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Research Papers

Evaluation of the Performance Characteristics and Modeling of an Alkaline Fuel Cell

[+] Author and Article Information
Sujith Mohan, S. O. Bade Shrestha

Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5343

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 7(4), 041016 (Apr 09, 2010) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4000686 History: Received July 21, 2009; Revised August 04, 2009; Published April 09, 2010; Online April 09, 2010

Alkaline fuel cells are one of the low cost types of fuel cells. In this contribution, the performance of an alkaline fuel cell was investigated by varying different operational parameters. The cell was tested under four different electrolyte concentrations and three different levels of anode flow rates. The results of the test revealed that the efficiency of the cell increases with the increase in electrolyte concentration. Anode flow rate was not found to have a considerable impact on the cell performance. Impedance spectroscopy has been conducted to validate the mathematical model and further investigate ohmic resistance, anode and cathode activation losses, and mass transport losses. The optimal level of electrolyte concentration and anode flow rate for an alkaline fuel cell has been deduced through modeling and statistical analysis.

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Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

AFC schematic diagram

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Figure 2

V-I curve showing the effect of anode flow rate at 8M electrolyte concentration

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Figure 3

V-I curve showing the effect of anode flow rate at 2M electrolyte concentration

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Figure 4

V-I and power density curves showing the effect of electrolyte concentration

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Figure 5

Typical Nyquist plot (8)

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Figure 6

Nyquist plot generated for 8M electrolyte concentration

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Figure 7

Interaction plot for the Ohmic loss

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Figure 8

Interaction plot for the activation losses

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Figure 9

Interaction plot for the mass transport losses

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Figure 10

Ohmic losses versus current for 8M electrolyte solution

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Figure 11

Activation losses versus current for 8M electrolyte solution

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Figure 12

Mass transport losses versus current for 8M electrolyte solution

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Figure 13

Experimental versus predicted polarization curve for 8M electrolyte solution

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Figure 14

Simulated polarization and power density curves for 5M electrolyte solution

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