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Research Papers

Experimental Study on Performance of a Banded Structure Membrane Fuel Cell

[+] Author and Article Information
E. Ejiri

Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, Chiba Institute of Technology, Chiba 275-0016, Japanejiri.eiji@it-chiba.ac.jp

K. Yamada

 Riken Keiki Co., Ltd., Tokyo 174-8744, Japan

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 6(3), 031001 (May 11, 2009) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3005385 History: Received June 15, 2007; Revised April 29, 2008; Published May 11, 2009

The basic performance of a banded structure membrane fuel cell module (rated power of 90W), which consisted of 15 polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells laid out in a plane, was experimentally investigated. The results show that the module operated for a much longer time at an inclination angle, θ, of 90deg than at θ=0deg or 180deg, where it experienced a sudden power breakdown at the rated operating point. The output voltage and internal impedance of each cell in the module were specifically monitored over a long-term operation. Measurements were made of the temperature distribution of the entire module as well as of the oxygen concentration and relative humidity at a specific cell. Airflow near the cathode in a single cell was also visualized. It was concluded that the power breakdown was probably caused by flooding in the anode of one of the most downstream cells of the module.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Structure of the tested single cell

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Figure 2

Front view of the tested module (from the anode side)

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Figure 3

Electric connections and directions of the hydrogen supply

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Figure 4

Block diagram of the experimental system

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Figure 5

Installation positions of sensors

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Figure 6

Three variations of the module attitude

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Figure 7

I-V characteristics of the tested module

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Figure 8

Time history of the output power

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Figure 9

Time history of individual output voltages of three cells

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Figure 10

Thermographic images just after power breakdown at θ=0deg: (a) anode side of the module and (b) cathode side of the module

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Figure 11

Appearance of the anode for θ=0deg: (a) initial and (b) after 20min

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Figure 12

Time history of relative humidity in the anode chamber of cell 11

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Figure 13

Appearance of the cathode for θ=0deg: (a) initial and (b) after 20min

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Figure 14

Time history of relative humidity near the cathode of cell 11

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Figure 15

Cole-Cole plots at the start and after sudden power breakdown at θ=0deg: (a) cell 8 and (b) cell 14

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Figure 16

Time history of oxygen concentration near the cathode of cell 11

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Figure 17

Visualized velocity vectors for a single cell: (a) θ=0deg, (b) θ=90deg, and (c) θ=180deg

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