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Research Papers

An Experimental Study on Micro Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

[+] Author and Article Information
Chiun-Hsun Chen, Tang-Yuan Chen, Chih-Wei Cheng

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan

Rong-Guie Peng1

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwanb68411@ms25.hinet.net

1

Corresponding author.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 9(3), 031001 (Apr 20, 2012) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005612 History: Received April 16, 2010; Revised October 05, 2011; Published April 19, 2012; Online April 20, 2012

This study fabricates a micro proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) using micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) technology. The active area of the membrane is 2 cm × 2 cm (4 cm2 ). The study is divided into two categories: [(1) the parametric experimental investigation, and (2) the durability test. This work is an attempt to find out how several parameters, including reheat temperature, the material of the current collector plates, the open ratio, and different cathode gases affect micro PEFMC performance. According to the experimental results obtained, both the conducting area and the material of the current collector plates exert great influences on the performance of the micro PEMFC, especially in the conducting area. The cell’s performance is finite when the gas reheat temperature is increased. The results show that the cell performance is better for an open ratio of 75% as compared to ratios of 50% and 67%. The concentration polarization is improved by increasing the air flow rate at high current densities, and if the GDL diffusive capability in the latter cell could be promoted, the differences between these two cells’ performances would be reduced. Furthermore, the performance at an operating voltage of 0.6 V was the most stable one among the four cases tested, and the performance deviation at a fixed operating voltage of 0.4 V was less than ±2.2%.

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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Schematic diagram of the structure of the micro PEMFC: (1) end plates, (2) silicon wafers, (3) current collector plates, (4) seal gaskets, (5) gas diffusion layer, and (6) membrane electrode assembly

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Figure 2

The mask of the open area ratio: (a) 50%, (b) 67%, and (c) 75%

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Figure 3

The flow charts of the silicon wafer flow field plate’s fabrication processes

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Figure 4

Three different shapes of current collector plates: (a) Cu narrow strips, (b) Cu square, and (c) Cu/Au square

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Figure 5

The open area ratio at 67% of the silicon wafer flow field plates

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Figure 6

Performance curve of active area 4 cm2 at different current collector plates

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Figure 7

The average moving distance of the electron

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Figure 8

Performance curve of three reheat temperatures in H2 -O2

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Figure 9

Performance curve of three reheat temperatures in H2 -O2 in air-breathing micro PEMFC

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Figure 10

Performance curve of the active area of 4 cm2 at different open area ratios

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Figure 11

I-V curve at air flow rate of 30 sccm

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Figure 12

I-V curve at air flow rate of 150 sccm

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Figure 13

The performance curve of three cases of cathode gas

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Figure 14

Instability area and deviation analysis of the durability test

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