0
Research Papers

Performance Investigation of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells Using Graphite Composite Plates Fabricated by Selective Laser Sintering

[+] Author and Article Information
Nannan Guo

e-mail: ngzn6@mail.mst.edu

Ming C. Leu

Department of Mechanical
and Aerospace Engineering,
Missouri University of Science and Technology,
Rolla, MO 65409

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FUEL CELL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received September 11, 2012; final manuscript received August 6, 2013; published online October 22, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Jacob Brouwer.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 11(1), 011003 (Oct 22, 2013) (8 pages) Paper No: FC-12-1093; doi: 10.1115/1.4025520 History: Received September 11, 2012; Revised August 06, 2013

Selective laser sintering (SLS) was used to fabricate graphite composite plates for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, which has the advantages of reducing time and cost associated with the research and development of bipolar plates. Graphite composite plates with three different designs, i.e., parallel in series, interdigitated, and bio-inspired, were fabricated using the SLS process. The performance of these SLS fabricated plates was studied experimentally within a fuel cell assembly under various operating conditions. The effect of temperature, relative humidity, and pressure on fuel cell performance was investigated. In the tests conducted in this study, the best fuel cell performance was achieved with a temperature of 65–75°C, relative humidity of 100%, and back pressure of 2 atm. The performance of fuel cell operating over an extended time was also studied, with the result showing that the SLS fabricated graphite composite plates provided a relatively steady fuel cell output power.

FIGURES IN THIS ARTICLE
<>
Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.

References

Tsuchiya, H., and Kobayashi, O., 2004, “Mass Production Cost of PEM Fuel Cell by Learning Curve,” Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 29, pp. 985–990. [CrossRef]
Kloess, J. P., Wang, X., Liu, J., Shi, Z., and Guessous, L., 2009, “Investigation of Bio-Inspired Flow Channel Designs for Bipolar Plates in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells,” J. Power Sources, 188, pp. 132–140. [CrossRef]
Ramos-Alvarado, B., Hernandez-Guerrero, A., Elizalde-Blancas, F., and Ellis, M. W., 2011, “Constructal Flow Distributor as a Bipolar Plate for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells,” Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 36, pp. 12965–12976. [CrossRef]
Manso, A. P., Marzo, F. F., Barranco, J., Garikano, X., and Mujika, M., 2012, “Influence of Geometric Parameters of the Flow Fields on the Performance of a PEM Fuel Cell. A Review,” Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 37(20), pp. 15256–15287. [CrossRef]
Aiyejina, A., and Sastry, M. K. S., 2012, “PEMFC Flow Channel Geometry Optimization: A Review,” ASME J. Fuel Cell Sci. Tech., 9(1), p. 011011. [CrossRef]
Muller, A., Kauranen, P., Ganski, A., and Hell, B., 2006, “Injection Moulding of Graphite Composite Bipolar Plates,” J. Power Sources, 154, pp. 467–471. [CrossRef]
Dhakate, S. R., Mathur, R. B., Kakati, B. K., and Dhami, T. L., 2007, “Properties of Graphite-Composite Bipolar Plate Prepared by Compression Molding Technique for PEM Fuel Cell,” Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 32, pp. 4537–4543. [CrossRef]
Mathur, R. B., Dhakate, S. R., Gupta, D. K., Dhami, T. L., and Aggarwal, R. K., 2008, “Effect of Different Carbon Fillers on the Properties of Graphite Composite Bipolar Plate,” J. Mater. Process. Technol., 203, pp. 184–192. [CrossRef]
Blunk, R., Elhamid, M. H., Lisi, D., and Mikhail, Y., 2006, “Polymeric Composite Bipolar Plates for Vehicle Application,” J. Power Sources, 156, pp. 151–157. [CrossRef]
Du, L., and Jana, S. C., 2007, “Highly Conductive Epoxy/Graphite Composites for Bipolar Plates in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells,” J. Power Sources, 172, pp. 734–741. [CrossRef]
Lee, J. H., Jang, Y. K., Hong, C. E., Kim, N. H., Li, P., and Lee, H. K., 2009, “Effect of Carbon Fillers on Properties of Polymer Composite Bipolar Plates of Fuel Cells,” J. Power Sources, 193, pp. 523–529. [CrossRef]
Hsiao, M. C., Liao, S. H., Yen, M. Y., Su, A., Wu, I. T., Hsiao, M. H., and Lee, S. J., 2010, “Effect of Graphite Sizes and Carbon Nanotubes Content on Flowability of Bulk-Molding Compound and Formability of the Composite Bipolar Plate for Fuel Cell,” J. Power Sources, 195, pp. 5645–5650. [CrossRef]
Yen, C. Y., Liao, S. H., Lin, Y. F., Huang, C. H., Lin, Y. Y., and Ma, C. M., 2006, “Preparation and Properties of High Performance Nanocomposite Bipolar Plate for Fuel Cell,” J. Power Sources, 162, pp. 309–315. [CrossRef]
Guo, N., and Leu, M. C., 2010, “Effect of Different Graphite Materials on Electrical Conductivity and Flexural Strength of Bipolar Plates Fabricated by Selective Laser Sintering,” International SFF Symposium, Austin, TX, August 2–4, pp. 482–492.
Chen, S., Bourell, D. L., and Wood, K. L., 2004, “Fabrication of PEM Fuel Cell Bipolar Plates by Indirect SLS,” International SFF Symposium, Austin, TX, August 2–4, pp. 244–256.
Chen, S., Murphy, J., Herlehy, J., and Bourell, D. L., 2006, “Development of SLS Fuel Cell Current Collectors,” Rapid Prototyping J., 12(5), pp. 275–282. [CrossRef]
Wu, M., Leu, M. C., and Guo, N., 2012, “Simulation and Testing of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Bipolar Plates Fabricated by Selective Laser Sintering,” ASME International Symposium on Flexible Automation, St. Louis, MO, June 18–20, ASME Paper No. ISFA2012-7249. [CrossRef]
Bourell, D. L., Leu, M. C., Chakravarthy, K., Guo, N., and Alayavalli, K., 2011, “Graphite-Based Indirect Laser Sintered Fuel Cell Bipolar Plates Containing Carbon Fiber Additions,” CIRP Ann., 60, pp. 275–278. [CrossRef]
Guo, N., and Leu, M. C., 2012, “Effect of Different Graphite Materials on the Electrical Conductivity and Flexural Strength of Bipolar Plates Fabricated Using Selective Laser Sintering,” Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 37, pp. 3558–3566. [CrossRef]
Amirinejad, M., Rowshanzamir, S., and Eikani, M. H., 2006, “Effects of Operating Parameters on Performance of a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell,” J. Power Sources, 161, pp. 872–875. [CrossRef]
Wang, L., Husar, A., Zhou, T., and Liu, H., 2003, “A Parametric Study of PEM Fuel Cell Performances,” Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 28, pp. 1263–1272. [CrossRef]
Ghosh, P. C., Wüster, T., Dohle, H., Kimiaie, N., Mergel, J., and Stolten, D., 2006, “Analysis of Single PEM Fuel Cell Performances Based on Current Density Distribution Measurement,” ASME J. Fuel Cell Sci. Tech., 3(3), pp. 351–357. [CrossRef]
Jang, J. H., Chiu, H. C., Yan, W. M., and Sun, W. L., 2008, “Effects of Operating Conditions on the Performances of Individual Cell and Stack of PEM Fuel Cell,” J. Power Sources, 180, pp. 476–483. [CrossRef]
Wang, L., and Liu, H., 2004, “Performance Studies of PEM Fuel Cells With Interdigitated Flow Fields,” J. Power Sources, 134, pp. 185–196. [CrossRef]
Department of Energy, 2012, “Technical Plan–Fuel Cells,” accessed Aug. 2012, http://www1.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/mypp/pdfs/fuel_cells.pdf
Maharudrayya, S., Jayanti, S., and Deshpande, A. P., 2006, “Pressure Drop and Flow Distribution in Multiple Parallel-Channel Configurations Used in Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Stacks,” J. Power Sources, 157, pp. 358–367. [CrossRef]
Nguyen, T. Y., 1996, “A Gas Distributor Design for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells,” J. Electrochem. Soc., 143(5), pp. 103–105. [CrossRef]
O'hayre, R. P., Cha, S. W., Colella, W. G., and Prinz, F. B., 2009, Fuel Cell Fundamentals, 2nd ed., Wiley, New York, pp. 195–197.
Bard, A. J., and Faulkner, L. R., 2001, Electrochemical Methods: Fundamental and Applications, 2nd ed., Wiley, New York, Chap. 3.
Springer, T. E., Zawodzinski, T. A., and Gottesfeld, S., 1991, “Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Model,” J. Electrochem. Soc., 138(8), pp. 2334–2342. [CrossRef]
Li, H., Tang, Y., Wang, Z., Shi, Z., Wu, S., Song, D., Zhang, J., Fatih, K., Zhang, J., Wang, H., Liu, Z., Abouatallah, R., and Mazza, A., 2008, “A Review of Water Flooding Issues in the Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell,” J. Power Sources, 178, pp. 103–117. [CrossRef]
Jeon, D. H., Greenway, S., Shimpalee, S., and Van Zee, J. W., 2008, “The Effect of Serpentine Flow-Field Designs on PEM Fuel Cell Performance,” Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 33, pp. 1052–1066. [CrossRef]
Spernjak, D., Prasad, A. K., and Advani, S. G., 2007, “Experimental Investigation of Liquid Water Formation and Transport in a Transparent Single-Serpentine PEM Fuel Cell,” J. Power Sources, 170, pp. 334–344. [CrossRef]
Barbir, F., Gorgun, H., and Wang, X., 2005, “Relationship Between Pressure Drop and Cell Resistance as a Diagnostic Tool for PEM Fuel Cells,” J. Power Sources, 141, pp. 96–101. [CrossRef]

Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

(a) Major components in a PEM fuel cell; (b) actual fuel cell assembly used in the study

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Graphite composite plates fabricated using the SLS process: (a) parallel in series design, (b) interdigitated design, (c) bio-inspired design

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Different flow field designs: (a) parallel in series design, (b) interdigitated design, (c) bio-inspired design. The dark portion was the flow channels.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Effect of temperature on fuel cell performance. The relative humidity was kept at 100%, and back pressure at 0 atm. (a) Parallel in series design, (b) interdigitated design and (c) bio-inspired design.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Effect of relative humidity on fuel cell performance. Temperature was maintained at 75 °C and back pressure at 0 atm. (a) Parallel in series design, (b) interdigitated design and (c) bio-inspired design.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Fabrication process of selective laser sintering

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Effect of back pressure on fuel cell performance. Temperature was maintained at 75 °C and relative humidity at 100%. (a) Parallel in series design, (b) interdigitated design and (c) bio-inspired design.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Comparison of fuel cell performance of parallel in series, interdigitated and bio-inspired designs at (a) and (b) ambient pressure and (c) and (d) back pressure of 2 atm. Temperature was 75 °C and humidity was 100%.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

(a) Six-hour performance of the PEM fuel cell using the SLS fabricated graphite composite plates with the parallel in series design in Fig. 2(a); (b) detailed performance from the 170th min to the 179th min

Tables

Errata

Discussions

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In