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Research Papers

Ripple Current Effects on PEMFC Aging Test by Experimental and Modeling

[+] Author and Article Information
Mathias Gerard

 Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (CEA), LITEN, 38054 Grenoble, France; FEMTO-ST ENISYS/FCLAB Laboratory,  University of Franche-Comte, 90000 Belfort, France

Jean-Philippe Poirot-Crouvezier

 Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (CEA), LITEN, 38054 Grenoble, France

Daniel Hissel, Marie-Cecile Péra

FEMTO-ST ENISYS/FCLAB Laboratory, University of Franche-Comte, 90000 Belfort, France

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 8(2), 021004 (Nov 24, 2010) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002467 History: Received July 23, 2010; Revised August 03, 2010; Published November 24, 2010; Online November 24, 2010

Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells’ (PEMFCs) systems usually require power conditioning by a dc-dc boost converter to increase the output fuel cell voltage, especially for automotive applications and stationary applications. The output fuel cell current is then submitted to the high frequency switching leading to a current ripple. The ripple current effects on fuel cell are studied by experimental ripple current aging test on a five cell stack (membrane electrode assembly (MEA) surface of 220cm2) and compared with a reference aging test. The stack is run in nominal conditions but an ac component is added to the dc load. The ac component is a 5 kHz triangle, amplitude of which is ±20% of the dc component, in order to simulate a boost waveform. Fuel cell characterizations (polarization curves, impedance spectra, and voltammetry) provide information on the PEMFC aging and the performance evolution. Local conditions are computed through a dynamic stack model. The model takes into account transport phenomena, heat transfer, and semi-empirical electrochemical reactions and includes a meshing to calculate local conditions on the MEA surface (gas reactant pressures, local temperature, gas molar fractions, water activity, and local electronic current density). The consequences about performance and aging during high frequency ripple current are explained.

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Figures

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Figure 1

Stack potential evolution during the ripple current test and the reference test. There are four stages at t=0 h, t=150 h, t=300 h, and t=450 h for the ripple current test corresponding to the characterization processes.

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Figure 2

EIS at 110 A before and after the characterization process

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Figure 3

Cell voltage evolutions of the ripple current test

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Figure 4

Polarization curves (stack potential) for the four characterizations at nominal conditions

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Figure 5

EIS during the ripple current test and the reference test for three different currents (110 A, 60 A, and 170 A, respectively)

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Figure 6

System to be resolved by SIMULINK to equilibrate a group cell voltage

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Figure 7

Simulation of cell voltage oscillations during ripple current high frequency (5 kHz) at 20% of amplitude (for a nominal current of 0.5 A cm−2)

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Figure 8

Membrane temperature evolution before and after the ripple current high frequency

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Figure 9

Membrane resistance evolution before and after the ripple current high frequency

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