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Research Papers

Multiscale Electrical Contact Resistance Between Gas Diffusion Layer and Bipolar Plate in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

[+] Author and Article Information
Sunghun Yoo

School of Mechanical Engineering,  Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun–Gu, Seoul, 120-749, Korea

Yong Hoon Jang1

School of Mechanical Engineering,  Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun–Gu, Seoul, 120-749, Koreajyh@yonsei.ac.kr

1

Corresponding author.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 9(3), 031003 (Apr 20, 2012) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4006050 History: Received June 21, 2011; Revised December 02, 2011; Published April 19, 2012; Online April 20, 2012

The contact resistance between gas diffusion layer and bipolar plate in a fuel cell stack is calculated through multiscale contact analysis, which deals with rough surfaces dependent on scales. The rough surface according to scale shows that the surface parameters vary with scale, leading to inaccurate contact resistance. A numerical model is established to reflect the contact interaction of carbon graphite fiber in the contact interface. Two separate analyses are performed, static analysis to determine the contact area and electrical conduction analysis to calculate the electrical contact resistance. Results show that the contact area decreases and the corresponding contact resistance increases as the scale decreases. To accurately estimate the contact resistance, an asymptotic contact resistance according to scale variation is predicted using error analysis. The computed contact resistance is validated via comparison with previously reported values.

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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 4

Contact pressure distribution on the GDL according to different scales of L/2α

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Figure 5

Variation in total contact area according to different scales of L/2α

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Figure 6

Electrical current density distribution on the GDL contact surface according to different scales of L/2α

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Figure 7

Variation in contact resistance according to the scales of L/2α

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Figure 8

Error between contact resistance and an asymptote according to scale

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Figure 9

Contact resistance according to applied pressure. Red line denotes curve fitting.

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Figure 1

GDL surface measured using a confocal scanning laser microscope at different scales

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Figure 2

Surface parameters of (a) skewness (b) kurtosis (c) rms slope at different scales.

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Figure 3

FEM model for the surface grid of L/27(a) surface of GDL (b) BPP and GDL at the upper and lower parts, respectively

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