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Research Papers

Stack Operation Using Composite Membrane-Electrodes Assemblies at 120 °C

[+] Author and Article Information
G. Giacoppo1

 Institute for Advanced Energy Technologies “Nicola Giordano” – CNR-ITAE, Via S. Lucia sopra Contesse 5 – 98126 Messina, Italygiacoppo@itae.cnr.it

A. Carbone, I. Gatto, A. Saccà, R. Pedicini, O. Barbera, E. Passalacqua

 Institute for Advanced Energy Technologies “Nicola Giordano” – CNR-ITAE, Via S. Lucia sopra Contesse 5 – 98126 Messina, Italy

1

Corresponding author.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 9(3), 031005 (Apr 20, 2012) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005811 History: Received October 13, 2011; Revised November 02, 2011; Published April 19, 2012; Online April 20, 2012

A 500 W stack operating at medium temperatures was designed, manufactured and tested. Nanocomposite Nafion membranes/electrodes (MEA1-NZr) assemblies, containing a commercial yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) as a filler, were developed to work over 80 °C. A 100 cm2 cell active area with a parallel serpentine flow field as reactants distributor was used for stack realization. Preliminary electrochemical tests in a single cell and in two-cells short stack were performed at 120 °C, 3 barabs and fully hydrated gases, reaching a rated power at 50 A of about 30W in single cell and 70W in short stack. Finally, a 20 cells stack was assembled, with composite MEA-NZr, and tested at 120 °C, 3 barabs and partially humidified gases. In these conditions, a power of 433 W at 50 A was reached. Comparing these results with the short stack performance at the same current (50 A), a 24% of power loss, which corresponds to 7 W/cell, was recorded. This performance reduction could be explained considering the scale up effect passing from 2-cells to 20-cells stack. The obtained results show that the developed composite membrane-electrodes assemblies and the designed stack are suitable for working at higher temperature than traditional polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells.

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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Base Polarization curves in 25 cm2 single cell

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Figure 2

Stack plate layout: flow field side (a), cooling side (b) single cell assembly (c)

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Figure 3

Stack virtual prototype

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Figure 4

Stack assembled in two and 20 cell configuration

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Figure 5

I-V curves comparison between 25 cm2 and 100 cm2 single cell in standard conditions

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Figure 6

I-V comparison between 100 cm2 single cell and 2-cells short stack at 120 °C

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Figure 7

Influence of reactants stoichiometry on 2-cells short stack

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Figure 8

Influence of humidification on 2-cells short stack

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Figure 9

20-cells stack I-V and power curves at 80 °C. In the insert, a graph shows the cell potential behavior at 50 A.

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Figure 10

20-cells stack I-V and power curves at 120 °C, 3barabs and 75%RH

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