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Research Papers

The Cathode Airflow Effect on the Direct Methanol Fuel Cell From Single Cell to a Planar Module

[+] Author and Article Information
Yean-Der Kuan

Department of Refrigeration, Air-Conditioning and Energy Engineering, National Chin-Yi University of Technology, Taiping City, Taichung County 411, Taiwan

Shi-Min Lee

Department of Aerospace Engineering, Tamkang University, Tamsui, Taipei County 251, Taiwan

Min-Feng Sung

Department of Mechanical and Electromechanical Engineering, Tamkang University, Tamsui, Taipei County 251, Taiwan

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 6(1), 011004 (Nov 03, 2008) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2971131 History: Received June 14, 2007; Revised December 19, 2007; Published November 03, 2008

A series of experiments was conducted to examine the cathode airflow effect on a direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) via the views of both airflow rate and airflow velocity from a single cell into a three-cell printed circuit board-based DMFC module. The objective of this paper is to discuss the relationship or difference between a single cell and a planar module. All experiments conducted were under constant anode fuel flow rate and operating temperature. The results show that the airflow supplied to a planar DMFC module does not just multiply the number of membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) to a suitable airflow rate obtained from a single cell DMFC test. The results also show that the cathode airflow velocity effect is more significant than the airflow rate effect.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Exploded view of the single cell fixture: (A) cathode flow board, (B) gasket, (C) cathode current collector, (D) gasket, (E) MEA, (F) gasket, (G) anode current collector, (H) gasket, and (I) anode flow board

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Figure 2

Assembly drawing of the single cell DMFC test fixture

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Figure 3

A three-cell PCB DMFC module

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Figure 4

Exploded view of the three-cell DMFC module test fixture: (A) cathode flow board, (B) three cathode current collectors, (C) three MEAs, (D) three anode current collectors, and (E) anode flow board

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Figure 5

Assembly drawing of the three-cell DMFC module test fixture

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Figure 6

Schematic of the experimental setup

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Figure 7

Anode fuel flow rate effect

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Figure 8

Cell performances at 41.6 cm s−1 airflow velocity

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Figure 9

Cell performances at 83.3 cm s−1 airflow velocity

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Figure 10

Cell performances at 125 cm s−1 airflow velocity

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Figure 11

Cell performances at 100 cc min−1 airflow rate

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Figure 12

Cell performances at 400 cc min−1 airflow rate

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Figure 13

Cell performances at 800 cc min−1 airflow rate

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Figure 14

Cell performances at 1000 cc min−1 airflow rate

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Figure 15

Schematics of the two types of three-cell DMFC modules

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Figure 16

DMFC module performances at different airflow rates of Serpentine Type 1 case

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Figure 17

DMFC module performances at different airflow rates of Serpentine Type 2 case

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Figure 18

Individual cell performances at the best airflow rate (3000 cc min−1) of Serpentine Type 1 case

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Figure 19

Individual cell performances at the best airflow rate (1500 cc min−1) of Serpentine Type 2 case

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Figure 20

Comparison of the DMFC performance of Type 1 and Type 2 at each best airflow rate

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Figure 21

Comparison of the average cell performance of the Serpentine Type 1 DMFC module and the single cell DMFC

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Figure 22

Comparison of the average cell performance of the Serpentine Type 2 DMFC module and the single cell DMFC

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