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RESEARCH PAPERS

Novel Testing Method for Fuel Cell Hardware Design and Assembly

[+] Author and Article Information
Fang-Bor Weng

Department of Mechanical Engineering & Fuel Cells Research Center,  Yuan Ze University, 135 Yuan-Tung Rd., Chung-Li, Tao Yuan, 320 Taiwan, Republic of Chinafangbor@saturn.yzu.edu.tw

Ay Su, Yur-Tsai Lin, Guo-Bin Jung, Yen-Ming Chen

Department of Mechanical Engineering & Fuel Cells Research Center,  Yuan Ze University, 135 Yuan-Tung Rd., Chung-Li, Tao Yuan, 320 Taiwan, Republic of China

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 2(3), 197-201 (Jan 31, 2005) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1928929 History: Received March 18, 2004; Revised January 31, 2005

A simple, low-cost testing method is proposed for fuel cell hardware development. A perforated aluminum foil with an array of small holes covered with carbon paper or cloth replaces the membrane electrode assemblies to test the contact resistance and gas permeability of the carbon paper. Practical fuel cells of 50cm2 reaction area with different gasket thicknesses and compressed pressures are tested for performance. The results of ohmic resistance and permeability of compressed carbon paper indicate strong relevance to cell performance, demonstrating that this novel testing method is valuable for fuel cell hardware development. Also, the compression mechanism of the diffusion layer is discussed along with a proposal for a strategy for improving cell performance. After that, an advanced design of a 25cm2 single cell is developed. The results of cell performance of the advanced cell are acceptable and competitive with the performance data of commercial products.

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Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

A schematic diagram of an assembled novel testing cell with perforated aluminum foil replacing the polymer electrolyte membrane

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Figure 2

Schematic assembly diagram of a 50cm2 single cell hardware

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Figure 3

Effect of screw torque on cell resistance with different gasket thicknesses

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Figure 4

Gas flow rate with the variation of compression of the diffusion layer at a pressure drop of 10psi, and a torque of 40kgcm per M6 bolt

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Figure 5

Effect of the gasket thickness (or compression of the diffusion layer) on cell performance, 1.2∕2.0 stoichiometry hydrogen∕oxygen at 1atm, 100% RH, 75°C gases. Cell temperature at 60°C.

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Figure 6

Resistance, gas flow rate, and power density with a variation of gasket thickness

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Figure 7

Polarization curve of 50cm2 single cell with the variation of cell temperature, 1.2∕2.0 stoichiometry H2∕O2 gas at 1atm, 100% RH, 75°C

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Figure 8

Schematic structure diagram of 25cm2 advanced single cell hardware

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Figure 9

Polarization curve of 25cm2 single cell with the variation of cell temperature, at 1atm, 300cm3∕min for both H2∕O2 flow rate, 100% RH, 75°C

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Figure 10

Polarization curves with present designed hardware, comparing with Gore report data (14), at 1.2∕2.0 stoichiometry, 100% RH, 75°C, hydrogen∕air gas at 1atm, cell temperature 70°C

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