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Research Paper

Effect of Channel Depth and Cell Temperature on the Performance of a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell

[+] Author and Article Information
Mousa Farhadi

e-mail: mfarhadi@nit.ac.ir

Mohsen Shakeri

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering,
Babol University of Technology,
Babol 47148-71167, Iran

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FUEL CELL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received December 7, 2009; final manuscript received January 15, 2013; published online May 14, 2013. Editor: Nigel M. Sammes.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 10(3), 031002 (May 14, 2013) (6 pages) Paper No: FC-09-1107; doi: 10.1115/1.4024151 History: Received December 07, 2009; Revised January 15, 2013

The main goal of this study is to analyze the performance of the direct methanol single cell using three channel depths at various cell temperatures. The membrane electrode assembly (MEA) used Nafion® 117, by loading a Pt-Ru (4 mg/cm2) catalyst at the anode and Pt-black (4 mg/cm2) catalyst at the cathode. The active area of the MEA was 100 cm (Jung et al., 2009, “Investigation of Flow Bed Design in Direct Methanol Fuel Cell,” J. Solid State Electrochem., 13, pp. 1455–1465). In these sets of experiments, anode and cathode channel depth were varied simultaneously. The cell performance is improved with an increase of temperature in a certain range because the conductivity of the membrane and the reaction kinetics at both the anode and cathode are increased. Also, when the channel depth of the bipolar plate is decreased from 2.0 to 1.0 mm, the cell performance increases. The decreased channel depth leads to an increase in the linear velocity of reactants and products.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Experimental setup

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Fig. 2

(a) Voltage and (b) power density versus current density at different temperatures. Channel depth 1.0 mm, methanol concentration 1.0 M, methanol flow rate 10.0 ml/min, oxygen flow rate 2.0 slpm, cathode back pressure 0.5 bar.

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Fig. 3

(a) Voltage and (b) power density versus current density at different temperatures. Channel depth 1.5 mm, methanol concentration 1.0 M, methanol flow rate 10.0 ml/min, oxygen flow rate 2.0 slpm, cathode back pressure 0.5 bar.

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Fig. 4

(a) Voltage and (b) power density versus current density at different temperatures. Channel depth 2.0 mm, methanol concentration 1.0 M, methanol flow rate 10.0 ml/min, oxygen flow rate 2.0 slpm, cathode back pressure 0.5 bar.

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Fig. 5

Single cell voltage as a function of single cell operating temperature at different current density (channel depth = 1.0 mm)

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Fig. 6

Single cell voltage as a function of single cell operating temperature at different current density (channel depth = 1.5 mm)

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Fig. 7

Single cell voltage as a function of single cell operating temperature at different current density (channel depth = 2.0 mm)

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Fig. 8

Voltage-current density curve. Cell temperature 40 °C, methanol concentration 1.0 M, methanol flow rate 10.0 ml/min, oxygen flow rate 2.0 slpm, cathode back pressure 0.5 bar.

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Fig. 9

Voltage-current density curve. Cell temperature 65 °C, methanol concentration 1.0 M, methanol flow rate 10.0 ml/min, oxygen flow rate 2.0 slpm, cathode back pressure 0.5 bar.

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Fig. 10

Power density-current density curve. Cell temperature 50 °C, methanol concentration 1.0 M, methanol flow rate 10.0 ml/min, oxygen flow rate 2.0 slpm, cathode back pressure 0.5 bar.

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Fig. 11

Power density-current density curve. Cell temperature 60 °C, methanol concentration 1.0 M, methanol flow rate 10.0 ml/min, oxygen flow rate 2.0 slpm, cathode back pressure 0.5 bar.

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Fig. 12

Effect of channel depth on voltage, cell temperature 60 °C, methanol concentration 1.0 M, methanol flow rate 10.0 ml/min, oxygen flow rate 2.0 slpm, cathode back pressure 0.5 bar

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Fig. 13

Effect of channel depth on current density, cell temperature 60 °C, methanol concentration 1.0 M, methanol flow rate 10.0 ml/min, oxygen flow rate 2.0 slpm, cathode back pressure 0.5 bar

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Fig. 14

Effect of channel depth on the peak power density with 1.0 M methanol fed at 10.0 ml/min, oxygen flow rate 2.0 slpm, and cathode pressure 0.5 bar

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