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Research Papers

Development of a Cylindrical Shape Self-Breathing Mini Fuel Cell Stack

[+] Author and Article Information
Zetao Xia

Fuel Cells Strategic Research Programme, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798, Singapore

Siew Hwa Chan

Fuel Cells Strategic Research Programme, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798, Singaporemshchan@ntu.edu.sg

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 5(1), 011012 (Feb 01, 2008) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2786462 History: Received June 16, 2006; Revised January 22, 2007; Published February 01, 2008

This paper presents the work on the development of a self-breathing mini fuel cell stack. The diameter of the five-cell stack is same as that of a D-size battery, but the length is half of it. The maximum power could reach 1.02W when operating at 2.4V. The stabilized operating temperature was 305K at 3V after 1h of operation. The cylindrical structure design makes the cathode more accessible to the ambient air and easier for the heat to be dissipated away. To assemble the fuel cell, only a single bolt was mounted through the centerline of the fuel cell, which reduced the overall weight of the stack. A mathematical 3D model based on the finite element method was developed for the cylindrical structure. The validation of the model was carried out by comparing the measured bulk performance with the predicted performance of the mini fuel cell. The current distribution was calculated and the improved design was suggested.

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Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Photo of mini fuel cell stack (right) compared with D-size battery (left)

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Figure 2

Design of bipolar plate of mini fuel cell stack

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Figure 4

Computational domain of the modeling

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Figure 5

Fuel cell performance curve compared with simulated performance curve obtained by modeling

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Figure 3

Performance of mini fuel cell stack

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Figure 6

Oxygen mass fraction distribution when fuel cell operating at 0.6V: (a) porous air diffusion layer and (b) air diffusion space

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Figure 7

Current density (A∕m2) distribution when fuel cell operating at 0.6V

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Figure 8

Water mass fraction distribution when fuel cell operating at 0.6V at catalyst sites

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