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Research Papers

Accelerated Lifetime Testing for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells Using Extremely High Temperature and Unusually High Load

[+] Author and Article Information
Jianlu Zhang, Chaojie Song

 Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation, National Research Council of Canada, 4250 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1W5

Jiujun Zhang1

 Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation, National Research Council of Canada, 4250 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1W5jiujun.zhang@nrc.gc.ca

1

Corresponding author.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 8(5), 051006 (Jun 16, 2011) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4003977 History: Received September 04, 2009; Revised January 07, 2011; Published June 16, 2011; Online June 16, 2011

In this paper, two testing protocols were developed in order to accelerate the lifetime testing of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. The first protocol was to operate the fuel cell at extremely high temperatures, such as 300 °C, and the second was to operate the fuel cell at unusually high current densities, such as 2.0 A/cm2 . A PEM fuel cell assembled with a PBI membrane-based MEA was designed and constructed to validate the first testing protocol. After several hours of high temperature operation, the degraded MEA and catalyst layers were analyzed using SEM, XRD, and TEM. A fuel cell assembled with a Nafion 211 membrane-based MEA was employed to validate the second protocol. The results obtained at high temperature and at high load demonstrated that operating a PEM fuel cell under certain extremely high-stress conditions could be used as methods for accelerated lifetime testing.

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Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Polarizations of a fuel cell assembled with PBI membrane (H3 PO4 -doped)- based MEA, as a function of current density at 300 °C, 0% RH, and ambient backpressure. MEA active area: 2.5 cm2 . H2 flow rate: 0.02 L/min; air flow rate: 0.05 L/min. Cell voltage scan rate: 10 mV/s.

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Figure 2

XRD pattern of the cathode catalyst before and after high temperature operation at 300 °C for 24 hours

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Figure 3

Schematic representation of carbon support degradation

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Figure 4

TEM photos of catalyst (a) before and (b) after 300 °C operation for 24 hours

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Figure 5

Polarization curves of a fuel cell after operation at high current density (2.0 A/cm2 ) at 95°C, 30 psig backpressure, and 100% RH

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Figure 6

Voltage versus time plots at 95 °C, 30 psig backpressure, and 100% RH, at current densities of 2.0 A/cm2 and 1.0A/cm2 , respectively

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Figure 7

Polarization curves of a fuel cell after operation at normal condition (1 A/cm2 ) for 130 hours and after operation at high current density (2.0 A/cm2 ) for 24 hours at 95°C, 30 psig backpressure, and 100% RH

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