal reactor temperature profiles and increased heat and mass transport rates, and (3) better cold-start and transient responses.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Design considerations for miniaturized PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyers, Jeremy P.; Maynard, Helen L.

    In this paper, we consider the design of a miniaturized proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell for powering 0.5-20 W portable telecommunication and computing devices. Our design is implemented on a silicon substrate to take advantage of advanced silicon processing technology in order to minimize production costs. The reduced length scales afforded by silicon processing allow us to consider designs that would be prohibited by excessive Ohmic losses in larger systems. We employ a mathematical model to quantify the effects of the secondary current distribution on two competing cell designs. In addition to the design of the cell itself, we discuss key integration issues and engineering trade-offs relevant to all miniaturized fuel cell systems: air movement, fuel delivery and water balance, thermal management and load handling.

  3. In situ PEM fuel cell water measurements

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-01-01

    Efficient PEM (Polymer Electrolyte Membrane) fuel cell performance requires effective water management. To achieve a deeper understanding of water transport and performance issues associated with water management, we have conducted in situ water examinations to help understand the effects of components and operations. High Frequency Resistance (HFR), AC Impedance and Neutron imaging were used to measure water content in operating fuel cells, with various conditions, including current density, relative humidity, inlet flows, flow orientation and variable Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) properties. High resolution neutron radiography was used to image fuel cells during a variety of conditions. The effect of specific operating conditions, including flow direction (co-flow or counter-flow) was examined. Counter-flow operation was found to result in higher water content than co-flow operation, which correlates to lower membrane resistivity. A variety of cells were used to quantify the membrane water in situ during exposure to saturated gases, during fuel cell operation, and during hydrogen pump operation. The quantitative results show lower membrane water content than previous results suggested.

  4. 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.

  5. Materials Challenges for Automotive PEM Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gasteiger, Hubert

    2004-03-01

    Over the past few years, significant R efforts aimed at meeting the challenging cost and performance targets required for the use of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells in automotive applications. Besides engineering advances in bipolar plate materials and design, the optimization of membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs) was an important enabler in reducing the cost and performance gaps towards commercial viability for the automotive market. On the one hand, platinum loadings were reduced from several mgPt/cm2MEA [1] to values of 0.5-0.6 mgPt/cm2MEA in current applications and loadings as low as 0.25 mgPt/cm2MEA have been demonstrated on the research level [2]. On the other hand, implementation of thin membranes (20-30 micrometer) [3, 4] as well as improvements in diffusion medium materials, essentially doubled the achievable power density of MEAs to ca. 0.9 W/cm2MEA (at 0.65 V) [5], thereby not only reducing the size of a PEMFC fuel cell system, but also reducing its overall materials cost (controlled to a large extent by membrane and Pt-catalyst cost). While this demonstrated a clear path towards automotive applications, a renewed focus of R efforts is now required to develop materials and fundamental materials understanding to assure long-term durability of PEM fuel cells. This presentation therefore will discuss the state-of-the-art knowledge of catalyst, catalyst-support, and membrane degradation mechanisms. In the area of Pt-catalysts, experience with phosphoric acid fuel cells (PAFCs) has shown that platinum sintering leads to long-term performance losses [6]. While this is less critical at the lower PEMFC operating temperatures (<100C) compared to PAFCs (>200C), very little is known about the dependence of Pt-sintering on temperature, cell voltage, and catalyst type (i.e., Pt versus Pt-alloys) and will be discussed here. Similarly, carbon-support corrosion can contribute significantly to voltage degradation in PAFCs [7], and even in the PEMFC

  6. Bipolar plates for PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Middelman, E.; Kout, W.; Vogelaar, B.; Lenssen, J.; de Waal, E.

    The bipolar plates are in weight and volume the major part of the PEM fuel cell stack, and are also a significant contributor to the stack costs. The bipolar plate is therefore a key component if power density has to increase and costs must come down. Three cell plate technologies are expected to reach targeted cost price levels, all having specific advantages and drawbacks. NedStack has developed a conductive composite materials and a production process for fuel cell plates (bipolar and mono-polar). The material has a high electric and thermal conductivity, and can be processed into bipolar plates by a proprietary molding process. Process cycle time has been reduced to less than 10 s, making the material and process suitable for economical mass production. Other development work to increase material efficiency resulted in thin bipolar plates with integrated cooling channels, and integrated seals, and in two-component bipolar plates. Total thickness of the bipolar plates is now less than 3 mm, and will be reduced to 2 mm in the near future. With these thin integrated plates it is possible to increase power density up to 2 kW/l and 2 kW/kg, while at the same time reducing cost by integrating other functions and less material use.

  7. Sensor Development for PEM Fuel Cell Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Steve Magee; Richard Gehman

    2005-07-12

    This document reports on the work done by Honeywell Sensing and Control to investigate the feasibility of modifying low cost Commercial Sensors for use inside a PEM Fuel Cell environment. Both stationary and automotive systems were considered. The target environment is hotter (100 C) than the typical commercial sensor maximum of 70 C. It is also far more humid (100% RH condensing) than the more typical 95% RH non-condensing at 40 C (4% RH maximum at 100 C). The work focused on four types of sensors, Temperature, Pressure, Air Flow and Relative Humidity. Initial design goals were established using a market research technique called Market Driven Product Definition (MDPD). A series of interviews were conducted with various users and system designers in their facilities. The interviewing team was trained in data taking and analysis per the MDPD process. The final result was a prioritized and weighted list of both requirements and desires for each sensor. Work proceeded on concept development for the 4 types of sensors. At the same time, users were developing the actual fuel cell systems and gaining knowledge and experience in the use of sensors and controls systems. This resulted in changes to requirements and desires that were not anticipated during the MDPD process. The concepts developed met all the predicted requirements. At the completion of concept development for the Pressure Sensor, it was determined that the Fuel Cell developers were happy with off-the-shelf automotive pressure sensors. Thus, there was no incentive to bring a new Fuel Cell Specific Pressure Sensor into production. Work was therefore suspended. After the experience with the Pressure Sensor, the requirements for a Temperature Sensor were reviewed and a similar situation applied. Commercially available temperature sensors were adequate and cost effective and so the program was not continued from the Concept into the Design Phase.

  8. Materials Challenges for Automotive PEM Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gasteiger, Hubert

    2004-03-01

    Over the past few years, significant R efforts aimed at meeting the challenging cost and performance targets required for the use of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells in automotive applications. Besides engineering advances in bipolar plate materials and design, the optimization of membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs) was an important enabler in reducing the cost and performance gaps towards commercial viability for the automotive market. On the one hand, platinum loadings were reduced from several mgPt/cm2MEA [1] to values of 0.5-0.6 mgPt/cm2MEA in current applications and loadings as low as 0.25 mgPt/cm2MEA have been demonstrated on the research level [2]. On the other hand, implementation of thin membranes (20-30 micrometer) [3, 4] as well as improvements in diffusion medium materials, essentially doubled the achievable power density of MEAs to ca. 0.9 W/cm2MEA (at 0.65 V) [5], thereby not only reducing the size of a PEMFC fuel cell system, but also reducing its overall materials cost (controlled to a large extent by membrane and Pt-catalyst cost). While this demonstrated a clear path towards automotive applications, a renewed focus of R efforts is now required to develop materials and fundamental materials understanding to assure long-term durability of PEM fuel cells. This presentation therefore will discuss the state-of-the-art knowledge of catalyst, catalyst-support, and membrane degradation mechanisms. In the area of Pt-catalysts, experience with phosphoric acid fuel cells (PAFCs) has shown that platinum sintering leads to long-term performance losses [6]. While this is less critical at the lower PEMFC operating temperatures (<100C) compared to PAFCs (>200C), very little is known about the dependence of Pt-sintering on temperature, cell voltage, and catalyst type (i.e., Pt versus Pt-alloys) and will be discussed here. Similarly, carbon-support corrosion can contribute significantly to voltage degradation in PAFCs [7], and even in the PEMFC

  9. 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.

  10. Dynamic behavior of PEM fuel cell and microturbine power plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Sharkh, M. Y.; Sisworahardjo, N. S.; Uzunoglu, M.; Onar, O.; Alam, M. S.

    This paper presents a comparison between the dynamic behavior of a 250 kW stand-alone proton exchange membrane fuel cell power plant (PEM FCPP) and a 250 kW stand-alone microturbine (MT). Dynamic models for the two are introduced. To control the voltage and the power output of the PEM FCPP, voltage and power control loops are added to the model. For the MT, voltage, speed, and power control are used. Dynamic models are used to determine the response of the PEM FCPP and MT to a load step change. Simulation results indicate that the response of the MT to reach a steady state is about twice as fast as the PEM FCPP. For stand-alone operation of a PEM FCPP, a set of batteries or ultracapacitors is needed in order to satisfy the power mismatch during transient periods. Software simulation results are obtained by using MATLAB ®, Simulink ®, and SimPowerSystems ®.

  11. Advanced space power PEM fuel cell systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

    A model showing mass and heat transfer in proton exchange membrane (PEM) single cells is presented. For space applications, stack operation requiring combined water and thermal management is needed. Advanced hardware designs able to combine these two techniques are available. Test results are shown for membrane materials which can operate with sufficiently fast diffusive water transport to sustain current densities of 300 ma per square centimeter. Higher power density levels are predicted to require active water removal.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Transient analysis of water transport in PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Wei-Mon; Chu, Hsin-Sen; Chen, Jian-Yao; Soong, Chyi-Yeou; Chen, Falin

    This paper theoretically studies the water transport phenomena in PEM fuel cells, mainly investigating the transient behavior in the gas diffusion layer (GDL), catalyst layer (CL) and proton exchange membrane (PEM). In the PEM, both diffusion and electro-osmosis processes are considered, while in the GDL and CL, only diffusion process is taken into account. The process of water uptake is employed to account for the water transport at the interface between the PEM and CL. The results indicate that the water content in the PEM and the time for reaching the steady state in the start-up process are influenced by the humidification constant, k, the humidification, and the thickness of PEM. The rise of the k increases the water content in the membrane and shortens the time for reaching the steady state. Insufficient humidification causes relatively small water content and long steady time. When the PEM is thinner, the water is more uniformly distributed, the water content gets higher, and the time for reaching the steady state is distinctly shorter.

  15. 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.

  16. Cerium migration during PEM fuel cell accelerated stress testing

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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. 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

  17. 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

  18. Endoreversible modeling of a PEM fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, Katharina; Hoffmann, Karl Heinz

    2015-12-01

    Fuel cells are known for high efficiencies in converting chemical energy into electrical energy. Nonetheless, the processes taking place in a fuel cell still possess a number of irreversibilities that limit the power output to values below the reversible limit. To analyze these, we developed a model that captures the main irreversibilities occurring inside a proton exchange membrane or polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. We used the methods of endoreversible thermodynamics, which enable us to study the entropy production of the different sources of irreversibility in detail. Additionally, performance measures like efficiency and power output can be calculated with such a model, and the influence of different parameters, such as temperature and pressure, can be easily investigated. The comparison of the model predictions with realistic fuel cell data shows that the functional dependencies of the fuel cell characteristics can be captured quite well.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Diagnosis of PEM fuel cell stack dynamic behaviors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Jixin; Zhou, Biao

    In this study, the steady-state performance and dynamic behavior of a commercial 10-cell Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack was experimentally investigated using a self-developed PEM fuel cell test stand. The start-up characteristics of the stack to different current loads and dynamic responses after current step-up to an elevated load were investigated. The stack voltage was observed to experience oscillation at air excess coefficient of 2 due to the flooding/recovery cycle of part of the cells. In order to correlate the stack voltage with the pressure drop across the cathode/anode, fast Fourier transform was performed. Dominant frequency of pressure drop signal was obtained to indicate the water behavior in cathode/anode, thereby predicting the stack voltage change. Such relationship between frequency of pressure drop and stack voltage was found and summarized. This provides an innovative approach to utilize frequency of pressure drop signal as a diagnostic tool for PEM fuel cell stack dynamic behaviors.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Grot, S.A.; Meltser, M.A.; Gutowski, S.; Neutzler, J.K.; Borup, R.L.; Weisbrod, K.

    2000-05-16

    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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. New electroplated aluminum bipolar plate for PEM fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Enin, Sanaa A. Abo; Abdel-Salam, Omar E.; El-Abd, Hammam; Amin, Ashraf M.

    Further improvement in the performance of the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells as a power source for automotive applications may be achieved by the use of a new material in the manufacture of the bipolar plate. Several nickel alloys were applied on the aluminum substrate, the use of aluminum as a bipolar plate instead of graphite is to reduce the bipolar plate cost and weight and the ease of machining. The electroplated nickel alloys on aluminum substrate produced a new metallic bipolar plate for PEM fuel cell with a higher efficiency and longer lifetime than the graphite bipolar plate due to its higher electrical conductivity and its lower corrosion rate. Different pretreatment methods were tested; the optimum method for pretreatment consists of dipping the specimen in a 12.5% NaOH for 3 min followed by electroless zinc plating for 2 min, then the specimen is dipped quickly in the electroplating bath after rinsing with distilled water. The produced electroplate was tested with different measurement techniques, chosen based on the requirement for a PEM fuel cell bipolar plate, including X-ray diffraction, EDAX, SEM, corrosion resistance, thickness measurement, microhardness, and electrical conductivity.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

    2015-10-02

    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.

  19. Cerium migration during PEM fuel cell assembly and operation

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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 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

  20. 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.

  1. Toward developing a computational capability for PEM fuel cell design and optimization.

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Chao Yang; Luo, Gang; Jiang, Fangming; Carnes, Brian; Chen, Ken Shuang

    2010-05-01

    In this paper, we report the progress made in our project recently funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE) toward developing a computational capability, which includes a two-phase, three-dimensional PEM (polymer electrolyte membrane) fuel cell model and its coupling with DAKOTA (a design and optimization toolkit developed and being enhanced by Sandia National Laboratories). We first present a brief literature survey in which the prominent/notable PEM fuel cell models developed by various researchers or groups are reviewed. Next, we describe the two-phase, three-dimensional PEM fuel cell model being developed, tested, and later validated by experimental data. Results from case studies are presented to illustrate the utility of our comprehensive, integrated cell model. The coupling between the PEM fuel cell model and DAKOTA is briefly discussed. Our efforts in this DOE-funded project are focused on developing a validated computational capability that can be employed for PEM fuel cell design and optimization.

  2. 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.

  3. H2S removal with ZnO during fuel processing for PEM fuel cell applications

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Liyu; King, David L.

    2006-09-15

    The possibility of using ZnO as a H2S absorbent to protect catalysts in the gasoline and diesel fuel processor for PEM fuel cell applications was studied. It is possible to use commercial ZnO absorbent as a guard bed to protect the PROX catalyst and PEM fuel cell. However, it is not feasible to use ZnO to protect high and low temperature WGS catalysts, most likely due to COS formation via reactions CO + H2S = COS + H2 and CO2 + H2S = COS + H2O.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Optimum design of bipolar plates for separate air flow cooling system of PEM fuel cells stacks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franco, Alessandro

    2015-12-01

    The paper discusses about thermal management of PEM fuel cells. The objective is to define criteria and guidelines for the design of the air flow cooling system of fuel cells stacks for different combination of power density, bipolar plates material, air flow rate, operating temperature It is shown that the optimization of the geometry of the channel permits interesting margins for maintaining the use of separate air flow cooling systems for high power density PEM fuel cells.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Parallel operation characteristics of PEM fuel cell and microturbine power plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uzunoglu, M.; Onar, O.; El-Sharkh, M. Y.; Sisworahardjo, N. S.; Rahman, A.; Alam, M. S.

    This paper reports on the dynamic behavior of a 250 kW proton exchange membrane fuel cell power plant (PEM FCPP) and a 250 kW microturbine (MT) when operating in parallel. A load sharing control scheme is used to distribute the load equally between the PEM FCPP and the MT. For stand alone operation of a PEM FCPP, a set of batteries or ultracapacitors are needed in order to satisfy the power mismatch during transient periods. Using MT in parallel with the PEM FCPP helps in eliminating the need for storage devices. Models for the PEM FCPP and the MT with power, voltage and speed controls are used to determine the dynamic response of the system to a step change in the load. Simulation results indicate viability of parallel operation of the PEM FCPP and the MT. These results are obtained using MATLAB ®, Simulink ®, and SimPowerSystems ®.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Zero-CO2 emission and low-crossover 'rechargeable' PEM fuel cells using cyclohexane as an organic hydrogen reservoir.

    PubMed

    Kariya, Nobuko; Fukuoka, Atsushi; Ichikawa, Masaru

    2003-03-21

    High performance (open circuit voltage = 920 mV, maximum power density = 14-15 mW cm(-2)) of the PEM fuel cell was achieved by using cyclohexane as a fuel with zero-CO2 emission and lower-crossover through PEM than with a methanol-based fuel cell.

  20. Novel Catalyst Support Materials for PEM Fuel Cells: Current Status and Future Prospects

    SciTech Connect

    Shao, Yuyan; Liu, Jun; Wang, Yong; Lin, Yuehe

    2008-12-15

    The catalyst supports exhibit great influence on the cost, performance, and durability of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells. This review paper is to summarize several important kinds of novel support materials for PEM fuel cells (including direct methanol fuel cell, DMFC): nanostructured carbon materials (carbon nanotubes/carbon nanofibers, mesoporous carbon), conductive doped diamonds and nanodiamonds, conductive oxides (tin oxide/indium tin oxide, titanium oxide, tungsten oxide) and carbides (tungsten carbides). The advantages and disadvantages, the acting mechanism to promote electrocatalysis, and the strategies to improve present catalyst support materials and to search for new ones are discussed. This is expected to throw light on future development of catalyst support for PEM fuel cells.

  1. Development and validation of a two-phase, three-dimensional model for PEM fuel cells.

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Ken Shuang

    2010-04-01

    The objectives of this presentation are: (1) To develop and validate a two-phase, three-dimensional transport modelfor simulating PEM fuel cell performance under a wide range of operating conditions; (2) To apply the validated PEM fuel cell model to improve fundamental understanding of key phenomena involved and to identify rate-limiting steps and develop recommendations for improvements so as to accelerate the commercialization of fuel cell technology; (3) The validated PEMFC model can be employed to improve and optimize PEM fuel cell operation. Consequently, the project helps: (i) address the technical barriers on performance, cost, and durability; and (ii) achieve DOE's near-term technical targets on performance, cost, and durability in automotive and stationary applications.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Operation of PEM fuel cells at 120-150 °C to improve CO tolerance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Hui; Song, Ying; Kunz, H. Russell; Fenton, James M.

    Sulfonic acid modified perfluorocarbon polymer proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells operated at elevated temperatures (120-150 °C) can greatly alleviate CO poisoning on anode catalysts. However, fuel cells with these PEMs operated at elevated temperature and atmospheric pressure typically experience low relative humidity (RH) and thus have increased membrane and electrode resistance. To operate PEM fuel cells at elevated temperature and high RH, work is needed to pressurize the anode and cathode reactant gases, thereby decreasing the efficiency of the PEM fuel cell system. A liquid-fed hydrocarbon-fuel processor can produce reformed gas at high pressure and high relative humidity without gas compression. If the anode is fed with this high-pressure, high-relative humidity stream, the water in the anode compartment will transport through the membrane and into the ambient pressure cathode structure, decreasing the cell resistance. This work studied the effect of anode pressurization on the cell resistance and performance using an ambient pressure cathode. The results show that high RH from anode pressurization at both 120 and 150 °C can decrease the membrane resistance and therefore increase the cell voltage. A cell running at 150 °C obtains a cell voltage of 0.43 V at 400 mA cm -2 even with 1% CO in H 2. The results presented here provide a concept for the application of a coupled steam reformer and PEM fuel cell system that can operate at 150 °C with reformate and an atmospheric air cathode.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Damle, Ashok S; Cole, J Vernon

    2008-11-01

    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

  9. Partially unzipped carbon nanotubes as a superior catalyst support for PEM fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Long, Donghui; Li, Wei; Qiao, Wenming; Miyawaki, Jin; Yoon, Seong-Ho; Mochida, Isao; Ling, Licheng

    2011-09-01

    Partially unzipped carbon nanotubes prepared by strong oxidation and thermal expansion of carbon nanotubes were explored as an advanced catalyst support for PEM fuel cells. The unique hybrid structure of 1D nanotube and 2D double-side graphene resulted in an outstanding electrocatalytic performance.

  10. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of PEM Dehydration and Gas Manifold Flooding During Continuous Fuel Cell Operation

    SciTech Connect

    Minard, Kevin R.; Vishwanathan, Vilanyur V.; Majors, Paul D.; Wang, Li Q.; Rieke, Peter C.

    2006-10-27

    The methods, apparatus, and results are reported for in-situ, near real time, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of MEA dehydration and gas manifold flooding in an operating PEM fuel cell. To acquire high-resolution, artifact-free images for visualizing water distribution, acquisition parameters for a standard, two-dimensional (2D), spin-echo sequence were first optimized for the measured magnetic field heterogeneity induced by fuel cell components. 2D images of water inside the fuel cell were then acquired every 128 seconds during 11.4 hours of continuous operation under constant load. Collected images revealed that MEA dehydration proceeded non-uniformly across its plane, starting from gas inlets and ending at gas outlets, and that upon completion of this dehydration process manifold flooding began. To understand these observations, acquired images were correlated to the current output and operating characteristics of the fuel cell. Results demonstrate the power of MRI for in-situ, near real-time imaging of water distribution and non-uniformity in operating PEM fuel cells, and highlight its utility for understanding PEM fuel cell operation, the causes of cell failure, and for developing new strategies of water management.

  11. 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

  12. Degradation and reliability modelling of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fowler, Michael William

    To date there has been very little reliability or end of life analysis conducted for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell systems. Voltage degradation as a fuel cell ages is a widely observed phenomenon, but little systematic information has been reported, nor has this phenomenon been included in electrochemical models. This work documents and classifies the failure modes that can be experienced in PEM fuel cells. A test station was adapted for the long term operation of a single, 50 cm2, internally hydrated, PEM fuel cell. An endurance test was conducted to age the cell under normal operating conditions for 1350 hours, at which time membrane failure was experienced. Changes in the polarization curve predicted by the Generalized Steady State Electrochemical Degradation Model (GSSEDM) are demonstrated from the data for the performance of typical PEM fuel cell hardware. This work develops and applies the generalized steady state electrochemical model for a PEM cell, and introduces two new terms to account for membrane electrode assembly (MEA) ageing, specifically the ageing of the MEA materials. One term is based on the concept that the water carrying capacity of the membrane deteriorates with time-in-service. The second term involves intrinsic rate constants associated with the reactions on the anode and cathode side, and the changes in catalytic activity due to catalyst degradation. The resulting model is largely mechanistic with most terms being derived from theory or including coefficients that have a theoretical basis, but also includes empirical parameters to deal with the changing performance. The value of such a generic model to predict or correlate PEM fuel cell stack voltages over the life of the fuel cell is demonstrated in this work. From the experimental data a membrane conductivity degradation rate, lambdaDR, was determined, and the value for lambdaDR was found to be -0.0007 hr -1. A term was introduced for degradation rate of the fuel cell due

  13. Design of control systems for portable PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vega-Leal, Alfredo P.; Palomo, F. Rogelio; Barragán, Felipe; García, Covadonga; Brey, J. Javier

    The current evolution in the design of fuel cell systems, together with the considerable development of integrated control techniques in microprocessor systems allows the development of portable fuel cell applications in which optimized control of the fuel cells performance is possible. Control, in the strict sense, implies a thorough knowledge of both the static and dynamic behaviour of the system comprising the stack, manifold and the compressor that enables oxygen supply. The objective of this control, far from being simply to maintain the stack free from oxygen and hydrogen shortages, is to achieve the necessary values of these gases, minimizing compressor consumption, which is the cause of the greatest inefficiency of fuel cells. This objective is essential when fuel cell systems are involved in situations where the net power of the stack is reduced and any unnecessary consumption lowers the total power available to the user. The design of an efficient control system requires the following steps: (1) modeling of the stack, compressor and other pneumatic elements involved in the system. (2) Calculation of the control equations and simulation of the entire system (including control). (3) Emulation of the stack and other pneumatic elements and simulation utilizing the designed control system. (4) Physical realization of the control system and testing within the fuel cell system. The design of a control system for fuel cell systems is introduced to manage PEMFC stacks. The control system will guarantee the correct performance of the stack around its optimal operation point, in which the net power is maximized. This means that both, the air flow and the stack temperature are controlled to a correct value.

  14. 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.

  15. 160 C PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANE (PEM) FUEL CELL SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT

    SciTech Connect

    L.G. Marianowski

    2001-12-21

    The objectives of this program were: (a) to develop and demonstrate a new polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) system that operates up to 160 C temperatures and at ambient pressures for stationary power applications, and (b) to determine if the GTI-molded composite graphite bipolar separator plate could provide long term operational stability at 160 C or higher. There are many reasons that fuel cell research has been receiving much attention. Fuel cells represent environmentally friendly and efficient sources of electrical power generation that could use a variety of fuel sources. The Gas Technology Institute (GTI), formerly Institute of Gas Technology (IGT), is focused on distributed energy stationary power generation systems. Currently the preferred method for hydrogen production for stationary power systems is conversion of natural gas, which has a vast distribution system in place. However, in the conversion of natural gas into a hydrogen-rich fuel, traces of carbon monoxide are produced. Carbon monoxide present in the fuel gas will in time cumulatively poison, or passivate the active platinum catalysts used in the anodes of PEMFC's operating at temperatures of 60 to 80 C. Various fuel processors have incorporated systems to reduce the carbon monoxide to levels below 10 ppm, but these require additional catalytic section(s) with sensors and controls for effective carbon monoxide control. These CO cleanup systems must also function especially well during transient load operation where CO can spike 300% or more. One way to circumvent the carbon monoxide problem is to operate the fuel cell at a higher temperature where carbon monoxide cannot easily adsorb onto the catalyst and poison it. Commercially available polymer membranes such as Nafion{trademark} are not capable of operation at temperatures sufficiently high to prevent this. Hence this project investigated a new polymer membrane alternative to Nafion{trademark} that is capable of operation at

  16. 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.

  17. Start-up analysis for automotive PEM fuel cell systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Francesco, M.; Arato, E.

    The development of fuel cell cars can play an important role in resolving transport problems, due to the high environmental compatibility and high efficiency of this kind of vehicle. Among the different types of fuel cells, proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are considered the best solution for automotive applications at the moment. In this work, constructive criteria are discussed with the aim of obtaining a power generation module adaptable to a wide range of cars. A particular problem in accomplishing the overall project is represented by the definition of the compressor system for air feeding. In this work, the design approach to the problem will be delineated: some options are reviewed and the best solution is analysed. The transient response of the system (fuel cell and compressor) is investigated in order to optimise the start-up running through a model of a fuel cell stack and a compressor simulation. The model and its results are proposed as a work procedure to solve the problem, by varying external conditions: in fact, to perform the system start-up under stable conditions, the air relative humidity and temperature must be maintained in a proper range of values. The approach here presented has been utilised for the definition of the characteristics of the power module and layout of a middle-size hybrid city bus in the framework of a project promoted by the European Union.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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. PMID:24453923

  3. 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.

  4. Design of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell with variable catalyst loading

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Y.; Smirnova, A.; Verma, A.; Pitchumani, R.

    2015-09-01

    The performance and durability of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells is greatly affected by sharp temperature and stress gradients owing to the significant variation in local current density distribution. To improve the uniformity in local current density distribution and enhance the catalyst utilization, this paper proposes use of functionally graded catalyst loading in the cathode catalyst layer along the gas channel. A two-dimensional isothermal numerical model for PEM fuel cells combined with an optimization model was developed to determine the optimum cathode catalyst loadings and the associated local current density distributions for different operating conditions. Experiments were conducted to measure the local current density distribution for graded catalyst loading, using a segmented current collector. The results show that an optimized graded catalyst loading significantly reduces the current density variation along the length of the channel and enhances the catalyst utilization.

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

    DOEpatents

    Shore, Lawrence

    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.

  6. EXPERIMENTAL AND NUMERICAL ANALYSIS OF SUBFREEZING OPERATION IN PEM FUEL CELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Mukherjee, Partha P

    2010-01-01

    In this work, we present the neutron radiography and analysis, as well as modeling predictions of cold-start operation of PEM fuel cells. Fuel cells with Gore or LANL MEAs and SGL or E-Tek ELAT GDLs are tested in varying subfreezing temperatures (-40 to 0 C) to determine time to failure, amount of water formation, and place of water formation. Theoretical modeling is also conducted and model predictions are compared with the cell voltage evolution during subfreezing operation. A higher PTFE-loading in the MPL is found to decrease loss in ESCA in our case.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Flow distribution in the manifold of PEM fuel cell stack

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Chung-Hsien; Jung, Shiauh-Ping; Yen, Shi-Chern

    In this study, the pressure variation and the flow distribution in the manifold of a fuel-cell stack are simulated by a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) approach. Two dimensional stack model composed of 72 cells filled with porous media is constructed to evaluate pressure drop caused by channel flow resistance. In order to simplify this model, electrochemical reactions, heat and mass transport phenomena are ignored and air is treated as working fluid to investigate flow distribution in stacks. Design parameters such as the permeability of the porous media, the manifold width and the air feeding rate were changed to estimate uniformity of the flow distribution in the manifold. A momentum-balance theory and a pressure-drop model are presented to explain the physical mechanism of flow distribution. Modeling results indicate that both the channel resistance and the manifold width can enhance the uniformity of the flow distribution. In addition, a lower air feeding rate can also enhance the uniformity of flow distribution. However, excessive pressure drop is not beneficial for realistic applications of a fuel-cell stack and hence enhanced manifold width is a better solution for flow distribution.

  11. 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.

  12. Fouling of proton exchange membrane (PEM) deteriorates the performance of microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Xu, Juan; Sheng, Guo-Ping; Luo, Hong-Wei; Li, Wen-Wei; Wang, Long-Fei; Yu, Han-Qing

    2012-04-15

    The fouling characteristics of proton exchange membrane (PEM) in microbial fuel cell (MFC) and the resulting deterioration of MFC performance were explored in this study. It was observed that the ion exchange capacity, conductivity and diffusion coefficients of cations of PEM were reduced significantly after fouling. Imaging analysis coupled with FTIR analysis indicated that the fouling layer attached on PEM consisted of microorganisms encased in extracellular polymers and inorganic salt precipitations. The results clearly demonstrate that PEM fouling deteriorated the performance of MFCs and led to a decrease in electricity generation. Cation transfer limitation might play an important role in the deterioration of MFC performance because of the membrane fouling. This was attributed to the physical blockage of charge transfer in the MFC resulted from the membrane fouling. With the experimental results, the effect of membrane fouling on the electrical generation of MFCs was evaluated. It was found that the decreased diffusion coefficients of cations and cathodic potential loss after membrane fouling contributed mainly to the deterioration of the MFC performance.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Technical design and economic evaluation of a PEM fuel cell system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamarudin, S. K.; Daud, W. R. W.; Som, A. Md.; Takriff, M. S.; Mohammad, A. W.

    The main objectives of this study are to develop the economic models and their characterization trends for the common unit processes and utilities in the fuel cell system. In this study, a proton electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) system is taken as a case study. The overall system consists of five major units, namely auto-thermal reformer (ATR), water gas shift reactor (WGS), membrane, pressure swing adsorber (PSA) and fuel cell stack. Besides that, the process utilities like compressor, heat exchanger, water adsorber are also included in the system. From the result, it is determined that the specific cost of a PEM fuel cell stack is about US 500 per kW, while the specific manufacturing and capital investment costs are in the range of US 1200 per kW and US 2900 per kW, respectively. Besides that the electricity cost is calculated as US 0.04 kWh. The results also prove that the cost of PEM fuel cell system is comparable with other conventional internal engine.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Abstract: Air, Thermal and Water Management for PEM Fuel Cell Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Mark K. Gee Zia Mirza

    2008-10-01

    PEM fuel cells are excellent candidates for transportation applications due to their high efficiencies. PEM fuel cell Balance of Plant (BOP) components, such as air, thermal, and water management sub-systems, can have a significant effect on the overall system performance, but have traditionally not been addressed in research and development efforts. Recognizing this, the U.S. Department of Energy and Honeywell International Inc. are funding an effort that emphasizes the integration and optimization of air, thermal and water management sub-systems. This effort is one of the major elements to assist the fuel cell system developers and original equipment manufacturers to achieve the goal of an affordable and efficient power system for transportation applications. Past work consisted of: (1) Analysis, design, and fabrication of a motor driven turbocompressor. (2) A systematic trade study to select the most promising water and thermal management systems from five different concepts (absorbent wheel humidifier, gas to gas membrane humidifier, porous metal foam humidifier, cathode recycle compressor, and water injection pump.) This presentation will discuss progress made in the research and development of air, water and thermal management sub-systems for PEM fuel cell systems in transportation applications. More specifically, the presentation will discuss: (1) Progress of the motor driven turbocompressor design and testing; (2) Progress of the humidification component selection and testing; and (3) Progress of the thermal management component preliminary design. The programs consist of: (1) The analysis, design, fabrication and testing of a compact motor driven turbocompressor operating on foil air bearings to provide contamination free compressed air to the fuel cell stack while recovering energy from the exhaust streams to improve system efficiency. (2) The analysis, design, fabrication and testing of selected water and thermal management systems and components to

  20. The effects of clamp torque, humidity, and carbon oxygen poisoning on PEM fuel cell performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Woo-Kum

    2000-10-01

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is attracting much attention as a power source of electric vehicles due to high power density capability. Although there has been much research and development done on PEWC, there are still many problems to be solved. One of the major problems is water management inside the fuel cell. The performance of the fuel cell is strongly influenced by the state of hydration of the membrane. If the membrane is too dry, its conductivity drops resulting in reduced cell performance. An excess of water in the fuel cell can lead to flooding problems, also resulting in performance drop. This dissertation presents experimental data that may be used to verify numerical simulations of a PEM fuel cell. The key to this usefulness is the closure of a water balance in the fuel cell for various operating conditions. The closure results from experimental data showed that the inlet gas streams are not fully saturated with water vapor. Another key to the usefulness of the data is the measurement of the internal compression pressure that is exerted on the gas diffusion layer. Data is presented to show the effect of this compression on the performance of the PEMFC and on the water balance results. Another problem in application of a PEM fuel cell is CO poisoning on the MEA. Gas reformed from methanol or gasoline contains small amount of CO resulting in significant decreasing fuel cell performance. Several recovery techniques were discussed to solve the CO problem. The use of Pt-Ru alloys as anode catalyst has shown that CO is oxidized at more negative potentials as compared to pure Pt. According to the result, an improvement has been achieved at CO level 5 ppm. Another method to prevent CO poisoning has been described by blowing 5% of air into the anode side. The result shows that the performance recovers very quickly as the air is injected during reformate (50 ppm CO).

  1. On the influence of temperature on PEM fuel cell operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coppo, M.; Siegel, N. P.; Spakovsky, M. R. von

    The 3D implementation of a previously developed 2D PEMFC model [N.P. Siegel, M.W. Ellis, D.J. Nelson, M.R. von Spakovsky, A two-dimensional computational model of a PEMFC with liquid water transport, J. Power Sources 128 (2) (2004) 173-184; N.P. Siegel, M.W. Ellis, D.J. Nelson, M.R. von Spakovsky, Single domain PEMFC model based on agglomerate catalyst geometry, J. Power Sources 115 (2003) 81-89] has been used to analyze the various pathways by which temperature affects the operation of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell [M. Coppo, CFD analysis and experimental investigation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells, Ph.D. Dissertation, Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy, 2005]. The original model, implemented in a specially modified version of CFDesign ® [CFDesign ® V5.1, Blue Ridge Numerics, 2003] , accounts for all of the major transport processes including: (i) a three-phase model for water transport in the liquid, vapor and dissolved phases, (ii) proton transport, (iii) gaseous species transport and reaction, (iv) an agglomerate model for the catalyst layers and (v) gas phase momentum transport. Since the details of it have been published earlier [N.P. Siegel, M.W. Ellis, D.J. Nelson, M.R. von Spakovsky, A two-dimensional computational model of a PEMFC with liquid water transport, J. Power Sources 128 (2) (2004) 173-184; N.P. Siegel, M.W. Ellis, D.J. Nelson, M.R. von Spakovsky, Single domain PEMFC model based on agglomerate catalyst geometry, J. Power Sources 115 (2003) 81-89; N.P. Siegel, Development and validation of a computational model for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell, Ph.D. Dissertation, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, 2003], only new features are briefly discussed in the present work. In particular, the model has been extended in order to account for the temperature dependence of all of the physical properties involved in the model formulation. Moreover, a novel model has been developed to describe liquid

  2. 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.

  3. Proton transport in functionalised additives for PEM fuel cells: contributions from atomistic simulations.

    PubMed

    Tölle, Pia; Köhler, Christof; Marschall, Roland; Sharifi, Monir; Wark, Michael; Frauenheim, Thomas

    2012-08-01

    The conventional polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) materials for fuel cell applications strongly rely on temperature and pressure conditions for optimal performance. In order to expand the range of operating conditions of these conventional PEM materials, mesoporous functionalised SiO(2) additives are developed. It has been demonstrated that these additives themselves achieve proton conductivities approaching those of conventional materials. However, the proton conduction mechanisms and especially factors influencing charge carrier mobility under different hydration conditions are not well known and difficult to separate from concentration effects in experiments. This tutorial review highlights contributions of atomistic computer simulations to the basic understanding and eventual design of these materials. Some basic introduction to the theoretical and computational framework is provided to introduce the reader to the field, the techniques are in principle applicable to a wide range of other situations as well. Simulation results are directly compared to experimental data as far as possible.

  4. PEM fuel cell fault detection and identification using differential method: simulation and experimental validation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frappé, E.; de Bernardinis, A.; Bethoux, O.; Candusso, D.; Harel, F.; Marchand, C.; Coquery, G.

    2011-05-01

    PEM fuel cell performance and lifetime strongly depend on the polymer membrane and MEA hydration. As the internal moisture is very sensitive to the operating conditions (temperature, stoichiometry, load current, water management…), keeping the optimal working point is complex and requires real-time monitoring. This article focuses on PEM fuel cell stack health diagnosis and more precisely on stack fault detection monitoring. This paper intends to define new, simple and effective methods to get relevant information on usual faults or malfunctions occurring in the fuel cell stack. For this purpose, the authors present a fault detection method using simple and non-intrusive on-line technique based on the space signature of the cell voltages. The authors have the objective to minimize the number of embedded sensors and instrumentation in order to get a precise, reliable and economic solution in a mass market application. A very low number of sensors are indeed needed for this monitoring and the associated algorithm can be implemented on-line. This technique is validated on a 20-cell PEMFC stack. It demonstrates that the developed method is particularly efficient in flooding case. As a matter of fact, it uses directly the stack as a sensor which enables to get a quick feedback on its state of health.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Research on water discharge characteristics of PEM fuel cells by using neutron imaging technology at the NRF, HANARO.

    PubMed

    Kim, TaeJoo; Sim, CheulMuu; Kim, MooHwan

    2008-05-01

    An investigation into the water discharge characteristics of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells is carried out by using a feasibility test apparatus and the Neutron Radiography Facility (NRF) at HANARO. The feasibility test apparatus was composed of a distilled water supply line, a compressed air supply line, heating systems, and single PEM fuel cells, which were a 1-parallel serpentine type with a 100 cm(2) active area. Three kinds of methods were used: compressed air supply-only; heating-only; and a combination of the methods of a compressed air supply and heating, respectively. The resultant water discharge characteristics are different according to the applied methods. The compressed air supply only is suitable for removing the water at a flow field and a heating only is suitable for water at the MEA. Therefore, in order to remove all the water at PEM fuel cells, the combination method is needed at the moment.

  11. 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.

  12. THE EFFECT OF LOW CONCENTRATIONS OF TETRACHLOROETHYLENE ON THE PERFORMANCE OF PEM FUEL CELLS

    SciTech Connect

    COLON-MERCHADO, H.; MARTINEZ-RODRIGUEZ, M.; FOX, E.; RHODES, W.; MCWHORTER, C.; GREENWAY, S.

    2011-04-18

    Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells use components that are susceptible to contaminants in the fuel stream. To ensure fuel quality, standards are being set to regulate the amount of impurities allowable in fuel. The present study investigates the effect of chlorinated impurities on fuel cell systems using tetrachloroethylene (PCE) as a model compound for cleaning and degreasing agents. Concentrations between 0.05 parts per million (ppm) and 30 ppm were studied. We show how PCE causes rapid drop in cell performances for all concentrations including 0.05 ppm. At concentrations of 1 and 0.05 ppm, PCE poisoned the cell at a rate dependent on the dosage of the contaminant delivered to the cell. PCE appears to affect the cell when the cell potential was over potentials higher than approximately 0.2 V. No effects were observed at voltages around or below 0.2 V and the cells could be recovered from previous poisoning performed at higher potentials. Recoveries at those low voltages could be induced by changing the operating voltage or by purging the system. Poisoning did not appear to affect the membrane conductivity. Measurements with long-path length IR results suggested catalytic decomposition of the PCE by hydrogen over the anode catalyst.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  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. Mesoporous nanostructured Nb-doped titanium dioxide microsphere catalyst supports for PEM fuel cell electrodes.

    PubMed

    Chevallier, Laure; Bauer, Alexander; Cavaliere, Sara; Hui, Rob; Rozière, Jacques; Jones, Deborah J

    2012-03-01

    Crystalline microspheres of Nb-doped TiO(2) with a high specific surface area were synthesized using a templating method exploiting ionic interactions between nascent inorganic components and an ionomer template. The microspheres exhibit a porosity gradient, with a meso-macroporous kernel, and a mesoporous shell. The material has been investigated as cathode electrocatalyst support for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells. A uniform dispersion of Pt particles on the Nb-doped TiO(2) support was obtained using a microwave method, and the electrochemical properties assessed by cyclic voltammetry. Nb-TiO(2) supported Pt demonstrated very high stability, as after 1000 voltammetric cycles, 85% of the electroactive Pt area remained compared to 47% in the case of commercial Pt on carbon. For the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), which takes place at the cathode, the highest stability was again obtained with the Nb-doped titania-based material even though the mass activity calculated at 0.9 V vs RHE was slightly lower. The microspherical structured and mesoporous Nb-doped TiO(2) is an alternative support to carbon for PEM fuel cells.

  18. Dynamics of water droplets detached from porous surfaces of relevance to PEM fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Theodorakakos, A; Ous, T; Gavaises, M; Nouri, J M; Nikolopoulos, N; Yanagihara, H

    2006-08-15

    The detachment of liquid droplets from porous material surfaces used with proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells under the influence of a cross-flowing air is investigated computationally and experimentally. CCD images taken on a purpose-built transparent fuel cell have revealed that the water produced within the PEM is forming droplets on the surface of the gas-diffusion layer. These droplets are swept away if the velocity of the flowing air is above a critical value for a given droplet size. Static and dynamic contact angle measurements for three different carbon gas-diffusion layer materials obtained inside a transparent air-channel test model have been used as input to the numerical model; the latter is based on a Navier-Stokes equations flow solver incorporating the volume of fluid (VOF) two-phase flow methodology. Variable contact angle values around the gas-liquid-solid contact-line as well as their dynamic change during the droplet shape deformation process, have allowed estimation of the adhesion force between the liquid droplet and the solid surface and successful prediction of the separation line at which droplets loose their contact from the solid surface under the influence of the air stream flowing around them. Parametric studies highlight the relevant importance of various factors affecting the detachment of the liquid droplets from the solid surface.

  19. 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

  20. Experimental and theoretical study of a dual-layer gas diffusion layer in PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Sehkyu

    2008-07-01

    The gas diffusion layer (GDL) in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) functions as a diffuser and a current collector. The GDL typically consists of the microporous layer (MPL) and the macroporous substrate (MPS). The MPL reduces the ohmic losses and facilitates water removal in the MEA. In this study, a novel method was developed to prepare a dual-layer GDL that enhances the catalyst utilization and the overall fuel cell performance. Several characterization techniques, including mercury porosimetry, water permeation measurement, electrochemical polarization and ac impedance spectroscopy were performed to investigate how carbon loading (or MPL thickness) and PTFE content in the MPL and in the MPS control the water management in PEM fuel cells. An experimental study on carbon loading in the MPL showed that a relatively low carbon loading (0.5 mg cm-2 in this study) results in a balancing of water saturations in the catalyst layer and the GDL, thus improving the oxygen diffusion kinetics. Experimental studies on PTFE content in the MPL and in the MPS indicated that effective water management is attributed to the trade-off between the pore volume and the hydrophobic property of each diffusion layer. A theoretical study of a dual-layer GDL in PEM fuel cells demonstrated that saturation in the MPS is intimately coupled with both the fraction of hydrophilic surface and the average pore diameter. A thin and more hydrophobic MPL altered the pore geometry and the hydrophobic property of a MPS, resulting in better mass transport of reactants and products in the MEA.

  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. On-Board Vehicle, Cost Effective Hydrogen Enhancement Technology for Transportation PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas H. Vanderspurt; Zissis Dardas; Ying She; Mallika Gummalla; Benoit Olsommer

    2005-12-30

    Final Report of On-Board Vehicle, Cost Effective Hydrogen Enhancement Technology for Transportation PEM Fuel Cells. The objective of this effort was to technologically enable a compact, fast start-up integrated Water Gas Shift-Pd membrane reactor for integration into an On Board Fuel Processing System (FPS) for an automotive 50 kWe PEM Fuel Cell (PEM FC). Our approach was to: (1) use physics based reactor and system level models to optimize the design through trade studies of the various system design and operating parameters; and (2) synthesize, characterize and assess the performance of advanced high flux, high selectivity, Pd alloy membranes on porous stainless steel tubes for mechanical strength and robustness. In parallel and not part of this program we were simultaneously developing air tolerant, high volumetric activity, thermally stable Water Gas Shift catalysts for the WGS/membrane reactor. We identified through our models the optimum WGS/membrane reactor configuration, and best Pd membrane/FPS and PEM FC integration scheme. Such a PEM FC power plant was shown through the models to offer 6% higher efficiency than a system without the integrated membrane reactor. The estimated FPS response time was < 1 minute to 50% power on start-up, 5 sec transient response time, 1140 W/L power density and 1100 W/kg specific power with an estimated production cost of $35/kW. Such an FPS system would have a Catalytic Partial Oxidation System (CPO) rather than the slower starting Auto-Thermal Reformer (ATR). We found that at optimum WGS reactor configuration that H{sub 2} recovery efficiencies of 95% could be achieved at 6 atm WGS pressure. However optimum overall fuel to net electrical efficiency ({approx}31%) is highest at lower fuel processor efficiency (67%) with 85% H{sub 2} recovery because less parasitic power is needed. The H{sub 2} permeance of {approx}45 m{sup 3}/m{sup 2}-hr-atm{sup 0.5} at 350 C was assumed in these simulations. In the laboratory we achieved a H

  4. 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.

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Development of Polymer Electrolyte Mambrane (PEM) from Bisphonol S for Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Changkhamchom, Sairung

    2009-03-01

    The currently used Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) in a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) is Nafion^, an excellent proton conductor in a fully hydrated membrane. However, it has major drawbacks, such as very high cost, and loss of conductivity at elevated temperature and low humidity. In this work, a novel PEM based on sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (S-PEEK). Poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK) was synthesized by the nucleophilic aromatic substitution polycondensation of Bisphonol-S and 4,4'-difluorobenzophenone for system A, and Bisphenol S and 4,4'-dichlorobenzophenone for system B. Bisphenol-S helps to increase the thermal stability due to its high melting point (245^oC). The post-sulfonation reaction was performed by using concentrated sulfuric acid. Sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (S-PEEK) samples were characterized by FTIR and ^1H-NMR to confirm the chemical structure of the S-PEEK, and by TGA to investigate the thermal property.

  11. A Novel Non-Platinum Group Electrocatalyst for PEM Fuel Cell Application

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Jin Yong; Oh, Takkeun; Shin, Yongsoon; Bonnett, Jeff F.; Weil, K. Scott

    2011-04-01

    Precious-metal catalysts (predominantly Pt or Pt-based alloys supported on carbon) have traditionally been used to catalyze the electrode reactions in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells. However as PEM fuel systems begin to approach commercial reality, there is an impending need to replace Pt with a lower cost alternative. The present study investigates the performance of a carbon-supported tantalum oxide material as a potential oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalyst for use on the cathode side of the PEM fuel cell membrane electrode assembly. Although bulk tantalum oxide tends to exhibit poor electrochemical performance due to limited electrical conductivity, it displays a high oxygen reduction potential; one that is comparable to Pt. Analysis of the Pourbaix electrochemical equilibrium database also indicates that tantalum oxide (Ta2O5) is chemically stable under the pH and applied potential conditions to which the cathode catalyst is typically exposed during stack operation. Nanoscale tantalum oxide catalysts were fabricated using two approaches, by reactive oxidation sputtering and by direct chemical synthesis, each carried out on a carbon support material. Nanoscale tantalum oxide particles measuring approximately 6nm in size that were sputtered onto carbon paper exhibited a mass-specific current density as high as one-third that of Pt when measured at 0.6V vs. NHE. However because of the two-dimensional nature of this particle-on-paper structure, which limits the overall length of the triple phase boundary junctions where the oxide, carbon paper, and aqueous electrolyte meet, the corresponding area-specific current density was quite low. The second synthesis approach yielded a more extended, three-dimensional structure via chemical deposition of nanoscale tantalum oxide particles on carbon powder. These catalysts exhibited a high ORR onset potential, comparable to that of Pt, and displayed a significant improvement in the area-specific current

  12. 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

  13. The synthesis and application of Au/Fe3O4 nanoparticles as catalysts in PEM fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Muzhaozi

    As an alternative energy source, PEM fuel cell has low operating temperatures, low carbon dioxide emission and high power densities. However the high price of platinum electrodes restrains it from being widely used in industry. The sintering of platinum nanoparticles is another serious problem which acts as a barrier of PEM fuel cell popularization. Current research regarding PEM fuel cell is mainly focused on the design of catalyst used to improve the power output while reduce the cost. Our research brings out a new strategy to design a new type of catalyst of this kind by introducing the metal oxide into the gold nanostructure. In this thesis, the gold nanoparticles, Fe 3O4 nanoparticles as well as the nanoparticles (Au/ Fe 3O4) with Fe3O4 as core and gold as shell were synthesized at first. Then Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) trough technique was used to coat different nanoparticles onto the Nafion membranes. Membranes with coating and without coating were tested in PEM fuel cell device. The voltage and current were recorded to calculate the power output enhanced by each type of corresponding nanoparticles. It is shown in the test that the Au/ Fe3O4 catalyst boosted the performance of PEM fuel cell by increasing the power output to 117% of the control sample. The costs to the same level of power output when using different nanoparticles were analyzed and compared as well. The results show the Au/ Fe3O 4 nanoparticles have the best performance-cost ratio compared with pure gold nanoparticles and Fe3O4 nanoparticles.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Design, fabrication and performance analysis of a 200 W PEM fuel cell short stack

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weng, Fang-Bor; Jou, Bo-Shian; Su, Ay; Chan, Shih Hung; Chi, Pei-Hung

    A PEM fuel cell short stack of 200 W capacity, with an active area of 100 cm 2 has been designed and fabricated in-house. The status of unit cell performance was 0.55 W cm -2. Based on the unit cell technology, a short stack has been developed. The proper design of uniform flow distribution, cooling plate and compressed end plate were important to achieve the best performance of the short stack. The performance of four cells stack was analyzed in static and dynamic modes. In the static mode of polarization curve, the stack has peak power density of 0.55 W cm -2 (220 W) at 0.5 V per cell, when the voltage was scanning from low to high voltage (1.5-3.5 V), and resulted in minimum water flooding inside the stack. In this study a series of dynamic loadings were tested to simulate the vehicle acceleration. The fuel cell performances respond to dynamic loading influenced by the hydrogen/air stoichiometric, back pressure, and dynamic-loading time. It was needed high hydrogen stoichiometric and back pressure to maintain high dynamic performance. In the long-time stable power testing, the stack was difficult to maintain at high performance, due to the water flooding at high output power. An adjusting cathode back-pressure method for purging water was proposed to prevent the water flooding at flow channels and maintain the stable output power at 170 W (0.42 W cm -2).

  19. 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.

  20. Nanostructured Pt-alloy electrocatalysts for PEM fuel cell oxygen reduction reaction.

    PubMed

    Bing, Yonghong; Liu, Hansan; Zhang, Lei; Ghosh, Dave; Zhang, Jiujun

    2010-06-01

    In this critical review, we present the current technological advances in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell catalysis, with a focus on strategies for developing nanostructured Pt-alloys as electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). The achievements are reviewed and the major challenges, including high cost, insufficient activity and low stability, are addressed and discussed. The nanostructured Pt-alloy catalysts can be grouped into different clusters: (i) Pt-alloy nanoparticles, (ii) Pt-alloy nanotextures such as Pt-skins/monolayers on top of base metals, and (iii) branched or anisotropic elongated Pt or Pt-alloy nanostructures. Although some Pt-alloy catalysts with advanced nanostructures have shown remarkable activity levels, the dissolution of metals, including Pt and alloyed base metals, in a fuel cell operating environment could cause catalyst degradation, and still remains an issue. Another concern may be low retention of the nanostructure of the active catalyst during fuel cell operation. To facilitate further efforts in new catalyst development, several research directions are also proposed in this paper (130 references).

  1. 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

    2016-04-01

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Simulation of a hydrogen production and purification system for a PEM fuel-cell using bioethanol as raw material

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giunta, Pablo; Mosquera, Carlos; Amadeo, Norma; Laborde, Miguel

    A process to produce "fuel-cell grade" hydrogen from ethanol steam reforming is analyzed from a thermodynamic point of view. The hydrogen purification process consists of WGS and COPROX reactors. Equations to evaluate the efficiency of the system, including the fuel cell, are presented. A heat exchange network is proposed in order to improve the exploitation of the available power. The effect of key variables such as the reformer temperature and the ethanol/water molar feed ratio on the fuel-cell efficiency is discussed. Results show that it is feasible to carry out the energy integration of the hydrogen catalytic production and purification-PEM fuel-cell system, using ethanol as raw material. The technology of "fuel-cell grade" hydrogen production using ethanol as raw material is a very attractive alternative to those technologies based in fossil fuels.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Deformation of PEM fuel cell gas diffusion layers under compressive loading: An analytical approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norouzifard, Vahid; Bahrami, Majid

    2014-10-01

    In the PEM fuel cell stack, the fibrous porous gas diffusion layer (GDL) provides mechanical support for the membrane assembly against the compressive loads imposed by bipolar plates. In this study, a new mechanistic model is developed using fundamental beam theory that can accurately predict the mechanical deflection of GDL under compressive loads. The present analytical model is built on a unit cell approach, which assumes a simplified geometry for the complex and random GDL microstructure. The model includes salient microstructural parameters and properties of the fibrous porous medium including: carbon fiber diameter, fiber elastic modulus, pore size distribution, and porosity. Carbon fiber bending is proved to be the main deformation mechanism at the unit cell level. A comprehensive optical measurement study with statistical analysis is performed to determine the geometrical parameters of the model for a number of commercially available GDL samples. A comparison between the present model and our experimental stress-strain data shows a good agreement for the linear deformation region, where the compressive pressure is higher than 1 MPa.

  8. Simplified evaluation of PEM-fuel cells by reduction of measurement parameters and using optimised measurement algorithms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purmann, M.; Styczynski, Z.

    PEM-fuel cells operated with hydrogen and air offer promising possibilities for the decentralised energy supply in stationary and mobile applications. But, there is still a remarkable need for more research for the optimisation of the single components even though the research, especially the development of membrane-electrode units and bipolar plates, has made considerable progress within recent years. This also applies to the definition of suitable test algorithms and parameters for recording the characteristics as well as long time tests. The investigations for single cells or stacks can thereby be subdivided into investigations in the stationary and the dynamic state. This paper shows a simplified approach for the evaluation and modelling of PEM-fuel cell stacks for the stationary state. Based on the definition of regression approaches for the dependence of several parameters the number of stack parameters is initially reduced to a sufficient number of values. The remaining parameters are used to form an energy model which can be combined with the energy models of auxiliary components like air compressors and sinus inverters [1]. Algorithms for recording the parameters still have to be defined. Therefore, the tests for the preparation of a set of characteristic curves can be very time consuming because of the multitude of variable parameters. This paper presents and discusses optimised measurement algorithms for the evaluation of PEM-fuel cell stacks to reduce this time exposure.

  9. Study of electrodeposited polypyrrole coatings for the corrosion protection of stainless steel bipolar plates for the PEM fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García, M. A. Lucio; Smit, Mascha A.

    Polypyrrole coatings were prepared on stainless steel SS304 in order to study the corrosion protection provided by the conductive polymer in a simulated PEM fuel cell environment. The polypyrrole was deposited by electrochemical polymerization with 0.04, 0.07 and 0.14 g cm -2 onto SS304 electrodes. Polarization curves, taken after immersion for 1, 3 or 24 h in 0.1 M sulphuric acid at either room temperature or 60 °C were used as an accelerated test. For short immersion times, it was found that corrosion current densities (at free corrosion potentials), diminished up to 2 orders of magnitude for samples tested at room temperature and up to 4 orders of magnitude for samples tested at 60 °C. Furthermore, at potentials in the range of the PEM fuel cell anode potential, corrosion rates also decreased up to several orders of magnitude. However, these protective properties were lost at longer times of immersion. The addition of DBSA to the polypyrrole coatings did lead to improved corrosion current densities at the free corrosion potential, however due to the loss of passivity of these samples, the corrosion rates in the potential range applicable to PEM fuel cells were either similar to or larger than bare metal. SEM was used to determine the morphology of the coatings and showed that the most homogeneous coating was obtained for 0.07 g cm -2 polypyrrole, without the incorporation of DBSA.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Integrated modeling and control of a PEM fuel cell power system with a PWM DC/DC converter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choe, Song-Yul; Lee, Jung-Gi; Ahn, Jong-Woo; Baek, Soo-Hyun

    A fuel cell powered system is regarded as a high current and low voltage source. To boost the output voltage of a fuel cell, a DC/DC converter is employed. Since these two systems show different dynamics, they need to be coordinated to meet the demand of a load. This paper proposes models for the two systems with associated controls, which take into account a PEM fuel cell stack with air supply and thermal systems, and a PWM DC/DC converter. The integrated simulation facilitates optimization of the power control strategy, and analyses of interrelated effects between the electric load and the temperature of cell components. In addition, the results show that the proposed power control can coordinate the two sources with improved dynamics and efficiency at a given dynamic load.

  14. 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

    2006-06-01

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. In-situ diagnostic tools for hydrogen transfer leak characterization in PEM fuel cell stacks part II: Operational applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niroumand, Amir M.; Homayouni, Hooman; DeVaal, Jake; Golnaraghi, Farid; Kjeang, Erik

    2016-08-01

    This paper describes a diagnostic tool for in-situ characterization of the rate and distribution of hydrogen transfer leaks in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cell stacks. The method is based on reducing the air flow rate from a high to low value at a fixed current, while maintaining an anode overpressure. At high air flow rates, the reduction in air flow results in lower oxygen concentration in the cathode and therefore reduction in cell voltages. Once the air flow rate in each cell reaches a low value at which the cell oxygen-starves, the voltage of the corresponding cell drops to zero. However, oxygen starvation results from two processes: 1) the electrochemical oxygen reduction reaction which produces current; and 2) the chemical reaction between oxygen and the crossed over hydrogen. In this work, a diagnostic technique has been developed that accounts for the effect of the electrochemical reaction on cell voltage to identify the hydrogen leak rate and number of leaky cells in a fuel cell stack. This technique is suitable for leak characterization during fuel cell operation, as it only requires stack air flow and voltage measurements, which are readily available in an operational fuel cell system.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  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. In-situ diagnostic tools for hydrogen transfer leak characterization in PEM fuel cell stacks part I: R&D applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niroumand, Amir M.; Pooyanfar, Oldooz; Macauley, Natalia; DeVaal, Jake; Golnaraghi, Farid

    2015-03-01

    This paper describes a diagnostic tool for in-situ characterization of hydrogen transfer leak in individual cells of a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack, suitable for Research and Development (R&D) applications. The technique is based on supplying hydrogen and nitrogen to the anode and cathode of a PEM fuel cell stack while maintaining a prescribed anode overpressure. Under these conditions, hydrogen crosses over from the anode to the cathode, and the Open Circuit Voltage (OCV) represents the ratio of hydrogen partial pressure in the two electrodes. It is shown that by measuring temperature, pressure, flow, humidity, and individual OCVs, the proposed technique can accurately estimate the rate of hydrogen transfer leak in individual cells of a PEM fuel cell stack. This diagnostic tool is suitable for characterizing hydrogen transfer leaks during fuel cell R&D, as it only requires gasses and measurements that are readily available on fuel cell test stations, and does not need disassembling or modifying the fuel cell stack.

  5. Measurement of effective gas diffusion coefficients of catalyst layers of PEM fuel cells with a Loschmidt diffusion cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Jun; Zhou, Jianqin; Astrath, Nelson G. C.; Navessin, Titichai; Liu, Zhong-Sheng (Simon); Lei, Chao; Rohling, Jurandir H.; Bessarabov, Dmitri; Knights, Shanna; Ye, Siyu

    In this work, using an in-house made Loschmidt diffusion cell, we measure the effective coefficient of dry gas (O 2-N 2) diffusion in cathode catalyst layers of PEM fuel cells at 25 °C and 1 atmosphere. The thicknesses of the catalyst layers under investigation are from 6 to 29 μm. Each catalyst layer is deposited on an Al 2O 3 membrane substrate by an automated spray coater. Diffusion signal processing procedure is developed to deduce the effective diffusion coefficient, which is found to be (1.47 ± 0.05) × 10 -7 m 2 s -1 for the catalyst layers. Porosity and pore size distribution of the catalyst layers are also measured using Hg porosimetry. The diffusion resistance of the interface between the catalyst layer and the substrate is found to be negligible. The experimental results show that the O 2-N 2 diffusion in the catalyst layers is dominated by the Knudsen effect.

  6. 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.

  7. Dynamic modeling and analysis of a 20-cell PEM fuel cell stack considering temperature and two-phase effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Sang-Kyun; Choe, Song-Yul

    2008-05-01

    Dynamic characteristics and performance of a PEM fuel cell stack are crucial factors to ensure safe, effective and efficient operation. In particular, water and heat at varying loads are important factors that directly influence the stack performance and reliability. Herein, we present a new dynamic model that considers temperature and two-phase effects and analyze these effects on the characteristics of a stack. First, a model for a two-cell stack was developed and the simulated results were compared with experimental results. Next, a model for a 20-cell stack was constructed to investigate start-up and transient behavior. Start-up behavior under different conditions where the amplitudes and slopes of a load current, the temperature and flow rate of the coolant, and extra heating of end plates were varied were also analyzed. The transient analyses considered the dynamics of temperature, oxygen and vapor concentration in the gas diffusion media, liquid water saturation, and the variations of water content in the membranes at a multi-step load. Comparative studies revealed that the two-phase effect of water predominantly reduces oxygen concentration in the catalysts and subsequently increases the activation over-potential, while temperature gradients in the cells directly affect the ohmic over-potential. The results showed that the heat-up time at start-up to achieve a given reference working temperature was inversely proportional to the amplitude of the current density applied and the flow rate and temperature of the coolants. In addition, the asymmetric profile of the stack temperature in the stack was balanced when the temperature of the coolant supplied was reheated and elevated. Analyses of transient behaviors for a 20-cell stack showed that strong temperature gradients formed in the last four end cells, while temperature, oxygen concentration, vapor concentration, liquid water saturation, and membrane water content in the rest of the cells were uniform.

  8. 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.

  9. Design, Fabrication and Prototype testing of a Chip Integrated Micro PEM Fuel Cell Accumulator combined On-Board Range Extender

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

    In this work we present the design, fabrication and prototype testing of Chip Integrated Micro PEM Fuel Cell Accumulator (CIμ-PFCA) combined On-Board Range Extender (O-BRE). CIμ-PFCA is silicon based micro-PEM fuel cell system with an integrated hydrogen storage feature (palladium metal hydride), the run time of CIμ-PFCA is dependent on the stored hydrogen, and in order to extend its run time an O-BRE is realized (catalytic hydrolysis of chemical hydride, NaBH4. Combining the CIμ-PFCA and O-BRE on a system level have few important design requirements to be considered; hydrogen regulation, gas -liquid separator between the CIμ-PFCA and the O-RE. The usage of traditional techniques to regulate hydrogen (tubes), gas-liquid phase membranes (porous membrane separators) are less desirable in the micro domain, due to its space constraint. Our approach is to use a passive hydrogen regulation and gas-liquid phase separation concept; to use palladium membrane. Palladium regulates hydrogen by concentration diffusion, and its property to selectively adsorb only hydrogen is used as a passive gas-liquid phase separator. Proof of concept is shown by realizing a prototype system. The system is an assembly of CIμ-PFCA, palladium membrane and the O-BRE. The CIμ-PFCA consist of 2 individually processed silicon chips, copper supported palladium membrane realized by electroplating followed by high temperature annealing process under inter atmosphere and the O-BRE is realized out of a polymer substrate by micromilling process with platinum coated structures, which functions as a catalyst for the hydrolysis of NaBH4. The functionality of the assembled prototype system is demonstrated by the measuring a unit cell (area 1 mm2) when driven by the catalytic hydrolysis of chemical hydride (NaBH4 and the prototype system shows run time more than 15 hours.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26538366

  11. 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

    2015-01-01

    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/cm(2) at low Pt loading, which is more than 2 times higher than that of fuel cells with the pristine graphene electrode. PMID:26538366

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. To alloy or not to alloy? Cr modified Pt/C cathode catalysts for PEM fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Wells, Peter P; Qian, Yangdong; King, Colin R; Wiltshire, Richard J K; Crabb, Eleanor M; Smart, Lesley E; Thompsett, David; Russell, Andrea E

    2008-01-01

    The cathode electrocatalysts for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are commonly platinum and platinum based alloy nanoparticles dispersed on a carbon support. Control over the particle size and composition has, historically, been attained empirically, making systematic studies of the effects of various structural parameters difficult. The controlled surface modification methodology used in this work has enabled the controlled modification of carbon supported Pt nanoparticles by Cr so as to yield nanoalloy particles with defined compositions. Subsequent heat treatment in 5% H2 in N2 resulted in the formation of a distinct Pt3Cr alloy phase which was either restricted to the surface of the particles or present throughout the bulk of the particle structure. Measurement of the oxygen reduction activity of the catalysts was accomplished using the rotating thin film electrode method and the activities obtained were related to the structure of the nanoalloy catalyst particles, largely determined using Cr K edge and Pt L3 edge XAS.

  15. Direct-hydrogen-fueled proton-exchange-membrane (PEM) fuel cell system for transportation applications. Quarterly technical progress report No. 4, April 1, 1995--June 30, 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Oei, D.

    1995-08-03

    This is the fourth Technical Progress Report for DOE Contract No. DE-AC02-94CE50389 awarded to Ford Motor Company on July 1, 1994. The overall objective of this contract is to advance the Proton-Exchange-Membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology for automotive applications. Specifically, the objectives resulting from this contract are to: (1) Develop and demonstrate on a laboratory propulsion system within 2-1/2 years a fully functional PEM Fuel Cell Power System (including fuel cell peripherals, peak power augmentation and controls). This propulsion system will achieve, or will be shown to have the growth potential to achieve, the weights, volumes, and production costs which are competitive with those same attributes of equivalently performing internal combustion engine propulsion systems; (2) Select and demonstrate a baseline onboard hydrogen storage method with acceptable weight, volume, cost, and safety features and analyze future alternatives; and (3) Analyze the hydrogen infrastructure components to ensure that hydrogen can be safely supplied to vehicles at geographically widespread convenient sites and at prices which are less than current gasoline prices per vehicle-mile; (4) Identify any future R&D needs for a fully integrated vehicle and for achieving the system cost and performance goals.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Experimental investigation of water droplet-air flow interaction in a non-reacting PEM fuel cell channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esposito, Angelo; Montello, Aaron D.; Guezennec, Yann G.; Pianese, Cesare

    It has been well documented that water production in PEM fuel cells occurs in discrete locations, resulting in the formation and growth of discrete droplets on the gas diffusion layer (GDL) surface within the gas flow channels (GFCs). This research uses a simulated fuel cell GFC with three transparent walls in conjunction with a high speed fluorescence photometry system to capture videos of dynamically deforming droplets. Such videos clearly show that the droplets undergo oscillatory deformation patterns. Although many authors have previously investigated the air flow induced droplet detachment, none of them have studied these oscillatory modes. The novelty of this work is to process and analyze the recorded videos to gather information on the droplets induced oscillation. Plots are formulated to indicate the dominant horizontal and vertical deformation frequency components over the range of sizes of droplets from formation to detachment. The system is also used to characterize droplet detachment size at a variety of channel air velocities. A simplified model to explain the droplet oscillation mechanism is provided as well.

  19. An innovative hybrid 3D analytic-numerical model for air breathing parallel channel counter-flow PEM fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Tavčar, Gregor; Katrašnik, Tomaž

    2014-01-01

    The parallel straight channel PEM fuel cell model presented in this paper extends the innovative hybrid 3D analytic-numerical (HAN) approach previously published by the authors with capabilities to address ternary diffusion systems and counter-flow configurations. The model's core principle is modelling species transport by obtaining a 2D analytic solution for species concentration distribution in the plane perpendicular to the cannel gas-flow and coupling consecutive 2D solutions by means of a 1D numerical pipe-flow model. Electrochemical and other nonlinear phenomena are coupled to the species transport by a routine that uses derivative approximation with prediction-iteration. The latter is also the core of the counter-flow computation algorithm. A HAN model of a laboratory test fuel cell is presented and evaluated against a professional 3D CFD simulation tool showing very good agreement between results of the presented model and those of the CFD simulation. Furthermore, high accuracy results are achieved at moderate computational times, which is owed to the semi-analytic nature and to the efficient computational coupling of electrochemical kinetics and species transport.

  20. An innovative hybrid 3D analytic-numerical model for air breathing parallel channel counter-flow PEM fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Tavčar, Gregor; Katrašnik, Tomaž

    2014-01-01

    The parallel straight channel PEM fuel cell model presented in this paper extends the innovative hybrid 3D analytic-numerical (HAN) approach previously published by the authors with capabilities to address ternary diffusion systems and counter-flow configurations. The model's core principle is modelling species transport by obtaining a 2D analytic solution for species concentration distribution in the plane perpendicular to the cannel gas-flow and coupling consecutive 2D solutions by means of a 1D numerical pipe-flow model. Electrochemical and other nonlinear phenomena are coupled to the species transport by a routine that uses derivative approximation with prediction-iteration. The latter is also the core of the counter-flow computation algorithm. A HAN model of a laboratory test fuel cell is presented and evaluated against a professional 3D CFD simulation tool showing very good agreement between results of the presented model and those of the CFD simulation. Furthermore, high accuracy results are achieved at moderate computational times, which is owed to the semi-analytic nature and to the efficient computational coupling of electrochemical kinetics and species transport. PMID:25125112

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

    SciTech Connect

    Shamsuddin Ilias

    2006-05-18

    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 used four Pt-based electrocatalysts (Pt/Ru/Mo/Se, Pt/Ru/Mo/Ir, Pt/Ru/Mo/W, Ptr/Ru/Mo/Co) in MEAs and these were evaluated for CO-tolerance with 20 and 100 ppm CO concentration in H{sub 2}-fuel. 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. From preliminary cost analysis it appears that could of the catalyst metal loading can reduced by 40% to 60% depending on the selection of metal combinations without compromising the fuel cell performance.

  2. Investigation on "saw-tooth" behavior of PEM fuel cell performance during shutdown and restart cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qi, Zhigang; Tang, Hao; Guo, Qunhui; Du, Bin

    It was sometimes observed that the performance of a proton-exchange membrane fuel cell improved after the cell went through shutdown and restart cycles. Such a performance recovery led to a "saw-tooth" performance pattern when multiple shutdowns and restarts occurred during the endurance test of a fuel cell. The shutdowns included both planned shutdowns and unintended ones due to station trips or emergency stops (E-stops). The length of the shutdown periods ranged from a few minutes to several weeks. Although such a "saw-tooth" behavior could be attributed to multiple reasons such as: (1) catalyst surface oxidation state change; (2) catalyst surface cleansing; or (3) water management, we found that it was mainly related to water management in our cases after a systematic investigation employing both single cells and stacks.

  3. Analysis of the energy efficiency of an integrated ethanol processor for PEM fuel cell systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Francesconi, Javier A.; Mussati, Miguel C.; Mato, Roberto O.; Aguirre, Pio A.

    The aim of this work is to investigate the energy integration and to determine the maximum efficiency of an ethanol processor for hydrogen production and fuel cell operation. Ethanol, which can be produced from renewable feedstocks or agriculture residues, is an attractive option as feed to a fuel processor. The fuel processor investigated is based on steam reforming, followed by high- and low-temperature shift reactors and preferential oxidation, which are coupled to a polymeric fuel cell. Applying simulation techniques and using thermodynamic models the performance of the complete system has been evaluated for a variety of operating conditions and possible reforming reactions pathways. These models involve mass and energy balances, chemical equilibrium and feasible heat transfer conditions (Δ T min). The main operating variables were determined for those conditions. The endothermic nature of the reformer has a significant effect on the overall system efficiency. The highest energy consumption is demanded by the reforming reactor, the evaporator and re-heater operations. To obtain an efficient integration, the heat exchanged between the reformer outgoing streams of higher thermal level (reforming and combustion gases) and the feed stream should be maximized. Another process variable that affects the process efficiency is the water-to-fuel ratio fed to the reformer. Large amounts of water involve large heat exchangers and the associated heat losses. A net electric efficiency around 35% was calculated based on the ethanol HHV. The responsibilities for the remaining 65% are: dissipation as heat in the PEMFC cooling system (38%), energy in the flue gases (10%) and irreversibilities in compression and expansion of gases. In addition, it has been possible to determine the self-sufficient limit conditions, and to analyze the effect on the net efficiency of the input temperatures of the clean-up system reactors, combustion preheating, expander unit and crude ethanol as

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. The dynamic and steady state behavior of a PEM fuel cell as an electric energy source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costa, R. A.; Camacho, J. R.

    The main objective of this work is to extract information on the internal behavior of three small polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells under static and dynamic load conditions. A computational model was developed using Scilab [SCILAB 4, Scilab-a free scientific software package, http://www.scilab.org/, INRIA, France, December, 2005] to simulate the static and dynamic performance [J.M. Correa, A.F. Farret, L.N. Canha, An analysis of the dynamic performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cells using an electrochemical model, in: 27th Annual Conference of IEEE Industrial Electronics Society, 2001, pp. 141-146] of this particular type of fuel cell. This dynamic model is based on electrochemical equations and takes into consideration most of the chemical and physical characteristics of the device in order to generate electric power. The model takes into consideration the operating, design parameters and physical material properties. The results show the internal losses and concentration effects behavior, which are of interest for power engineers and researchers.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. A segmented model for studying water transport in a PEM fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yong-Song

    Fuel Cells are devices that generate electricity by electrochemically combining hydrogen and oxygen. Water management plays an important role in the durability and efficiency of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). In this study, single cells are modeled as lumped models consisting of 15 interconnected segments, which are linked according to the flow field patterns of the anode and cathode but they are treated as individual lumped elements. Parameters of this model were calibrated based on neutron radiography experimental results obtained at the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR). Three special single cells were designed for the purpose of detecting liquid water and water vapor simultaneously. The major difference between our design and traditional flow field designs is the fact the anode channels and cathode channels were shifted sideways, so that the anode and cathode channels do not overlap in the majority of the active areas. The liquid water is measured by using neutron radiography. The water vapor is measured by the twenty relative humidity sensors embedded in the anode and the cathode flow field plates. The effects of relative humidity and stoichiometry of cathode inlet on relative humidity distribution in the channels and on water accumulation in the GDLs were investigated in this study. The liquid water accumulation at steady-state was calculated by using imaging mask techniques and least-squares method. It is demonstrated that liquid water tends to accumulates in the gas diffusion layers under the rib. Modeling results suggest that opposite flow direction improve the cell performance at low humidity conditions. Accordingly, this segmented model is useful in designing flow field patterns and comparing the influence of different flow field patterns before they are machined on the flow field plates. That reduces the cost of developing and designing a fuel cell.

  10. Proton-conducting membranes based on benzimidazole polymers for high-temperature PEM fuel cells. A chemical quest.

    PubMed

    Asensio, Juan Antonio; Sánchez, Eduardo M; Gómez-Romero, Pedro

    2010-08-01

    The development of high-temperature PEM fuel cells (working at 150-200 degrees C) is pursued worldwide in order to solve some of the problems of current cells based on Nafion (CO tolerance, improved kinetics, water management, etc.). Polybenzimidazole membranes nanoimpregnated with phosphoric acid have been studied as electrolytes in PEMFCs for more than a decade. Commercially available polybenzimidazole (PBI) has been the most extensively studied and used for this application in membranes doped with all sorts of strong inorganic acids. In addition to this well-known polymer we also review here studies on ABPBI and other polybenzimidazole type membranes. More recently, several copolymers and related derivatives have attracted many researchers' attention, adding variety to the field. Furthermore, besides phosphoric acid, many other strong inorganic acids, as well as alkaline electrolytes have been used to impregnate benzimidazole membranes and are analyzed here. Finally, we also review different hybrid materials based on polybenzimidazoles and several inorganic proton conductors such as heteropoly acids, as well as sulfonated derivatives of the polymers, all of which contribute to a quickly-developing field with many blooming results and useful potential which are the subject of this critical review (317 references).

  11. "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

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:20644806

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Demonstration of a residential CHP system based on PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gigliucci, G.; Petruzzi, L.; Cerelli, E.; Garzisi, A.; La Mendola, A.

    Fuel cell-based CHP systems are very attractive for stationary energy generation, since they allow production of electricity and heat in a decentralised, quiet, efficient and environmentally friendly way. As a means of evaluating this new technology, Enel Produzione installed a beta-version fuel cell CHP system, supplied by H-Power, at its experimental area sited in Livorno (Italy), and submitted it to a series of tests. The system is a co-generative unit, converting natural gas into electricity and heat: the former is delivered to local loads using electric load following capability; the latter is delivered to the experimental area hydraulic refrigeration circuit. Experiments were aimed at assessing the suitability of this kind of system to supply Italian residential customers. Factors such as performances, flexibility and operational requirements were evaluated under all the possible operating conditions, both under grid connected and stand alone configurations. At the same time, a mathematical model of the FC/CHP unit was developed to allow for the prediction of system performances and operating parameters under off-design conditions. This model can be used as an effective tool to optimise system operation when a particular customer has to be supplied. Results show that the prototype behaved as expected by a first "proof of concept" system and outline improvements to be achieved in order to satisfy the energy needs of small residential applications.

  18. 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.

  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. Thin catalyst layers based on carbon nanotubes for PEM-fuel cell applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bohnenberger, T.; Matovic, J.; Schmid, U.

    2011-06-01

    In this study, two approaches are compared to develop thin, multifunctional films of carbon nanotubes (CNT) which are targeted to serve as a catalyst layer in fuel cells. The first is based on the direct deposition of mixed multi- and single-wall CNTs on metalized silicon wafers, using the metallization as a sacrificial layer to subsequently detach the CNT film from the substrate. It is a less time consuming and a straight forward method compared to the alternative under investigation, the layer-by-layer technique (LbL). The LbL uses bilayers of charged nanotubes to slowly build up a film with an exactly defined thickness. The process is well controlled, but the time constants for deposition of each bilayer are rather high (i.e. about 1 h). With additional annealing steps implemented during film generation this method, however, is regarded advantageous as membranes results with improved mechanical stability and a good homogeneity.

  1. Investigation of aligned carbon nanotubes as a novel catalytic electrodes for PEM fuel cells.

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, D. J.; Yang, J.; Gosztola, D. J.

    2007-01-01

    Recent progress in synthesizing and characterizing aligned carbon nanotubes (ACNT) as the electrode catalyst material for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) is reported. Catalytically functionalized ACNT active towards the electrocatalytic reduction of oxygen were prepared by a chemical vapor deposition method. The electrocatalytic activities and the nanostructures of the ACNT layers were investigated by cyclic voltammetry and scanning electron microscopy. To understand the nature of the transition metal as the catalytically active site in the ACNT, we also conducted an in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopic investigation at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory. The oxidation state and coordination structure of the transition metals embedded inside the nanotubes were monitored by examining the EXAFS spectra collected under different polarization potentials. We clearly observed the change in the electronic and coordinational structures during the oxygen reduction reaction.

  2. 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

  3. An XAS experimental approach to study low Pt content electrocatalysts operating in PEM fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Principi, Emiliano; Witkowska, Agnieszka; Dsoke, Sonia; Marassi, Roberto; Di Cicco, Andrea

    2009-11-21

    We present an X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) study of a low Pt content catalyst layer (Pt loading 0.1 mg cm(-2)) operating at the cathode of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). This catalyst is based on the use of a mesoporous inorganic matrix as a support for the catalyst Pt nanoparticles. Due to the high Pt dilution, in situ measurements of its structural properties by XAS are challenging and suitable experimental strategies must be devised for this purpose. In particular, we show that accurate XAS in situ fluorescence measurements can be obtained using an optimized fuel cell, suitable protocols for alignment of a focused X-ray beam and an appropriate filter for the background signal of the other atomic species contained in the electrodes. Details, advantages and limitations of the XAS technique for in situ measurements are discussed. Analysis of the near-edge XAS and EXAFS (extended X-ray absorption fine structure) data, corroborated by a HRTEM (high-resolution transmission electron microscopy) study, shows that the Pt particles have a local structure compatible with that of bulk Pt (fcc) and coordination numbers match those expected for particles with typical sizes in the 1.5-2.0 nm range. Substantial changes in the oxidation state and in local atomic arrangement of the Pt particles are found for different applied potentials. The catalyst support, containing W atoms, exhibits a partial reduction upon PEMFC activation, thus mimicking the catalyst behavior. This indicates a possible role of the mesoporous matrix in favouring the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and stimulates further research on active catalyst supports.

  4. Determination of O[H] and CO coverage and adsorption sites on PtRu electrodes in an operating PEM fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Roth, Christina; Benker, Nathalie; Buhrmester, Thorsten; Mazurek, Marian; Loster, Matthias; Fuess, Hartmut; Koningsberger, Diederik C; Ramaker, David E

    2005-10-26

    A special in situ PEM fuel cell has been developed to allow X-ray absorption measurements during real fuel cell operation. Variations in both the coverage of O[H] (O[H] indicates O and/or OH) and CO (applying a novel Deltamu(L3) = mu(L3)(V) - mu(L3)(ref) difference technique), as well as in the geometric (EXAFS) and electronic (atomic XAFS) structure of the anode catalyst, are monitored as a function of the current. In hydrogen, the N(Pt)(-)(Ru) coordination number increases much slower than the N(Pt)(-)(Pt) with increasing current, indicating a more reluctant reduction of the surface Pt atoms near the hydrous Ru oxide islands. In methanol, both O[H] and CO adsorption are separately visible with the Deltamu technique and reveal a drop in CO and an increase in OH coverage in the range of 65-90 mA/cm(2). With increasing OH coverage, the Pt-O coordination number and the AXAFS intensity increase. The data allow the direct observation of the preignition and ignition regions for OH formation and CO oxidation, during the methanol fuel cell operation. It can be concluded that both a bifunctional mechanism and an electronic ligand effect are active in CO oxidation from a PtRu surface in a PEM fuel cell.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    2016-02-01

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. Characterization of PEM fuel cell membrane-electrode-assemblies by electrochemical methods and microanalysis

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-09-01

    Characterization of Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEAs) is used to help optimize construction of the MEA. Characterization techniques include electron microscopies (SEM and TEM), and electrochemical evaluation of the catalyst. Electrochemical hydrogen adsorption/desorption (HAD) and CO oxidation are used to evaluate the active Pt surface area of fuel cell membrane electrode assemblies. Electrochemical surface area measurements have observed large active Pt surface areas, on the order of 50 m{sup 2}/g for 20% weight Pt supported on graphite. Comparison of the hydrogen adsorption/desorption with CO oxidation indicates that on the supported catalysts, the saturation coverage of CO/Pt is about 0.90, the same as observed in H{sub 2}SO{sub 4}. The catalyst surface area measurements are nearly a factor of 2 lower than the Pt surface area calculated from the 30 {angstrom} average particle size observed by TEM. The electrochemical measurements combined with microanalysis of membrane electrode assemblies, allow a greater understanding and optimization of process variables.

  9. 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.

  10. A High-Throughput Study of PtNiZr Catalysts for Application in PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Whitacre, J.F.; Valdez, T.I.; Narayanan, S.R.

    2009-05-26

    The effects of adding Zr to PtNi oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) electrocatalyst alloys were examined in a study aimed at probing the possibility of creating catalysts with enhanced resistance to corrosion in a PEM fuel cell environment. Samples consisting of pure Pt or PtNiZr alloys with a range of compositions (not exceeding 11 at.% Zr) were fabricated using co-sputter deposition. A high-throughput fabrication approach was used wherein 18 distinct thin film catalyst alloy samples with varying compositions were deposited onto a large-area substrate with individual Au current collector structures. A multi-channel pseudo-potentiostat allowed for the simultaneous quantitative study of catalytic activity for all 18 electrodes in a single test bath, a first for the study of ORR electrocatalysts. A properly stirred oxygenated 1 M H{sub 2}SO{sub 4} electrolyte solution was used to provide each electrode with a steady-state flow of reactants during electrochemical evaluation. The onset potentials, absolute current density values, and Tafel analysis data obtained using this technique were compared with literature reports. The analyses showed that most PtNiZr alloys tested offered improvements over pure Pt, however those surfaces with a high mole fraction (>4 at.%) of Zr exhibited reduced activity that was roughly inversely correlated to the amount of Zr present. Film composition, morphology, and crystallographic properties were examined using X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), SEM, and synchrotron X-ray diffraction. These data were then correlated with electrochemical data to elucidate the relationships between composition, structure, and relative performance for this ternary system.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

    2014-11-01

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Fuel cell CO sensor

    SciTech Connect

    Grot, S.A.; Meltser, M.A.; Gutowski, S.; Neutzler, J.K.; Borup, R.L.; Weisbrod, K.

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Spontaneous oscillations of cell voltage, power density, and anode exit CO concentration in a PEM fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Lu, Hui; Rihko-Struckmann, Liisa; Sundmacher, Kai

    2011-10-28

    The spontaneous oscillations of the cell voltage and output power density of a PEMFC (with PtRu/C anode) using CO-containing H(2) streams as anodic fuels have been observed during galvanostatic operating. It is ascribed to the dynamic coupling of the CO adsorption (poisoning) and the electrochemical CO oxidation (reactivating) processes in the anode chamber of the single PEMFC. Accompanying the cell voltage and power density oscillations, the discrete CO concentration oscillations at the anode outlet of the PEMFC were also detected, which directly confirms the electrochemical CO oxidation taking place in the anode chamber during galvanostatic operating.

  1. Development of poly(ether ether ketone)(PEEK) derived from bisphenol-S for proton exchange membrane (PEM) in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Changkhamchom, Sairung; Sirivat, Anuvat

    2008-03-01

    The currently used Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) in Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) is Nafion?, an excellent proton conductivity in fully hydrated membrane. However, it has major drawbacks such as very high cost, and lost of conductivity at elevated temperature and low humidity. In our work, the novel PEM was based on sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (S-PEEK) which was synthesized by the nucleophilic aromatic substitution polycondensation of bisphonol-S, 4,4'-dichlorobenzophenone (DCBP), and sodium 5,5'-carbonylbis(2-chlorobenzenesulfonate) (SDCBP). Bisphenol-S is expected to improve thermal stability due to its high melting point (245oC). S-PEEK was characterized by FTIR, 1H-NMR, TGA, DSC, and titration to determine the degree of sulfonation (D.S.). Composite membranes were prepared by using S-PEEK as polymer matrix and heteropolyacid (HPA) as an inorganic filler. The phosphotungstic acid (PTA) was used due to its highly proton conductivity at high temperature and low water uptake. The membranes were characterized by SEM, TGA, DSC, DMTA, and by the measurements of the water uptake (%), the swelling ratio (%), the ion exchange capacities (IEC), the methanol diffusion coefficient, and the proton conductivity.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Study of gas pressure and flow rate influences on a 500 W PEM fuel cell, thanks to the experimental design methodology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wahdame, B.; Candusso, D.; Kauffmann, Jean-Marie

    The behaviour of a 500 W PEM fuel cell stack, fed by pure hydrogen and humidified compressed air, is currently investigated on the fuel cell test platform of Belfort. In this paper, the influences on fuel cell performance of gas pressure and flow rate parameters are studied. The fuel cell is operated in the pressure regulation mode: the gas flow rates are regulated thanks to mass flow controllers placed upstream of the stack and the gas pressures at stack inlets are controlled by regulation valves located downstream of the stack. The choice of the various tests to perform is made thanks to experimental design methodology, which is a suitable technique to characterise, analyse and to improve a complex system such as a fuel cell generator. In this study, the four physical factors considered are both hydrogen/air pressures and anode/cathode flow rates. Each factor has two levels, leading to a full factorial design requiring 16 experiments (16 current-voltage curves). The test bench developed at the laboratory allows setting the other factors (for instance: stack temperature, relative humidity and dew point temperature of the air at stack inlet) at fixed values. The test responses are the maximal output power and the efficiency computed for this power. Statistical sensitivity analyses (ANOVA analyses) are used to compute the effects and the contributions of the various factors to the fuel cell maximal power. The use of fractional designs shows also how it is possible to reduce the number of experiments. Some graphic representations are employed in order to display the results of the statistical analyses made for different current values.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  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. Microwave decoration of Pt nanoparticles on entangled 3D carbon nanotube architectures as PEM fuel cell cathode.

    PubMed

    Sherrell, Peter C; Zhang, Weimin; Zhao, Jie; Wallace, Gordon G; Chen, Jun; Minett, Andrew I

    2012-07-01

    Proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are expected to provide a complementary power supply to fossil fuels in the near future. The current reliance of fuel cells on platinum catalysts is undesirable. However, even the best-performing non-noble metal catalysts are not as efficient. To drive commercial viability of fuel cells forward in the short term, increased utilization of Pt catalysts is paramount. We have demonstrated improved power and energy densities in a single PEMFC using a designed cathode with a Pt loading of 0.1 mg cm(-2) on a mesoporous conductive entangled carbon nanotube (CNT)-based architecture. This electrode allows for rapid transfer of both fuel and waste to and from the electrode, respectively. Pt particles are bound tightly, directly to CNT sidewalls by a microwave-reduction technique, which provided increased charge transport at this interface. The Pt entangled CNT cathode, in combination with an E-TEK 0.2 mg cm(-2) anode, has a maximum power and energy density of 940 mW cm(-2) and 2700 mA cm(-2), respectively, and a power and energy density of 4.01 W mg(Pt)(-1) and 6.35 A mg(Pt)(-1) at 0.65 V. These power densities correspond to a specific mass activity of 0.81 g Pt per kW for the combined mass of both anode and cathode electrodes, approaching the current US Department of Energy efficiency target.

  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. Influence of air contaminants on planar, self-breathing hydrogen PEM fuel cells in an outdoor environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biesdorf, Johannes; Zamel, Nada; Kurz, Timo

    2014-02-01

    In this study, the effects of air contaminants on the operation of air-breathing fuel cells in an outdoor environment are investigated. For this purpose, a unique testing platform, which allows continuous operation of 30 cells at different locations, was developed. Three of these testing platforms were placed at different sites in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, with high variances of weather and pollution patterns. These locations range from a highly polluted place next to a busy highway to a location with virtually pure air at an altitude of 1205 m. The fuel cells were tested at all sites for over 4500 h in continuous operation. The degradation of the cells due to air pollutants was measured as a voltage decrease for three different operation loads and membranes from two different manufactures. As the temperature of the fuel cells has not been regulated, the irreversible degradation of the cell voltages could not be isolated from the dominant influence of the temperature in the raw data. With the use of the measured data, the impact of real mixtures of air contaminants was observed to be mainly reversible.

  12. Research and development of Proton-Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell system for transportation applications: Initial conceptual design report

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1993-11-01

    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. 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.

  14. Performance Characteristics of a PEM Fuel Cell with Parallel Flow Channels at Different Cathode Relative Humidity Levels.

    PubMed

    Lee, Pil Hyong; Hwang, Sang Soon

    2009-01-01

    In fuel cells flow configuration and operating conditions such as cell temperature, humidity at each electrode and stoichiometric number are very crucial for improving performance. Too many flow channels could enhance the performance but result in high parasite loss. Therefore a trade-off between pressure drop and efficiency of a fuel cell should be considered for optimum design. This work focused on numerical simulation of the effects of operating conditions, especially cathode humidity, with simple micro parallel flow channels. It is known that the humidity at the cathode flow channel becomes very important for enhancing the ion conductivity of polymer membrane because fully humidified condition was normally set at anode. To investigate the effect of humidity on the performance of a fuel cell, in this study humidification was set to 100% at the anode flow channel and was changed by 0-100% at the cathode flow channel. Results showed that the maximum power density could be obtained under 60% humidified condition at the cathode where oxygen concentration was moderately high while maintaining high ion conductivity at a membrane.

  15. Polarization Losses under Accelerated Stress Test Using Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube Supported Pt Catalyst in PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Park, Seh K.; Shao, Yuyan; Kou, Rong; Viswanathan, Vilayanur V.; Towne, Silas A.; Rieke, Peter C.; Liu, Jun; Lin, Yuehe; Wang, Yong

    2011-03-01

    The electrochemical behavior for Pt catalysts supported on multiwalled carbon nanotubes and Vulcan XC-72 in proton exchange membrane fuel cells under accelerated stress test was examined by cyclic voltammetry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and polarization technique. Pt catalyst supported on multiwalled carbon nanotubes exhibited highly stable electrochemical surface area, oxygen reduction kinetics, and fuel cell performance at a highly oxidizing condition, indicating multiwalled carbon nanotubes show high corrosion resistance and strong interaction with Pt nanoparticles. The Tafel slope, ohmic resistances, and limiting current density determined were used to differentiate kinetic, ohmic, mass-transfer polarization losses from the actual polarization curve. Kinetic contribution to the total overpotential was larger throughout the stress test. However, the fraction of kinetic overpotential decreased and mass-transfer overpotential portion remained quite constant during accelerated stress test, whereas the fraction of ohmic overpotential primarily originating from severe proton transport limitation in the catalyst layer increased under the anodic potential hold.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  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. Carbon nanofiber growth optimization for their use as electrocatalyst support in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Lázaro, M J; Sebastián, D; Suelves, I; Moliner, R

    2009-07-01

    Carbon nanofiber (CNF) growth by catalytic decomposition of methane in a fixed-bed reactor was studied out to elucidate the influence of some important reaction conditions: temperature, space velocity and reactant partial pressure, in the morphological properties of the carbonaceous material obtained. The main objective is to synthesize a suitable carbonaceous nanomaterial to be used as support in platinum based electrocatalysts for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC) which improves current carbon blacks. High specific surface area is required in an electrocatalyst support since platinum dispersion is enhanced and so a cost-effective usage and high catalytic activity. Good electrical conductivity of carbon support is also required since the fuel cell power density is improved. With this proposal, characterization was carried out by nitrogen physisorption, XRD, SEM and TPO. The results were analysed by a factorial design and analysis of variance (ANOVA) in order to find an empirical correlation between operating conditions and CNF characteristics. It was found that the highest specific surface area and pore volume were found at 823 K and at a space velocity of 10 L gcat(-1) h(-1). The graphitic character of CNF, which is known to influence the electrical conductivity, presented a maximum value at temperatures between 923 K and 973 K. SEM images showed a narrow size distribution of CNF diameter between 40 and 90 nm and homogeneous appearance.

  1. Determination of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) degradation products in fuel cell water using electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Zedda, Marco; Tuerk, Jochen; Peil, Stefan; Schmidt, Torsten C

    2010-12-30

    Within the scope of research of membrane degradation phenomena during fuel cell operation a reliable analytical procedure for the extraction, detection and quantification of possible membrane oxidation products has been developed. These oxidation products originate from the attack of hydroxyl or peroxyl radicals on the membrane polymer. Such radicals are formed in situ (during fuel cell operation) or ex situ (Fenton test as oxidative stress simulation). The analysis of membrane oxidation products was carried out by electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Five potential membrane oxidation products (4-hydroxybenzoic acid (4-HBA), 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde (4-HBAD), 4,4-biphenol (4,4-BP), 4-hydroxybenzenesulfonate (4-HBS), and 4,4-sulfonylbiphenol (4,4-SBP)) were selected based on the molecular structure of the sulfonated polyarylether membrane used. In conjunction with the development of a multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) method, the ionization and fragmentation of the selected compounds were investigated. For 4,4-BP a molecular ion (M(+•) ) was observed in the positive ionization mode and used for MRM method development. Reproducible extraction of the model compounds was achieved using a mixed-mode sorbent material with both weak anion-exchange and reversed-phase retention properties. By using the developed analytical procedure, the identities of two membrane degradation products (4-HBA and 4-HBAD) were determined in situ and ex situ. In addition to the investigation of membrane degradation phenomena, the combination of extraction on a mixed-mode sorbent material and tandem mass spectrometric detection is attractive for the analysis of aromatic sulfonic acids, phenolic acids and phenols.

  2. Polarization losses under dynamic load cycle using multiwall carbon nanotube supported Pt catalyst in PEM fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irmawati, Yuyun; Indriyati, Chaldun, Elsy Rahimi; Devianto, Hary

    2016-02-01

    Durability is one of the most important issues that are still being a hindrance for commercialization of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). In this study, the degradation of PEMFC using multiwall carbon nanotube supported Pt catalyst (Pt/CNT) was investigated under dynamic load cycle procedure. The degradation was characterized by current density-voltage curves, cross-sectional scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images, and Fourier transforms infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) spectra. The load-cycle procedure was carried out for 50 cycles, where one cycle consisted of three steps (OCV-load current-constant voltage). An analysis of cell overpotentials indicated that the predominant source of performance degradation was due to ohmic losses, especially significant increase in the area specific resistance (Ra). After 50 cycles, Ra was calculated three times higher than that before durability test, from 0.67 to 1.74 Ωcm2. Based on the results from SEM images and FTIR spectra, there was no evidence of membrane degradation or thinning. Noticeable degradation was only observed from the increase in the interface gap between membrane, catalyst layer, and gas diffusion layer.

  3. Microstructural analysis of mass transport phenomena in gas diffusion media for high current density operation in PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotaka, Toshikazu; Tabuchi, Yuichiro; Mukherjee, Partha P.

    2015-04-01

    Cost reduction is a key issue for commercialization of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV). High current density operation is a solution pathway. In order to realize high current density operation, it is necessary to reduce mass transport resistance in the gas diffusion media commonly consisted of gas diffusion layer (GDL) and micro porous layer (MPL). However, fundamental understanding of the underlying mass transport phenomena in the porous components is not only critical but also not fully understood yet due to the inherent microstructural complexity. In this study, a comprehensive analysis of electron and oxygen transport in the GDL and MPL is conducted experimentally and numerically with three-dimensional (3D) microstructural data to reveal the structure-transport relationship. The results reveal that the mass transport in the GDL is strongly dependent on the local microstructural variations, such as local pore/solid volume fractions and connectivity. However, especially in the case of the electrical conductivity of MPL, the contact resistance between carbon particles is the dominant factor. This suggests that reducing the contact resistance between carbon particles and/or the number of contact points along the transport pathway can improve the electrical conductivity of MPL.

  4. Numerical investigation of interfacial mass transport resistance and two-phase flow in PEM fuel cell air channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koz, Mustafa

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are efficient and environmentally friendly electrochemical engines. The performance of a PEMFC is adversely affected by oxygen (O2) concentration loss from the air flow channel to the cathode catalyst layer (CL). Oxygen transport resistance at the gas diffusion layer (GDL) and air channel interface is a non-negligible component of the O2 concentration loss. Simplified PEMFC performance models in the available literature incorporate the O2 resistance at the GDL-channel interface as an input parameter. However, this parameter has been taken as a constant so far in the available literature and does not reflect variable PEMFC operating conditions and the effect of two-phase flow in the channels. This study numerically calculates the O2 transport resistance at the GDL-air channel interface and expresses this resistance through the non-dimensional Sherwood number (Sh). Local Sh is investigated in an air channel with multiple droplets and films inside. These water features are represented as solid obstructions and only air flow is simulated. Local variations of Sh in the flow direction are obtained as a function of superficial air velocity, water feature size, and uniform spacing between water features. These variations are expressed with mathematical expressions for the PEMFC performance models to utilize and save computational resources. The resulting mathematical correlations for Sh can be utilized in PEMFC performance models. These models can predict cell performance more accurately with the help of the results of this work. Moreover, PEMFC performance models do not need to use a look-up table since the results were expressed through correlations. Performance models can be kept simplified although their predictions will become more realistic. Since two-phase flow in channels is experienced mostly at lower temperatures, performance optimization at low temperatures can be done easier.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. In situ observations of water production and distribution in an operating H2/O2 PEM fuel cell assembly using 1H NMR microscopy.

    PubMed

    Feindel, Kirk W; LaRocque, Logan P-A; Starke, Dieter; Bergens, Steven H; Wasylishen, Roderick E

    2004-09-22

    Proton NMR imaging was used to investigate in situ the distribution of water in a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell operating on H2 and O2. In a single experiment, water was monitored in the gas flow channels, the membrane electrode assembly, and in the membrane surrounding the catalysts. Radial gradient diffusion removes water from the catalysts into the surrounding membrane. This research demonstrates the strength of 1H NMR microscopy as an aid for designing fuel cells to optimize water management.

  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. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Nanocrystalline cerium oxide materials for solid fuel cell systems

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  16. Fuel cell and membrane therefore

    DOEpatents

    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.

  17. Polybenzimidazole block copolymers for fuel cell: synthesis and studies of block length effects on nanophase separation, mechanical properties, and proton conductivity of PEM.

    PubMed

    Maity, Sudhangshu; Jana, Tushar

    2014-05-14

    A series of meta-polybenzimidazole-block-para-polybenzimidazole (m-PBI-b-p-PBI), segmented block copolymers of PBI, were synthesized with various structural motifs and block lengths by condensing the diamine terminated meta-PBI (m-PBI-Am) and acid terminated para-PBI (p-PBI-Ac) oligomers. NMR studies and existence of two distinct glass transition temperatures (Tg), obtained from dynamical mechanical analysis (DMA) results, unequivocally confirmed the formation of block copolymer structure through the current polymerization methodology. Appropriate and careful selection of oligomers chain length enabled us to tailor the block length of block copolymers and also to make varieties of structural motifs. Increasingly distinct Tg peaks with higher block length of segmented block structure attributed the decrease in phase mixing between the meta-PBI and para-PBI blocks, which in turn resulted into nanophase segregated domains. The proton conductivities of proton exchange membrane (PEM) developed from phosphoric acid (PA) doped block copolymer membranes were found to be increasing substantially with increasing block length of copolymers even though PA loading of these membranes did not alter appreciably with varying block length. For example when molecular weight (Mn) of blocks were increased from 1000 to 5500 then the proton conductivities at 160 °C of resulting copolymers increased from 0.05 to 0.11 S/cm. Higher block length induced nanophase separation between the blocks by creating less morphological barrier within the block which facilitated the movement of the proton in the block and hence resulting higher proton conductivity of the PEM. The structural varieties also influenced the phase separation and proton conductivity. In comparison to meta-para random copolymers reported earlier, the current meta-para segmented block copolymers were found to be more suitable for PBI-based PEM.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. XPS analysis of carbon-supported platinum electrodes and characterization of CO oxidation on PEM fuel cell anodes by electrochemical half cell methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rheaume, J. M.; Müller, B.; Schulze, M.

    An analysis using X-ray induced photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) on an as received, 20 weight percent (wt.%) Pt/C electrode (E-TEK) indicates the presence of a nanometer thin layer of polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) on the surface which degrades during potentiodynamic cycling from 0 to 1.5 V RHE. Half cell measurements verify this observation by exhibiting an increase in the transferred charge and thus active surface area. An electrode manufactured by a rolling process containing 20 wt.% Pt/C on a carbon cloth (catalysts powders and cloth from E-TEK) did not have such a layer according to XPS analysis or exhibit such behavior during electrochemical, potentiodynamic cycling. In addition, cyclic voltammetry in a half cell was used to characterize CO oxidation on these two electrodes in addition to one consisting of 20 wt.% Pt-Ru/C catalyst on a carbon backing also produced by the rolling process. Measurements in 0.5 M H 2SO 4 electrolyte of rotating disk electrodes (RDEs) show recognizable CO oxidation during stripping experiments at potentials comparable to those shown by smooth electrodes, although peak definition for supported electrodes is highly inferior. The labyrinth nature of the pore systems of supported electrodes complicated stripping measurements and called into question the benefit of using RDEs for porous electrodes due to undefinable mass transport conditions within the electrode.

  1. Evaluation of a 2.5 kWel automotive low temperature PEM fuel cell stack with extended operating temperature range up to 120 °C

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiu, Tiziana; Dreizler, Andreas M.; Mitzel, Jens; Gülzow, Erich

    2016-01-01

    Nowadays, the operating temperature of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell stacks is typically limited to 80 °C due to water management issues of membrane materials. In the present work, short-term operation at elevated temperatures up to 120 °C and long-term steady-state operation under automotive relevant conditions at 80 °C are examined using a 30-cell stack developed at DLR. The high temperature behavior is investigated by using temperature cycles between 90 and 120 °C without adjustment of the gases dew points, to simulate a short-period temperature increase, possibly caused by an extended power demand and/or limited heat removal. This galvanostatic test demonstrates a fully reversible performance decrease of 21 ± 1% during each thermal cycle. The irreversible degradation rate is about a factor of 6 higher compared to the one determined by the long-term test. The 1200-h test at 80 °C demonstrates linear stack voltage decay with acceptable degradation rate, apart from a malfunction of the air compressor, which results in increased catalyst degradation effects on individual cells. This interpretation is based on an end-of-life characterization, aimed to investigate catalyst, electrode and membrane degradation, by determining hydrogen crossover rates, high frequency resistances, electrochemically active surface areas and catalyst particle sizes.

  2. 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.

  3. A catalyst layer optimisation approach using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy for PEM fuel cells operated with pyrolysed transition metal-N-C catalysts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malko, Daniel; Lopes, Thiago; Ticianelli, Edson A.; Kucernak, Anthony

    2016-08-01

    The effect of the ionomer to carbon (I/C) ratio on the performance of single cell polymer electrolyte fuel cells is investigated for three different types of non-precious metal cathodic catalysts. Polarisation curves as well as impedance spectra are recorded at different potentials in the presence of argon or oxygen at the cathode and hydrogen at the anode. It is found that a optimised ionomer content is a key factor for improving the performance of the catalyst. Non-optimal ionomer loading can be assessed by two different factors from the impedance spectra. Hence this observation could be used as a diagnostic element to determine the ideal ionomer content and distribution in newly developed catalyst-electrodes. An electrode morphology based on the presence of inhomogeneous resistance distribution within the porous structure is suggested to explain the observed phenomena. The back-pressure and relative humidity effect on this feature is also investigated and supports the above hypothesis. We give a simple flowchart to aid optimisation of electrodes with the minimum number of trials.

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

    2011-11-18

    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.

  7. Alkaline polymer electrolyte membranes for fuel cell applications.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yan-Jie; Qiao, Jinli; Baker, Ryan; Zhang, Jiujun

    2013-07-01

    In this review, we examine the most recent progress and research trends in the area of alkaline polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) development in terms of material selection, synthesis, characterization, and theoretical approach, as well as their fabrication into alkaline PEM-based membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) and the corresponding performance/durability in alkaline polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Respective advantages and challenges are also reviewed. To overcome challenges hindering alkaline PEM technology advancement and commercialization, several research directions are then proposed.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Research and development of a Proton-Exchange-Membrane (PEM) fuel cell system for transportation applications. Progress report for Quarter 8 of the Phase II effort, July 1, 1996--September 30, 1996

    SciTech Connect

    1996-11-08

    This eighth quarterly report summarizes activity from July 1, 1996 through September 30, 1996. The report is organized in sections describing background information and work performed under the main work breakdown structure (WBS) categories. The WBS categories included are fuel processor, fuel cell stack, and system integration and controls. Program scheduling and task progress are presented in the appendix.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Mirrored serpentine flow channels for fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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)

  12. 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.

  13. Fuel Cell System for Transportation -- 2005 Cost Estimate

    SciTech Connect

    Wheeler, D.

    2006-10-01

    Independent review report of the methodology used by TIAX to estimate the cost of producing PEM fuel cells using 2005 cell stack technology. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Infrastructure Technologies Program Manager asked the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to commission an independent review of the 2005 TIAX cost analysis for fuel cell production. The NREL Systems Integrator is responsible for conducting independent reviews of progress toward meeting the DOE Hydrogen Program (the Program) technical targets. An important technical target of the Program is the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell cost in terms of dollars per kilowatt ($/kW). The Program's Multi-Year Program Research, Development, and Demonstration Plan established $125/kW as the 2005 technical target. Over the last several years, the Program has contracted with TIAX, LLC (TIAX) to produce estimates of the high volume cost of PEM fuel cell production for transportation use. Since no manufacturer is yet producing PEM fuel cells in the quantities needed for an initial hydrogen-based transportation economy, these estimates are necessary for DOE to gauge progress toward meeting its targets. For a PEM fuel cell system configuration developed by Argonne National Laboratory, TIAX estimated the total cost to be $108/kW, based on assumptions of 500,000 units per year produced with 2005 cell stack technology, vertical integration of cell stack manufacturing, and balance-of-plant (BOP) components purchased from a supplier network. Furthermore, TIAX conducted a Monte Carlo analysis by varying ten key parameters over a wide range of values and estimated with 98% certainty that the mean PEM fuel cell system cost would be below DOE's 2005 target of $125/kW. NREL commissioned DJW TECHNOLOGY, LLC to form an Independent Review Team (the Team) of industry fuel cell experts and to evaluate the cost estimation process and the results reported by TIAX. The results of this

  14. Performance comparison between high temperature and traditional proton exchange membrane fuel cell stacks using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Ying; Zhu, Wenhua H.; Tatarchuk, Bruce J.

    2014-06-01

    A temperature above 100 °C is always desired for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell operation. It not only improves kinetic and mass transport processes, but also facilitates thermal and water management in fuel cell systems. Increased carbon monoxide (CO) tolerance at higher operating temperature also simplifies the pretreatment of fuel supplement. The novel phosphoric acid (PA) doped polybenzimidazole (PBI) membranes achieve PEM fuel cell operations above 100 °C. The performance of a commercial high temperature (HT) PEM fuel cell stack module is studied by measuring its impedance under various current loads when the operating temperature is set at 160 °C. The contributions of kinetic and mass transport processes to stack impedance are analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively by equivalent circuit (EC) simulation. The performance of a traditional PEM fuel cell stack module operated is also studied by impedance measurement and EC simulation. The operating temperature is self-stabilized between 40 °C and 65 °C. An enhancement of the HT-PEM fuel cell stack in polarization impedance is evaluated by comparing to the traditional PEM fuel cell stack. The impedance study on two commercial fuel cell stacks reveals the real situation of current fuel cell development.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Intra-Fuel Cell Stack Measurements of Transient Concentration Distributions

    SciTech Connect

    Partridge Jr, William P; Toops, Todd J; Green Jr, Johney Boyd; Armstrong, Timothy R.

    2006-01-01

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. PEM Degradation Investigation Final Technical Report

    SciTech Connect

    Dan Stevenson; Lee H Spangler

    2007-11-02

    The objectives of this paper are: (1) Develop a system capable of measuring current and voltage performance for each membrane in a Polymer Electrolyte Membranes (PEM) fuel cell stack and record the performance of each individual cell; (2) Develop a single cell PEM FC to allow in situ synchrotron x-ray measurements of the cell in operation and to perform spatially resolved x-ray measurements on fuel cell elements before and after degradation; and (3) Perform initial magnetic resonance microimaging experiments on membrane materials. The Montana State University PEM Membrane Degradation program is geared towards determining how and why membranes in fuel cells degrade and fail. By monitoring every individual membrane in a fuel cell 2000 times/sec while the cell is subjected to real-world type use, we hope to: (1) cause the types of degradation users see, but in a controlled environment; (2) determine an electrical signature that will identify what causes failure, or at least warns of impending failure; (3) allows us to perform advanced x-ray and MRI characterization of the degraded membranes to provide information that may result in improvements of the membrane material; and (4) perhaps allow design of electronic control systems that will prevent fuel cells from operating under conditions where damage is likely to occur.

  12. 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.

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Advanced direct methanol fuel cells. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Hamdan, Monjid; Kosek, John A.

    1999-11-01

    The goal of the program was an advanced proton-exchange membrane (PEM) for use as the electrolyte in a liquid feed direct methanol fuel cell which provides reduced methanol crossover while simultaneously providing high conductivity and low membrane water content. The approach was to use a membrane containing precross-linked fluorinated base polymer films and subsequently to graft the base film with selected materials. Over 80 different membranes were prepared. The rate of methanol crossover through the advanced membranes was reduced 90%. A 5-cell stack provided stable performance over a 100-hour life test. Preliminary cost estimates predicted a manufacturing cost at $4 to $9 per kW.

  5. Design of Current Source Dc/Dc Converter for Interfacing a 5 Kw Pem Fuel Cell / Paaugstinošā Strāvas Avota Līdzsprieguma Pārveidotāja Izstrāde 5 Kw Ūdeņraža Degvielas Elementam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreičiks, A.; Steiks, I.; Krievs, O.

    2013-08-01

    In domestic applications the low DC output voltage of a hydrogen fuel cell used as the main power supply or a backup power source has to be matched to the level and frequency of the AC voltage of utility grid. The interfacing power converter system usually consists of a DC/DC converter and an inverter. In this work, a DC/DC step-up converter stage is designed for interfacing a 5kW proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. The losses of DC/DC conversion are estimated and, basing on the relevant analysis, the most appropriate configuration of converter modules is selected for a DC/DC converter stage of increased efficiency. The authors present the results of experimental analysis and simulation for the selected configuration of four double inductor step-up push-pull converter modules Ūdeņraža degvielas elementa invertoru sistēmas mājsaimniecības pielietojumiem parasti sastāv no līdzsprieguma paaugstināšanas un invertēšanas mezgliem. Šis raksts ir veltīts paaugstinošā līdzsprieguma pārveidotāja izstrādei 5 kW protonu apmaiņas membrānas degvielas elementam. Rakstā izpētīts divu induktoru divtaktu strāvas avota paaugstinošais līdzsprieguma pārveidotājs, aplūkojot gan datormodelēšanas, gan eksperimentālos rezultātus. Lai palielinātu DC/DC pārveidotāja efektivitāti var izmantot vairākus pārveidotāja moduļus, kam ieejas savienotas paralēli un izejās - virkne. Analīze Šajā raksta ir veikta analīze, balstoties uz kuras var izvēlieties skaitu pārveidotāj moduļu skaitu, kuri nodrošina vislabāko efektivitāti DC/DC pārveidotāja posmā. Kopējais eksperimentāli noteiktais izstrādātās degvielas elementa pārveidotāju sistēmas fizikālā modeļa lietderības koeficients ir 93%

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell degradation: A parametric analysis using Computational Fluid Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozden, Ender; Tari, Ilker

    2016-02-01

    A Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cell is numerically investigated both as fresh and as degraded with the help of observed degradation patterns reported in the literature. The fresh fuel cell model is validated and verified with the data from the literature. Modifying the model by varying the parameters affected by degradation, a degraded PEM fuel cell model is created. The degraded fuel cell is parametrically analyzed by using a commercial Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software. The investigated parameters are the membrane equivalent weight, the Catalyst Layer (CL) porosity and viscous resistance, the Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) porosity and viscous resistance, and the bipolar plate contact resistance. It is shown for the first time that PEM fuel cell overall degradation can be numerically estimated by combining experimental data from degraded individual components. By comparing the simulation results for the fresh and the degraded PEM fuel cells for two years of operation, it is concluded that the effects of overall degradation on cell potential is significant - estimated to be 17% around the operating point of the fuel cell at 0.95 V open circuit voltage and 70 °C operating temperature.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Numerical simulations of two-phase flow in proton exchange membrane fuel cells using the volume of fluid method - A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferreira, Rui B.; Falcão, D. S.; Oliveira, V. B.; Pinto, A. M. F. R.

    2015-03-01

    Water management in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, i.e., balance between membrane drying and liquid water flooding, is a major aspect in the operation of these devices. Flooding results in gas-liquid two-phase flow that causes high pressure drops, flow maldistribution and poor cell performances. Limitations related to the experimental techniques dedicated to investigate the dynamics of liquid water in a PEM fuel cell have motivated researchers to conduct computational modeling and simulation to better understand the two-phase flow and its implications. Among different mathematical models employed, the volume of fluid (VOF) method is the most popular approach. This paper reviews the VOF numerical simulations of two-phase flow in PEM fuel cells. The focus of the study, numerical details, and main outcomes of each research work are discussed during this review. Moreover, recommendations for future simulations as well as challenges of applying the VOF method to PEM fuel cells are presented.

  17. 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.

  18. From bio-mineralisation to fuel cells: biomanufacture of Pt and Pd nanocrystals for fuel cell electrode catalyst.

    PubMed

    Yong, P; Paterson-Beedle, M; Mikheenko, I P; Macaskie, L E

    2007-04-01

    Biosynthesis of nano-scale platinum and palladium was achieved via enzymatically-mediated deposition of metal ions from solution. The bio-accumulated Pt(0) and Pd(0) crystals were dried, applied onto carbon paper and tested as anodes in a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell for power production. Up to 100% and 81% of the maximum power generation was achieved by the bio-Pt and bio-Pd catalysts, respectively, compared to commercial fuel cell grade Pt catalyst. Hence, biomineralisation could pave the way for economical production of fuel cell catalysts since previous studies have shown that precious metals can be biorecovered from wastes into catalytically active bionanomaterials.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Hierarchy carbon paper for the gas diffusion layer of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, Chunyu; Wang, Baorong; Cheng, Xinqun

    This communication described the fabrication of a hierarchy carbon paper, and its application to the gas diffusion layer (GDL) of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. The carbon paper was fabricated by growing carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on carbon fibers via covalently assembling metal nanocatalysts. Surface morphology observation revealed a highly uniform distribution of hydrophobic materials within the carbon paper. The contact angle to water of this carbon paper was not only very large but also particularly even. Polarization measurements verified that the hierarchy carbon paper facilitated the self-humidifying of PEM fuel cells, which could be mainly attributed to its higher hydrophobic property as diagnosed by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS).

  2. Photoregenerative I⁻/I₃⁻ couple as a liquid cathode for proton exchange membrane fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhen; Wang, Yadong; Ai, Xinping; Tu, Wenmao; Pan, Mu

    2014-10-28

    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.

  3. Elucidating through-plane liquid water profile in a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell.

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Yun; Chen, Ken Shuang

    2010-10-01

    In this paper, a numerical model incorporating micro-porous layers (MPLs) is presented for simulating water transport within the gas diffusion layers (GDLs) and MPLs as well as across their interfaces in a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell. One-dimensional analysis is conducted to investigate the impacts of MPL and GDL properties on the liquid-water profile across the anode GDL-MPL and cathode MPL-GDL regions. Furthermore, two-dimensional numerical simulations that take MPLs into account are also carried out to elucidate liquid water transport, particularly through-plane liquid-water profile in a PEM fuel cell. Results from case studies are presented.

  4. 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.

  5. Nanoceramic oxide hybrid electrolyte membranes for proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Xu, Feng; Mu, Shichun

    2014-02-01

    This review reports on the functions and applications of nanoceramic oxides in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Such materials are mainly used as fillers to enhance the water uptake and proton conductivity of polymeric matrices at high temperatures under low relative humidity. To further enhance the mechanical property of proton exchange membranes (PEMs), the functionalized ceramic oxides with organic groups are introduced. Furthermore, the inorganic PEMs are developed to improve their proton conductivities at elevated temperatures. Due to the inherent disadvantages of polymeric PEMs, it is believed that the inorganic PEMs based on porous ceramic oxides are a promising new candidate as solid electrolyte membranes in PEMFCs at high temperatures and with low relative humidity.

  6. Materials issues in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells.

    SciTech Connect

    Garland, N. L.; Benjamin, T. G.; Kopasz, J. P.; Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division; DOE

    2008-11-01

    Fuel cells have the potential to reduce the nation's energy use through increased energy conversion efficiency and dependence on imported petroleum by the use of hydrogen from renewable resources. The US DOE Fuel Cell subprogram emphasizes polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells as replacements for internal combustion engines in light-duty vehicles to support the goal of reducing oil use in the transportation sector. PEM fuel cells are the focus for light-duty vehicles because they are capable of rapid start-up, demonstrate high operating efficiency, and can operate at low temperatures. The program also supports fuel cells for stationary power, portable power, and auxiliary power applications where earlier market entry would assist in the development of a fuel cell manufacturing and supplier base. The technical focus is on developing materials and components that enable fuel cells to achieve the fuel cell subprogram objectives, primarily related to system cost and durability. For transportation applications, the performance and cost of a fuel cell vehicle must be comparable or superior to today's gasoline vehicles to achieve widespread penetration into the market and achieve the desired reduction in petroleum consumption. By translating vehicle performance requirements into fuel cell system needs, DOE has defined technical targets for 2010 and 2015. These targets are based on competitiveness with current internal combustion engine vehicles in terms of vehicle performance and cost, while providing improvements in efficiency of a factor of 2.5 to 3. The overall system targets are: a 60% peak-efficient, durable, direct hydrogen fuel cell power system for transportation at a cost of $45/kW by 2010 and $30/kW by 2015. DOE's approach to achieving these technical and cost targets is to improve existing materials and to identify and qualify new materials.

  7. Fuel cells feasibility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schonfeld, D.; Charng, T.

    1981-01-01

    The technical and economic status of fuel cells is assessed with emphasis on their potential benefits to the Deep Space Network. The fuel cell, what it is, how it operates, and what its outputs are, is reviewed. Major technical problems of the fuel cell and its components are highlighted. Due to these problems and economic considerations it is concluded that fuel cells will not become commercially viable until the early 1990s.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Micro fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Zook, L.A.; Vanderborgh, N.E.; Hockaday, R.

    1998-12-31

    An ambient temperature, liquid feed, direct methanol fuel cell device is under development. A metal barrier layer was used to block methanol crossover from the anode to the cathode side while still allowing for the transport of protons from the anode to the cathode. A direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) is an electrochemical engine that converts chemical energy into clean electrical power by the direct oxidation of methanol at the fuel cell anode. This direct use of a liquid fuel eliminates the need for a reformer to convert the fuel to hydrogen before it is fed into the fuel cell.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Carbon corrosion in PEM fuel cells during drive cycle operation

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Improved fullerene nanofiber electrodes used in direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Q.; Zhang, Y.; Miyazawa, K.; Kato, R.; Hotta, K.; Wakahara, T.

    2009-04-01

    Platinum supported on fullerene nanofibers as possible electrodes for direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) were studied. Fullerene nanofiber with 20 wt% Pt loading was mixed with 5 wt% Nafion solution. The mixture paste was coated on Nafion 117 membrane and sandwiched with silicon plates. To increase the surface reaction area of catalyst, nanoimprint was used to fabricate micro-patterns in the Nafion proton exchange membrane. Nanoimprint pattern consisted of dots of 500 nm-in-diameter, 140 nm-in-depth and 1 μm-in-spacing. The nanoimprint of the treated proton exchange membrane (PEM) was carried out in a desktop thermal nanoimprint system (NI273, Nano Craft Tech. Corp., Japan) at the optimized conditions of 130 °C and pressure of 3 MPa for 6 min. Then the Pt-coated PEM was sandwiched with micro-channelled silicon plates to form a micro-DMFC. With passively feeding of 1 M methanol solution and air at room temperature, the as-prepared cell had the open circuit voltage of 0.34 V and the maximum power density of 0.30 mW/cm2. Compared with a fresh cell, the results shows that nanofibers used in nanoimprinted PEM have an improvement on the performance of micro fuel cells.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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)

  16. Low-temperature fuel cell systems for commercial airplane auxiliary power.

    SciTech Connect

    Curgus, Dita Brigitte; Pratt, Joseph William; Akhil, Abbas Ali; Klebanoff, Leonard E.

    2010-11-01

    This presentation briefly describes the ongoing study of fuel cell systems on-board a commercial airplane. Sandia's current project is focused on Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells applied to specific on-board electrical power needs. They are trying to understand how having a fuel cell on an airplane would affect overall performance. The fuel required to accomplish a mission is used to quantify the performance. Our analysis shows the differences between the base airplane and the airplane with the fuel cell. There are many ways of designing a system, depending on what you do with the waste heat. A system that requires ram air cooling has a large mass penalty due to increased drag. The bottom-line impact can be expressed as additional fuel required to complete the mission. Early results suggest PEM fuel cells can be used on airplanes with manageable performance impact if heat is rejected properly. For PEMs on aircraft, we are continuing to perform: (1) thermodynamic analysis (investigate configurations); (2) integrated electrical design (with dynamic modeling of the micro grid); (3) hardware assessment (performance, weight, and volume); and (4) galley and peaker application.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Solid oxide fuel cell generator

    DOEpatents

    Di Croce, A.M.; Draper, R.

    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. 5 figures.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Chloride contamination effects on proton exchange membrane fuel cell performance and durability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Hui; Wang, Haijiang; Qian, Weimin; Zhang, Shengsheng; Wessel, Silvia; Cheng, Tommy T. H.; Shen, Jun; Wu, Shaohong

    2011-08-01

    Chlorine is a major fuel contaminant when by-product hydrogen from the chlor-alkali industry is used as the fuel for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. Understanding the effects of chlorine contamination on fuel cell performance and durability is essential to address fuel cell applications for the automotive and stationary markets. This paper reports our findings of chloride contamination effects on PEM fuel cell performance and durability, as our first step in understanding the effects of chlorine contamination. Fuel cell contamination tests were conducted by injecting ppm levels of contaminant into the fuel cell from either the fuel stream or the air stream. In situ and ex situ diagnosis were performed to investigate the contamination mechanisms. The results show that cell voltage during chloride contamination is characterized by an initial sudden drop followed by a plateau, regardless of which side the contaminant is introduced into the fuel cell. The drop in cell performance is predominantly due to increased cathode charge transfer resistance as a result of electrochemical catalyst surface area (ECSA) loss attributable to the blocking of active sites by Cl- and enhanced Pt dissolution.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  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. 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.

  12. Fuel economy of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahluwalia, Rajesh K.; Wang, X.; Rousseau, A.; Kumar, R.

    On the basis of on-road energy consumption, fuel economy (FE) of hydrogen fuel cell light-duty vehicles is projected to be 2.5-2.7 times the fuel economy of the conventional gasoline internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEV) on the same platforms. Even with a less efficient but higher power density 0.6 V per cell than the base case 0.7 V per cell at the rated power point, the hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are projected to offer essentially the same fuel economy multiplier. The key to obtaining high fuel economy as measured on standardized urban and highway drive schedules lies in maintaining high efficiency of the fuel cell (FC) system at low loads. To achieve this, besides a high performance fuel cell stack, low parasitic losses in the air management system (i.e., turndown and part load efficiencies of the compressor-expander module) are critical.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Rejuvenation of automotive fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    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.

  16. Microfluidic fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kjeang, Erik

    Microfluidic fuel cell architectures are presented in this thesis. This work represents the mechanical and microfluidic portion of a microfluidic biofuel cell project. While the microfluidic fuel cells developed here are targeted to eventual integration with biocatalysts, the contributions of this thesis have more general applicability. The cell architectures are developed and evaluated based on conventional non-biological electrocatalysts. The fuel cells employ co-laminar flow of fuel and oxidant streams that do not require a membrane for physical separation, and comprise carbon or gold electrodes compatible with most enzyme immobilization schemes developed to date. The demonstrated microfluidic fuel cell architectures include the following: a single cell with planar gold electrodes and a grooved channel architecture that accommodates gaseous product evolution while preventing crossover effects; a single cell with planar carbon electrodes based on graphite rods; a three-dimensional hexagonal array cell based on multiple graphite rod electrodes with unique scale-up opportunities; a single cell with porous carbon electrodes that provides enhanced power output mainly attributed to the increased active area; a single cell with flow-through porous carbon electrodes that provides improved performance and overall energy conversion efficiency; and a single cell with flow-through porous gold electrodes with similar capabilities and reduced ohmic resistance. As compared to previous results, the microfluidic fuel cells developed in this work show improved fuel cell performance (both in terms of power density and efficiency). In addition, this dissertation includes the development of an integrated electrochemical velocimetry approach for microfluidic devices, and a computational modeling study of strategic enzyme patterning for microfluidic biofuel cells with consecutive reactions.

  17. 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.

  18. Fuel processors for fuel cell APU applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aicher, T.; Lenz, B.; Gschnell, F.; Groos, U.; Federici, F.; Caprile, L.; Parodi, L.

    The conversion of liquid hydrocarbons to a hydrogen rich product gas is a central process step in fuel processors for auxiliary power units (APUs) for vehicles of all kinds. The selection of the reforming process depends on the fuel and the type of the fuel cell. For vehicle power trains, liquid hydrocarbons like gasoline, kerosene, and diesel are utilized and, therefore, they will also be the fuel for the respective APU systems. The fuel cells commonly envisioned for mobile APU applications are molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFC), solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), and proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). Since high-temperature fuel cells, e.g. MCFCs or SOFCs, can be supplied with a feed gas that contains carbon monoxide (CO) their fuel processor does not require reactors for CO reduction and removal. For PEMFCs on the other hand, CO concentrations in the feed gas must not exceed 50 ppm, better 20 ppm, which requires additional reactors downstream of the reforming reactor. This paper gives an overview of the current state of the fuel processor development for APU applications and APU system developments. Furthermore, it will present the latest developments at Fraunhofer ISE regarding fuel processors for high-temperature fuel cell APU systems on board of ships and aircrafts.

  19. 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.

  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. Evaluation of the humidification requirements of new proton exchange membranes for fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Grot, S.A.; Hedstrom, J.C.; Vanderborgh, N.E.

    1995-05-01

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Alkaline fuel cells applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kordesch, Karl; Hacker, Viktor; Gsellmann, Josef; Cifrain, Martin; Faleschini, Gottfried; Enzinger, Peter; Fankhauser, Robert; Ortner, Markus; Muhr, Michael; Aronson, Robert R.

    On the world-wide automobile market technical developments are increasingly determined by the dramatic restriction on emissions as well as the regimentation of fuel consumption by legislation. Therefore there is an increasing chance of a completely new technology breakthrough if it offers new opportunities, meeting the requirements of resource preservation and emission restrictions. Fuel cell technology offers the possibility to excel in today's motive power techniques in terms of environmental compatibility, consumer's profit, costs of maintenance and efficiency. The key question is economy. This will be decided by the costs of fuel cell systems if they are to be used as power generators for future electric vehicles. The alkaline hydrogen-air fuel cell system with circulating KOH electrolyte and low-cost catalysed carbon electrodes could be a promising alternative. Based on the experiences of Kordesch [K. Kordesch, Brennstoffbatterien, Springer, Wien, 1984, ISBN 3-387-81819-7; K. Kordesch, City car with H 2-air fuel cell and lead-battery, SAE Paper No. 719015, 6th IECEC, 1971], who operated a city car hybrid vehicle on public roads for 3 years in the early 1970s, improved air electrodes plus new variations of the bipolar stack assembly developed in Graz are investigated. Primary fuel choice will be a major issue until such time as cost-effective, on-board hydrogen storage is developed. Ammonia is an interesting option. The whole system, ammonia dissociator plus alkaline fuel cell (AFC), is characterised by a simple design and high efficiency.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. Experimental and thermodynamic approach on proton exchange membrane fuel cell performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miansari, Me.; Sedighi, K.; Amidpour, M.; Alizadeh, E.; Miansari, Mo.

    The present work is employed in two sections. Firstly the effect of different parameters such as pressure, temperature and anode and cathode channel depth on the performance of the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell was experimentally studied. The experimental result shows a good accuracy compared to other works. Secondly a semi-empirical model of the PEM fuel cell has been developed. This model was used to study the effect of different operating conditions such as temperature, pressure and air stoichiometry on the exergy efficiencies and irreversibilities of the cell. The results show that the predicted polarization curves are in good agreement with the experimental data and a high performance was observed at the channel depth of 1.5 mm for the anode and 1 mm for the cathode. Furthermore the results show that increase in the operating temperature and pressure can enhance the cell performance, exergy efficiencies and reduce irreversibilities of the cell.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  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 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Investigations on proton exchange membrane fuel cells with different configurations and flow fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazim, Ayoub Mohamed

    In this study, two mathematical models are developed. The first one is a simple mathematical approach that computes all transport and electrochemical parameters inside the different layers of a fuel cell regardless of its configuration. Through heat and mass transfer analogy, convective mass transfer coefficients at different Reynolds number are determined for both concentric cylindrical and conventional proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. Concentrations of oxygen and hydrogen are then determined at each layer of the fuel cell using steady-state diffusion analysis. The concentration equations are solved together with the electrochemical equations inside the fuel cell, to obtain the fuel cell voltage and power density. The results from this simple approach compared well with the existing numerical and experimental results. The second mathematical model is to study PEM fuel cell with conventional and non-conventional namely interdigitated flow fields. Through proper handling of the boundary conditions at the gas diffusion/catalyst layer interface, the numerical solution of the model resulted in the profiles of transport and electrochemical parameters in the cathode. Parameters such as pressure distribution, velocity profile, oxygen concentration, molar flux, current density, polarization and overall power density at different cell over-potentials in both flow fields were determined. The results demonstrates the superiority of interdigitated flow field over the conventional type in terms of overall performance and illustrated the importance of the convective term of the species equation in enhancing the reaction rates, leading to a significant improvement in the fuel cell performance. The effects of different parameters, such as cathode porosity, inlet oxygen mole fraction, and operating pressure on fuel cell performance have been studied using this 2-D mathematical model. Finally, a simple efficiency and economical analysis was formulated and implemented on

  9. A critical review of two-phase flow in gas flow channels of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Ryan; Zhang, Lifeng; Ding, Yulong; Blanco, Mauricio; Bi, Xiaotao; Wilkinson, David P.

    Water management in PEM fuel cells has received extensive attention due to its key role in fuel cell performance. The unavoidable water, from humidified gas streams and electrochemical reaction, leads to gas-liquid two-phase flow in the flow channels of fuel cells. The presence of two-phase flow increases the complexity in water management in PEM fuel cells, which remains a challenging hurdle in the commercialization of this technology. Unique water emergence from the gas diffusion layer, which is different from conventional gas-liquid two-phase flow where water is introduced from the inlet together with the gas, leads to different gas-liquid flow behaviors, including pressure drop, flow pattern, and liquid holdup along flow field channels. These parameters are critical in flow field design and fuel cell operation and therefore two-phase flow has received increasing attention in recent years. This review emphasizes gas-liquid two-phase flow in minichannels or microchannels related to PEM fuel cell applications. In situ and ex situ experimental setups have been utilized to visualize and quantify two-phase flow phenomena in terms of flow regime maps, flow maldistribution, and pressure drop measurements. Work should continue to make the results more relevant for operating PEM fuel cells. Numerical simulations have progressed greatly, but conditions relevant to the length scales and time scales experienced by an operating fuel cell have not been realized. Several mitigation strategies exist to deal with two-phase flow, but often at the expense of overall cell performance due to parasitic power losses. Thus, experimentation and simulation must continue to progress in order to develop a full understanding of two-phase flow phenomena so that meaningful mitigation strategies can be implemented.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Characterizing automotive fuel cell materials by soft x-ray scanning transmission x-ray microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hitchcock, A. P.; Lee, V.; Wu, J.; West, M. M.; Cooper, G.; Berejnov, V.; Soboleva, T.; Susac, D.; Stumper, J.

    2016-01-01

    Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEM-FC) based engines are being developed rapidly for near-term implementation in hydrogen fueled, mass production, personal automobiles. Research is focused on understanding and controlling various degradation processes (carbon corrosion, Pt migration, cold start), and reducing cost by reducing or eliminating Pt catalyst. We are using soft X-ray scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM) at the S 2p, C 1s, O 1s and F 1s edges to study a variety of issues related to optimization of PEM-FC materials for automotive applications. A method to efficiently and accurately measure perfluorosulfonic acid distributions was developed and is being used to better understand how different loadings and preparation methods affect the ionomer distribution in the cathode. Progress towards an environmental cell capable of controlling the temperature and humidity of a PEM-FC sample in the STXM is described. Methods for studying the 3D chemical structure of PEM-FC are outlined.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. In situ fluorescence spectroscopy correlates ionomer degradation to reactive oxygen species generation in an operating fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Prabhakaran, Venkateshkumar; Arges, Christopher G; Ramani, Vijay

    2013-11-21

    The rate of generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) within the polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) of an operating proton exchange member fuel cell (PEMFC) was monitored using in situ fluorescence spectroscopy. A modified barrier layer was introduced between the PEM and the electrocatalyst layer to eliminate metal-dye interactions and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) effects during measurements. Standard fuel cell operating parameters (temperature, relative humidity, and electrode potential) were systematically varied to evaluate their influence on the rate of ROS generation during PEMFC operation. Independently, the macroscopic rate of PEM degradation was measured by monitoring the fluoride ion emission rate (FER) in the effluent stream at each operating condition. The ROS generation reaction rate constant (estimated from the in situ fluorescence experiments) correlated perfectly with the measured FER across all conditions, demonstrating unequivocally for the first time that a direct correlation exists between in situ ROS generation and PEM macroscopic degradation. The activation energy for ROS generation within the PEM was estimated to be 12.5 kJ mol(-1).

  18. 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.

  19. Femtoelectron-Based Terahertz Imaging of Hydration State in a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buaphad, P.; Thamboon, P.; Kangrang, N.; Rhodes, M. W.; Thongbai, C.

    2015-08-01

    Imbalanced water management in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell significantly reduces the cell performance and durability. Visualization of water distribution and transport can provide greater comprehension toward optimization of the PEM fuel cell. In this work, we are interested in water flooding issues that occurred in flow channels on cathode side of the PEM fuel cell. The sample cell was fabricated with addition of a transparent acrylic window allowing light access and observed the process of flooding formation (in situ) via a CCD camera. We then explore potential use of terahertz (THz) imaging, consisting of femtoelectron-based THz source and off-angle reflective-mode imaging, to identify water presence in the sample cell. We present simulations of two hydration states (water and nonwater area), which are in agreement with the THz image results. A line-scan plot is utilized for quantitative analysis and for defining spatial resolution of the image. Implementing metal mesh filtering can improve spatial resolution of our THz imaging system.

  20. Effects of proton exchange membrane on the performance and microbial community composition of air-cathode microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Lee, Yun-Yeong; Kim, Tae Gwan; Cho, Kyung-Suk

    2015-10-10

    This study investigated the effects of proton exchange membranes (PEMs) on performance and microbial community of air-cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Air-cathode MFCs with reactor volume of 1L were constructed in duplicate with or without PEM (designated as ACM-MFC and AC-MFC, respectively) and fed with a mixture of glucose and acetate (1:1, w:w). The maximum power density and coulombic efficiency did not differ between MFCs in the absence or presence of a PEM. However, PEM use adversely affected maximum voltage production and the rate of organic compound removal (p<0.05). Quantitative droplet digital PCR indicated that AC-MFCs had a greater bacterial population than ACM-MFCs (p<0.05). Likewise, ribosomal tag pyrosequencing revealed that the diversity index of bacterial communities was greater for AC-MFCs (p<0.05). Network analysis revealed that the most abundant genus was Enterococcus, which comprised ≥62% of the community and was positively associated with PEM and negatively associated with the rate of chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal (Pearson correlation>0.9 and p<0.05). Geobacter, which is known as an exoelectrogen, was positively associated with maximum power density and negatively associated with PEM. Thus, these results suggest that the absence of PEM favored the growth of Geobacter, a key player for electricity generation in MFC systems. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that MFC systems without PEM are more efficient with respect to power production and COD removal as well as exoelectrogen growth.

  1. Fuel cell technology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    A program to advance the technology for a cost-effective hydrogen/oxygen fuel cell system for future manned spacecraft is discussed. The evaluation of base line design concepts and the development of product improvements in the areas of life, power, specific weight and volume, versatility of operation, field maintenance and thermal control were conducted from the material and component level through the fabrication and test of an engineering model of the fuel cell system. The program was to be accomplished in a 13 month period.

  2. 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.

  3. Technology development goals for automotive fuel cell power systems. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    James, B.D.; Baum, G.N.; Kuhn, I.F. Jr.

    1994-08-01

    This report determines cost and performance requirements for Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell vehicles carrying pure H{sub 2} fuel, to achieve parity with internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. A conceptual design of a near term FCEV (fuel cell electric vehicle) is presented. Complete power system weight and cost breakdowns are presented for baseline design. Near term FCEV power system weight is 6% higher than ICE system, mid-term FCEV projected weights are 29% lower than ICE`s. There are no inherently high-cost components in FCE, and at automotive production volumes, near term FCEV cost viability is closer at hand than at first thought. PEM current vs voltage performance is presented for leading PEM manufacturers and researchers. 5 current and proposed onboard hydrogen storage techniques are critically compared: pressurized gas, cryogenic liquid, combined pressurized/cryogenic, rechargeable hydride, adsorption. Battery, capacitor, and motor/controller performance is summarized. Fuel cell power system component weight and cost densities (threshold and goal) are tabulated.

  4. Adaptive Process Controls and Ultrasonics for High Temperature PEM MEA Manufacture

    SciTech Connect

    Walczyk, Daniel F.

    2015-08-26

    The purpose of this 5-year DOE-sponsored project was to address major process bottlenecks associated with fuel cell manufacturing. New technologies were developed to significantly reduce pressing cycle time for high temperature PEM membrane electrode assembly (MEA) through the use of novel, robust ultrasonic (U/S) bonding processes along with low temperature (<100°C) PEM MEAs. In addition, greater manufacturing uniformity and performance was achieved through (a) an investigation into the causes of excessive variation in ultrasonically and thermally bonded MEAs using more diagnostics applied during the entire fabrication and cell build process, and (b) development of rapid, yet simple quality control measurement techniques for use by industry.

  5. Center for Intelligent Fuel Cell Materials Design

    SciTech Connect

    Santurri, P.R.,; Hartmann-Thompson, C.; Keinath, S.E.

    2008-08-26

    The goal of this work was to develop a composite proton exchange membrane utilizing 1) readily available, low cost materials 2) readily modified and 3) easily processed to meet the chemical, mechanical and electrical requirements of high temperature PEM fuel cells. One of the primary goals was to produce a conducting polymer that met the criteria for strength, binding capability for additives, chemical stability, dimensional stability and good conductivity. In addition compatible, specialty nanoparticles were synthesized to provide water management and enhanced conductivity. The combination of these components in a multilayered, composite PEM has demonstrated improved conductivity at high temperatures and low humidity over commercially available polymers. The research reported in this final document has greatly increased the knowledge base related to post sulfonation of chemically and mechanically stable engineered polymers (Radel). Both electrical and strength factors for the degree of post sulfonation far exceed previous data, indicating the potential use of these materials in suitable proton exchange membrane architectures for the development of fuel cells. In addition compatible, hydrophilic, conductive nano-structures have been synthesized and incorporated into unique proton exchange membrane architectures. The use of post sulfonation for the engineered polymer and nano-particle provide cost effective techniques to produce the required components of a proton exchange membrane. The development of a multilayer proton exchange membrane as described in our work has produced a highly stable membrane at 170°C with conductivities exceeding commercially available proton exchange membranes at high temperatures and low humidity. The components and architecture of the proton exchange membrane discussed will provide low cost components for the portable market and potentially the transportation market. The development of unique components and membrane architecture

  6. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell conductivity and system analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Qian

    A fuel cell converts chemical energy to electrical energy. It is a device that uses the electrochemical reaction of hydrogen and an oxidant, to produce electrical energy silently, without combustion. The role of the electrolyte in a PEM fuel cell is played by a proton exchange membrane. NafionRTM and its derivatives are the most widely used and studied polymers. Percolation theory holds a key to understanding the behavior of these polymers. In this dissertation, the percolation phenomenon was first simulated for the thermal conductivity of a representative polymer material. The simulation program was based on the finite element method, using Ansys software, which not only simplifies the method of calculation, but also increases the accuracy of the result. Ansys programs were developed to study the effects of matrix thickness, filler particle volume percentage, and various conductivities of the base material and filler particles. Comparison with existing experimental results and other models showed that the results from the finite element method were more accurate than the other models, especially the three-dimensional model. A similar Ansys program was utilized to predict the percolation threshold for the polymer electric conductivity, and its relationship with extra water content over the studied temperature range. The result showed that the percolation threshold varied with temperature and is in the range of 22% to 26% at room temperature, and matches the experimental data within 10% error margin. A natural gas fuel cell (NGFC) is a direct-energy conversion system which uses natural gas as the hydrogen carrier. A parametric model was developed to predict the overall system performance of a natural-gas-fueled PEM fuel cell system sized for a residential or small commercial building. The model accounts for interactions between various operating parameters: fuel consumption, air and water requirements, power produced, and heat and waste water discharge. For example

  7. N-doped carbon nanomaterials are durable catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction in acidic fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Shui, Jianglan; Wang, Min; Du, Feng; Dai, Liming

    2015-02-01

    The availability of low-cost, efficient, and durable catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is a prerequisite for commercialization of the fuel cell technology. Along with intensive research efforts of more than half a century in developing nonprecious metal catalysts (NPMCs) to replace the expensive and scarce platinum-based catalysts, a new class of carbon-based, low-cost, metal-free ORR catalysts was demonstrated to show superior ORR performance to commercial platinum catalysts, particularly in alkaline electrolytes. However, their large-scale practical application in more popular acidic polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells remained elusive because they are often found to be less effective in acidic electrolytes, and no attempt has been made for a single PEM cell test. We demonstrated that rationally designed, metal-free, nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes and their graphene composites exhibited significantly better long-term operational stabilities and comparable gravimetric power densities with respect to the best NPMC in acidic PEM cells. This work represents a major breakthrough in removing the bottlenecks to translate low-cost, metal-free, carbon-based ORR catalysts to commercial reality, and opens avenues for clean energy generation from affordable and durable fuel cells.

  8. N-doped carbon nanomaterials are durable catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction in acidic fuel cells

    PubMed Central

    Shui, Jianglan; Wang, Min; Du, Feng; Dai, Liming

    2015-01-01

    The availability of low-cost, efficient, and durable catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is a prerequisite for commercialization of the fuel cell technology. Along with intensive research efforts of more than half a century in developing nonprecious metal catalysts (NPMCs) to replace the expensive and scarce platinum-based catalysts, a new class of carbon-based, low-cost, metal-free ORR catalysts was demonstrated to show superior ORR performance to commercial platinum catalysts, particularly in alkaline electrolytes. However, their large-scale practical application in more popular acidic polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells remained elusive because they are often found to be less effective in acidic electrolytes, and no attempt has been made for a single PEM cell test. We demonstrated that rationally designed, metal-free, nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes and their graphene composites exhibited significantly better long-term operational stabilities and comparable gravimetric power densities with respect to the best NPMC in acidic PEM cells. This work represents a major breakthrough in removing the bottlenecks to translate low-cost, metal-free, carbon-based ORR catalysts to commercial reality, and opens avenues for clean energy generation from affordable and durable fuel cells. PMID:26601132

  9. 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.

  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. System design of a large fuel cell hybrid locomotive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, A. R.; Hess, K. S.; Barnes, D. L.; Erickson, T. L.

    Fuel cell power for locomotives combines the environmental benefits of a catenary-electric locomotive with the higher overall energy efficiency and lower infrastructure costs of a diesel-electric. A North American consortium, a public-private partnership, is developing a prototype hydrogen-fueled fuel cell-battery hybrid switcher locomotive for urban and military-base rail applications. Switcher locomotives are used in rail yards for assembling and disassembling trains and moving trains from one point to another. At 127 tonnes (280,000 lb), continuous power of 250 kW from its (proton exchange membrane) PEM fuel cell prime mover, and transient power well in excess of 1 MW, the hybrid locomotive will be the heaviest and most powerful fuel cell land vehicle yet. This fast-paced project calls for completion of the vehicle itself near the end of 2007. Several technical challenges not found in the development of smaller vehicles arise when designing and developing such a large fuel cell vehicle. Weight, center of gravity, packaging, and safety were design factors leading to, among other features, the roof location of the lightweight 350 bar compressed hydrogen storage system. Harsh operating conditions, especially shock loads during coupling to railcars, require component mounting systems capable of absorbing high energy. Vehicle scale-up by increasing mass, density, or power presents new challenges primarily related to issues of system layout, hydrogen storage, heat transfer, and shock loads.

  12. Influence of the Piping-material-originated Metal-ion on Cell Degradation of Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amitani, Chieko; Ishikawa, Masahiko; Mori, Kouya; Tanaka, Kenji; Hori, Michio

    Influences of metal-ion adulterations into Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells (PEFC) were examined on PEFC generation characteristics and structural changes. Cupper and aluminun, novel candidate materials for forthcoming PEFC system, were introduced into polymer electrolyte membranes (PEM) by ion-exchange method as contaminants, and ca. 500-hour generation tests of PEFC cells with these PEMs were conducted in this study. Introduced metal ions were to be combined to sulfonic acid groups in PEMs by electrostatic forces. For the cell containing cupric ions (Cu2+) equivalent to 1000 pmm of supfonic acid groups in PEM, a decrease in deteriorating rate of cell voltage was observed to be 83 mV/kh during 500-hour generation, in comparison with the cell without metal-ion comtamination showing 154 mV/kh. On the other hand, an increase in deteriorating rates were observed for the cells containing 10 % Cu2+ or 1000 ppm aluminum ions (Al3+). Al3+ adulteration in PEFC set off increases in activation overpotential and fluoride ion release rate (FRR) with proceeding genaration test. An increase in activation overpotentials was supressed in 1000 ppm Cu2+-adulterated cell and the reverse was observed in 10 % Cu2+-adulterated one, though Cu2+ adulterations suppressed growths of platinum catalyst particles in size and FRR regardless of Cu2+ concentration. Restriction effect of 1000 ppm Cu2+-adulteration into PEM on PEFC voltage deterioration has found to be the unprecedented knoledge with respect to PEFC degradation phenomena. Mechanisms of those influences were also discussed.

  13. Conductivity Measurements of Synthesized Heteropoly Acid Membranes for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Record, K.A.; Haley, B.T.; Turner, J.

    2006-01-01

    Fuel cell technology is receiving attention due to its potential to be a pollution free method of electricity production when using renewably produced hydrogen as fuel. In a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell H2 and O2 react at separate electrodes, producing electricity, thermal energy, and water. A key component of the PEM fuel cell is the membrane that separates the electrodes. DuPont’s Nafion® is the most commonly used membrane in PEM fuel cells; however, fuel cell dehydration at temperatures near 100°C, resulting in poor conductivity, is a major hindrance to fuel cell performance. Recent studies incorporating heteropoly acids (HPAs) into membranes have shown an increase in conductivity and thus improvement in performance. HPAs are inorganic materials with known high proton conductivities. The primary objective of this work is to measure the conductivity of Nafion, X-Ionomer membranes, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Developed Membranes that are doped with different HPAs at different concentrations. Four-point conductivity measurements using a third generation BekkTech conductivity test cell are used to determine membrane conductivity. The effect of multiple temperature and humidification levels is also examined. While the classic commercial membrane, Nafion, has a conductivity of approximately 0.10 S/cm, measurements for membranes in this study range from 0.0030 – 0.58 S/cm, depending on membrane type, structure of the HPA, and the relative humidity. In general, the X-ionomer with H6P2W21O71 HPA gave the highest conductivity and the Nafion with the 12-phosphotungstic (PW12) HPA gave the lowest. The NREL composite membranes had conductivities on the order of 0.0013 – 0.025 S/cm.

  14. Fabrication of metallic bipolar plate for proton exchange membrane fuel cells by rubber pad forming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yanxiong; Hua, Lin

    In this paper, the rubber pad forming process is used to fabricate the metallic bipolar plate for a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell, which has multi-array micro-scale flow channels on its surface. The rubber pad forming process has the following advantages: high surface quality and dimensional accuracy of the formed parts, low cost of the die because only one rigid die is required, and high efficiency. The process control parameters (rubber hardness, internal and outer radii, draft angle) of the rubber pad forming are analyzed by the finite element method using the commercial software Abaqus. After that, the rubber pad forming process is used to manufacture a metallic bipolar plate of SS304 stainless steel with perfect flow micro-channels. The results of this effort indicated that the rubber pad forming process is a feasible technique for fabricating the bipolar plates of PEM fuel cells.

  15. Inductive phenomena at low frequencies in impedance spectra of proton exchange membrane fuel cells - A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pivac, Ivan; Barbir, Frano

    2016-09-01

    The results of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells may exhibit inductive phenomena at low frequencies. The occurrence of inductive features at high frequencies is explained by the cables and wires of the test system. However, explanation of inductive loop at low frequencies requires a more detailed study. This review paper discusses several possible causes of such inductive behavior in PEM fuel cells, such as side reactions with intermediate species, carbon monoxide poisoning, and water transport, also as their equivalent circuit representations. It may be concluded that interpretation of impedance spectra at low frequencies is still ambiguous, and that better equivalent circuit models are needed with clearly defined physical meaning of each of the circuit elements.

  16. 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.

  17. Fuel cell generator

    DOEpatents

    Makiel, Joseph M.

    1985-01-01

    A high temperature solid electrolyte fuel cell generator comprising a housing means defining a plurality of chambers including a generator chamber and a combustion products chamber, a porous barrier separating the generator and combustion product chambers, a plurality of elongated annular fuel cells each having a closed end and an open end with the open ends disposed within the combustion product chamber, the cells extending from the open end through the porous barrier and into the generator chamber, a conduit for each cell, each conduit extending into a portion of each cell disposed within the generator chamber, each conduit having means for discharging a first gaseous reactant within each fuel cell, exhaust means for exhausting the combustion product chamber, manifolding means for supplying the first gaseous reactant to the conduits with the manifolding means disposed within the combustion product chamber between the porous barrier and the exhaust means and the manifolding means further comprising support and bypass means for providing support of the manifolding means within the housing while allowing combustion products from the first and a second gaseous reactant to flow past the manifolding means to the exhaust means, and means for flowing the second gaseous reactant into the generator chamber.

  18. Non-Flow-Through Fuel Cell System Test Results and Demonstration on the SCARAB Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scheidegger, Brianne; Burke, Kenneth; Jakupca, Ian

    2012-01-01

    This presentation describes the results of the demonstration of a non-flow-through PEM fuel cell as part of a power system on the SCARAB rover at the NASA Glenn Research Center. 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 SCARAB rover s hotel loads. The power system, including the non-flow-through fuel cell technology, successfully demonstrated its goal as a range extender by powering hotel loads on the SCARAB rover, making this demonstration the first to use the non-flow-through fuel cell technology on a mobile platform.

  19. 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.

  20. Low power proton exchange membrane fuel cell system identification and adaptive control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Yee-Pien; Wang, Fu-Cheng; Chang, Hsin-Ping; Ma, Ying-Wei; Weng, Biing-Jyh

    This paper proposes a systematic method of system identification and control of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. This fuel cell can be used for low-power communication devices involving complex electrochemical reactions of nonlinear and time-varying dynamic properties. From a system point of view, the dynamic model of PEM fuel cell is reduced to a configuration of two inputs, hydrogen and air flow rates, and two outputs, cell voltage and current. The corresponding transfer functions describe linearized subsystem dynamics with finite orders and time-varying parameters, which are expressed as discrete-time auto-regression moving-average with auxiliary input models for system identification by the recursive least square algorithm. In the experiments, a pseudo-random binary sequence of hydrogen or air flow rate is fed to a single fuel cell device to excite its dynamics. By measuring the corresponding output signals, each subsystem transfer function of reduced order is identified, while the unmodeled, higher-order dynamics and disturbances are described by the auxiliary input term. This provides a basis of adaptive control strategy to improve the fuel cell performance in terms of efficiency, as well as transient and steady state specifications. Simulation shows that adaptive controller is robust to the variation of fuel cell system dynamics, and it has proved promising from the experimental results.

  1. Water management of proton exchange membrane fuel cell based on control of hydrogen pressure drop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Mancun; Pei, Pucheng; Zha, Hongshan; Xu, Huachi

    2014-12-01

    Flooding experiments in various conditions are developed and the hydrogen pressure drop is investigated on a two-piece PEM fuel cell in this study. A two-level characteristic of hydrogen pressure drop is observed and analyzed in combination with water droplet accumulation in channels. Based on the characteristic, the flooding process can be divided into four continuous periods, which are the proper period, the humid period, the transitional period and the flooding period. The voltage shows the segmented tendency during these periods. Experimental results show that current and temperature have little influence on the growth rate of the two levels, while the effects of pressure and hydrogen stoichiometry are remarkable. The growth rate can be calculated through the channel dimensions and matches the experimental results well. Hydrogen purge is not a fundamental method to solve flooding. The end of the humid period should be the boundary before flooding. The moist section can be obtained in the beginning part of the humid period. In this section PEM fuel cell is neither flooding nor dehydration by adjusting the cell temperature, which is verified by two additional experiments. This water management is convenient and swift for PEM fuel cell applications and the fault diagnosis.

  2. Fuel cell technology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    A fuel cell technology program was established to advance the state-of-the-art of hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells using low temperature, potassium hydroxide electrolyte technology as the base. Program tasks are described consisting of baseline cell design and stack testing, hydrogen pump design and testing, and DM-2 powerplant testing and technology extension efforts. A baseline cell configuration capable of a minimum of 2000 hours of life was defined. A 6-cell prototype stack, incorporating most of the scheme cell features, was tested for a total of 10,497 hours. A 6-cell stack incorporating all of the design features was tested. The DM-2 powerplant with a 34 cell stack, an accessory section packaged in the basic configuration anticipated for the space shuttle powerplant and a powerplant control unit, was defined, assembled, and tested. Cells were used in the stack and a drag-type hydrogen pump was installed in the accessory section. A test program was established, in conjunction with NASA/JSC, based on space shuttle orbiter mission. A 2000-hour minimum endurance test and a 5000-hour goal were set and the test started on August 8, 1972. The 2000-hour milestone was completed on November 3, 1972. On 13 March 1973, at the end of the thirty-first simulated seven-day mission and 5072 load hours, the test was concluded, all goals having been met. At this time, the DM-2 was in excellent condition and capable of additional endurance.

  3. Fuel Cell Technical Team Roadmap

    SciTech Connect

    2013-06-01

    The Fuel Cell Technical Team promotes the development of a fuel cell power system for an automotive powertrain that meets the U.S. DRIVE Partnership (United States Driving Research and Innovation for Vehicle efficiency and Energy sustainability) goals.

  4. Mass transfer in fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walker, R. D., Jr.

    1973-01-01

    Developments in the following areas are reported: surface area and pore size distribution in electrolyte matrices, electron microscopy of electrolyte matrices, surface tension of KOH solutions, water transport in fuel cells, and effectiveness factors for fuel cell components.

  5. Modeling of gaseous flows within proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Weisbrod, K.R.; Vanderborgh, N.E.; Grot, S.A.

    1996-12-31

    Development of a comprehensive mechanistic model has been helpful to understand PEM fuel cell performance. Both through-the-electrode and down-the-channel models have been developed to support our experimental effort to enhance fuel cell design and operation. The through-the-electrode model was described previously. This code describes the known transport properties and dynamic processes that occur within a membrane and electrode assembly. Key parameters include transport through the backing layers, water diffusion and electroosmotic transport in the membrane, and reaction electrochemical kinetics within the cathode catalyst layer. In addition, two geometric regions within the cathode layer are represented, the first region below saturation and second with liquid water present. Although processes at high gas stoichiometry are well represented by more simple codes, moderate stoichiometry processes require a two dimensional representation that include the gaseous composition and temperature along flow channel. Although usually PEM hardware utilizes serpentine flow channels, this code does not include such geometric features and thus the flow can be visualized along a single channel.

  6. Estimation of electrode ionomer oxygen permeability and ionomer-phase oxygen transport resistance in polymer electrolyte fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Sambandam, Satheesh; Parrondo, Javier; Ramani, Vijay

    2013-09-28

    The oxygen permeability of perfluorinated and hydrocarbon polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs; Nafion®, SPEEK and SPSU), which are used as electrolytes and electrode ionomers in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs), was estimated using chronoamperometry using a modified fuel cell set-up. A thin, cylindrical microelectrode was embedded into the PEM and used as the working electrode. The PEM was sandwiched between 2 gas diffusion electrodes, one of which was catalyzed and served as the counter and pseudo-reference electrode. Independently, from fuel cell experiments, the oxygen transport resistance arising due to transport through the ionomer film covering the catalyst active sites was estimated at the limiting current and decoupled from the overall mass transport resistance. The in situ oxygen permeability measured at 80 °C and 75% RH of perfluorinated ionomers such as Nafion® (3.85 × 10(12) mol cm(-1) s(-1)) was observed to be an order of magnitude higher than that of hydrocarbon-based PEMs such as SPEEK (0.27 × 10(12) mol cm(-1) s(-1)) and SPSU (0.15 × 10(12) mol cm(-1) s(-1)). The obtained oxygen transport (through ionomer film) resistance values (Nafion® - 1.6 s cm(-1), SPEEK - 2.2 s cm(-1) and SPSU - 3.0 s cm(-1); at 80 °C and 75% RH) correlated well with the measured oxygen permeabilities in these ion-containing polymers.

  7. Stainless steel wire mesh flow-fields for polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Zawodzinski, C.; Wilson, M.S.; Gottesfeld, S.

    1996-10-01

    The high cost of fuel cells has delayed their potential widespread use. Stack manufacturers have historically used high-Pt loading membrane/electrode assemblies (MEAs) and intricately machined graphite bipolar plates. We have focused our efforts on decreasing the cost of these components in order to demonstrate an inexpensive, yet high performance PEM fuel cell. This paper describes the design and demonstration of a 100 cm{sup 2} (active area) cell that utilizes ultra-low Pt loading MEAs and inexpensive stainless steel wire screen flow fields.

  8. Fuel cell membrane humidification

    DOEpatents

    Wilson, Mahlon S.

    1999-01-01

    A polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell assembly has an anode side and a cathode side separated by the membrane and generating electrical current by electrochemical reactions between a fuel gas and an oxidant. The anode side comprises a hydrophobic gas diffusion backing contacting one side of the membrane and having hydrophilic areas therein for providing liquid water directly to the one side of the membrane through the hydrophilic areas of the gas diffusion backing. In a preferred embodiment, the hydrophilic areas of the gas diffusion backing are formed by sewing a hydrophilic thread through the backing. Liquid water is distributed over the gas diffusion backing in distribution channels that are separate from the fuel distribution channels.

  9. Fuel cell sub-assembly

    DOEpatents

    Chi, Chang V.

    1983-01-01

    A fuel cell sub-assembly comprising a plurality of fuel cells, a first section of a cooling means disposed at an end of the assembly and means for connecting the fuel cells and first section together to form a unitary structure.

  10. Fuel cell report to congress

    SciTech Connect

    None, None

    2003-02-28

    This report describes the status of fuel cells for Congressional committees. It focuses on the technical and economic barriers to the use of fuel cells in transportation, portable power, stationary, and distributed power generation applications, and describes the need for public-private cooperative programs to demonstrate the use of fuel cells in commercial-scale applications by 2012. (Department of Energy, February 2003).

  11. Fuel Cell Handbook, Fourth Edition

    SciTech Connect

    Stauffer, D.B; Hirschenhofer, J.H.; Klett, M.G.; Engleman, R.R.

    1998-11-01

    Robust progress has been made in fuel cell technology since the previous edition of the Fuel Cell Handbook was published in January 1994. This Handbook provides a foundation in fuel cells for persons wanting a better understanding of the technology, its benefits, and the systems issues that influence its application. Trends in technology are discussed, including next-generation concepts that promise ultra high efficiency and low cost, while providing exceptionally clean power plant systems. Section 1 summarizes fuel cell progress since the last edition and includes existing power plant nameplate data. Section 2 addresses the thermodynamics of fuel cells to provide an understanding of fuel cell operation at two levels (basic and advanced). Sections 3 through 6 describe the four major fuel cell types and their performance based on cell operating conditions. The section on polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells has been added to reflect their emergence as a significant fuel cell technology. Phosphoric acid, molten carbonate, and solid oxide fuel cell technology description sections have been updated from the previous edition. New information indicates that manufacturers have stayed with proven cell designs, focusing instead on advancing the system surrounding the fuel cell to lower life cycle costs. Section 7, Fuel Cell Systems, has been significantly revised to characterize near-term and next-generation fuel cell power plant systems at a conceptual level of detail. Section 8 provides examples of practical fuel cell system calculations. A list of fuel cell URLs is included in the Appendix. A new index assists the reader in locating specific information quickly.

  12. Characteristics of Subfreezing Operation of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mishler, Jeffrey Harris

    Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells are capable of high efficiency operation, and are free of NOx, SOx, and CO2 emissions when using hydrogen fuel, and ideally suited for use in transportation applications due to their high power density and low operating temperatures. However, under subfreezing conditions which may be encountered during winter seasons in some areas, product water will freeze within the membrane, cathode side catalyst layer and gas diffusion media, leading to voltage loss and operation failure. Experiments were undertaken in order to characterize the amount and location of water during fuel cell operation. First, in-situ neutron radiography was undertaken on the fuel cells at a normal operating temperature for various operating current densities, inlet relative humidities, and diffusion media hydrophobicities. It was found that more hydrophobic cathode microporous layer (MPL) or hydrophilic anode MPL may result in a larger amount of water transporting back to the anode. The water profiles along the channels were measured and the point of liquid water emergence, where two phase flow begins, was compared to previous models. Secondly, under subfreezing temperatures, neutron imaging showed that water ice product accumulates because of lack of a water removal mechanism. Water was observed under both the lands and channels, and increased almost linearly with time. It is found that most ice exists in the cathode side. With evidence from experimental observation, a cold start model was developed and explained, following existing approaches in the literature. Three stages of cold start are explained: membrane saturation, ice storage in catalyst layer pores, and then ice melting. The voltage losses due to temperature change, increased transport resistance, and reduced electrochemical surface area. The ionic conductivity of the membrane at subfreezing temperatures was modeled. Voltage evolution over time for isothermal cold starts was predicted and

  13. Fuel Cell Handbook, Fifth Edition

    SciTech Connect

    Energy and Environmental Solutions

    2000-10-31

    Progress continues in fuel cell technology since the previous edition of the Fuel Cell Handbook was published in November 1998. Uppermost, polymer electrolyte fuel cells, molten carbonate fuel cells, and solid oxide fuel cells have been demonstrated at commercial size in power plants. The previously demonstrated phosphoric acid fuel cells have entered the marketplace with more than 220 power plants delivered. Highlighting this commercial entry, the phosphoric acid power plant fleet has demonstrated 95+% availability and several units have passed 40,000 hours of operation. One unit has operated over 49,000 hours. Early expectations of very low emissions and relatively high efficiencies have been met in power plants with each type of fuel cell. Fuel flexibility has been demonstrated using natural gas, propane, landfill gas, anaerobic digester gas, military logistic fuels, and coal gas, greatly expanding market opportunities. Transportation markets worldwide have shown remarkable interest in fuel cells; nearly every major vehicle manufacturer in the U.S., Europe, and the Far East is supporting development. This Handbook provides a foundation in fuel cells for persons wanting a better understanding of the technology, its benefits, and the systems issues that influence its application. Trends in technology are discussed, including next-generation concepts that promise ultrahigh efficiency and low cost, while providing exceptionally clean power plant systems. Section 1 summarizes fuel cell progress since the last edition and includes existing power plant nameplate data. Section 2 addresses the thermodynamics of fuel cells to provide an understanding of fuel cell operation at two levels (basic and advanced). Sections 3 through 8 describe the six major fuel cell types and their performance based on cell operating conditions. Alkaline and intermediate solid state fuel cells were added to this edition of the Handbook. New information indicates that manufacturers have stayed

  14. Applying fuel cell experience to sustainable power products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, Joseph M.; O'Day, Michael J.

    the utility grid, but current standards do not recognize embedded protection functions, and, often, utilities mandate external protective devices. Consequently, current activity to develop such standards under IEEE auspices is important in eliminating the cost of extra protection equipment. Key fuel cell lessons learned from IFC's experience base along with the status of development for future vehicle and stationary power plants at IFC are discussed. These lessons have been applied to the 200 kW stationary fuel cell power plant as the information has become available. They are now being applied to a 50-kW, ambient pressure, polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell power plant that uses gasoline as the fuel. This power plant is intended for experimental bench testing demonstrations associated with vehicle power plant applications.

  15. Strategies to Produce Efficient Electrocatalysts and Improve Electrode Designs for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burk, Jonathan James

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are electrochemical devices that convert chemical energy to electrical energy. These devices are attractive alternative power sources due to their compact designs, high efficiencies, low emissions, and low noise but have issues with high cost and low durability. In this thesis, electrochemical and thin-film methods were used to understand the limitations of the electrocatalyst in PEM fuel cells and address the issues that limit PEM fuel cell commercialization. The electrochemical deposition of Pt from a novel plating solution was used to control the proximity of fuel cell electrocatalysts. We found that optimized pulse potential deposition parameters produced a large density of nanoparticles with narrow size distribution (1.36 +/- 0.36 nm) on amorphous carbon supports. This resulted in thin catalyst layers (< 8 microm thick) that contained 93 % less Pt that performed similar to and greater than commercial fuel cells. In addition, pulse potential deposition was used to produce functioning PEM fuel cells by using the Nafion membrane as a template to selectively localize Pt in the three-phase reaction zone. The fuel cell performance of these devices had Pt loadings down to 11 microg cm--2 with a maximum power density of 213 mW cm--2. The catalyst layer was redesigned to improve conventional catalyst layer designs that limited MEA durability. A spin cast thin-film method was developed to produce smoother electrode surfaces that lead to lower resistance, isotropic conductivity, and increased contact area to the Nafion membrane. These fuel cells produced higher power and were resistant to electrode delamination. The catalyst activity and stability was improved by redesigning the support structure via constant potential electrolysis of 4-aminomethylpyridine on carbon electrodes. The Pt nanoparticles that were electrodeposited on carbon electrodes functionalized with 4-aminomethylpyridine had improved size and dispersion compared

  16. City of Chula Vista hydrogen fuel cell bus demonstration project

    SciTech Connect

    Gustafson, B.; Bamberger, B.

    1996-10-01

    Hydrogen as an energy carrier and fuel has potential for various uses including electricity, commercial, residential, transportation, and industrial. It is an energy carrier that can be produced from a variety of primary sources and potentially can accomplish these various uses while significantly reducing pollution by substituting for or reducing the use of fossil fuels. One of the most immediate and potentially viable roles for hydrogen as an energy carrier will be its use as a transportation fuel, especially in densely populated urban areas where automotive emissions contribute significantly to air pollution. The Department of Energy`s commitment to research and development of hydrogen as an alternative fuel, and California`s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) requirements, both provide the impetus and favorable circumstance for demonstrating hydrogen as a transportation fuel on an urban bus system. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate the feasibility of using solid polymer fuel cells in a hydrogen-powered electric drive system for an urban transit bus application. Fuel cell buses use hydrogen fuel and oxygen from the air to produce electrical power with the only byproduct being pure water. Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells are proposed for this project. Current evidence suggests that fuel cells, which rely on hydrogen and a process known as proton exchange to generate their power, appear to have an infinite life span. All exhaust pollution is completely eliminated, resulting in a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV). An urban bus system offers the potential for developing a market for the production of hydrogen propulsion technology due to extensive vehicular use in densely populated areas experiencing pollution from numerous sources, and because the central garaging facilities or the bus system facilitates fueling and maintenance functions.

  17. SMALL SCALE FUEL CELL AND REFORMER SYSTEMS FOR REMOTE POWER

    SciTech Connect

    Dennis Witmer

    2003-12-01

    New developments in fuel cell technologies offer the promise of clean, reliable affordable power, resulting in reduced environmental impacts and reduced dependence on foreign oil. These developments are of particular interest to the people of Alaska, where many residents live in remote villages, with no roads or electrical grids and a very high cost of energy, where small residential power systems could replace diesel generators. Fuel cells require hydrogen for efficient electrical production, however. Hydrogen purchased through conventional compressed gas suppliers is very expensive and not a viable option for use in remote villages, so hydrogen production is a critical piece of making fuel cells work in these areas. While some have proposed generating hydrogen from renewable resources such as wind, this does not appear to be an economically viable alternative at this time. Hydrogen can also be produced from hydrocarbon feed stocks, in a process known as reforming. This program is interested in testing and evaluating currently available reformers using transportable fuels: methanol, propane, gasoline, and diesel fuels. Of these, diesel fuels are of most interest, since the existing energy infrastructure of rural Alaska is based primarily on diesel fuels, but this is also the most difficult fuel to reform, due to the propensity for coke formation, due to both the high vaporization temperature and to the high sulfur content in these fuels. There are several competing fuel cell technologies being developed in industry today. Prior work at UAF focused on the use of PEM fuel cells and diesel reformers, with significant barriers identified to their use for power in remote areas, including stack lifetime, system efficiency, and cost. Solid Oxide Fuel Cells have demonstrated better stack lifetime and efficiency in demonstrations elsewhere (though cost still remains an issue), and procuring a system for testing was pursued. The primary function of UAF in the fuel cell

  18. An Analysis of Fuel Cell Options for an All-electric Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kohout, Lisa L.; Schmitz, Paul C.

    2007-01-01

    A study was conducted to assess the performance characteristics of both PEM and SOFC-based fuel cell systems for an all-electric high altitude, long endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Primary and hybrid systems were considered. Fuel options include methane, hydrogen, and jet fuel. Excel-based models were used to calculate component mass as a function of power level and mission duration. Total system mass and stored volume as a function of mission duration for an aircraft operating at 65 kft altitude were determined and compared.

  19. An analytical model and parametric study of electrical contact resistance in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Zhiliang; Wang, Shuxin; Zhang, Lianhong; Hu, S. Jack

    This paper presents an analytical model of the electrical contact resistance between the carbon paper gas diffusion layers (GDLs) and the graphite bipolar plates (BPPs) in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. The model is developed based on the classical statistical contact theory for a PEM fuel cell, using the same probability distributions of the GDL structure and BPP surface profile as previously described in Wu et al. [Z. Wu, Y. Zhou, G. Lin, S. Wang, S.J. Hu, J. Power Sources 182 (2008) 265-269] and Zhou et al. [Y. Zhou, G. Lin, A.J. Shih, S.J. Hu, J. Power Sources 163 (2007) 777-783]. Results show that estimates of the contact resistance compare favorably with experimental data by Zhou et al. [Y. Zhou, G. Lin, A.J. Shih, S.J. Hu, J. Power Sources 163 (2007) 777-783]. Factors affecting the contact behavior are systematically studied using the analytical model, including the material properties of the two contact bodies and factors arising from the manufacturing processes. The transverse Young's modulus of chopped carbon fibers in the GDL and the surface profile of the BPP are found to be significant to the contact resistance. The factor study also sheds light on the manufacturing requirements of carbon fiber GDLs for a better contact performance in PEM fuel cells.