Review Article

Effect of Clamping Load on the Performance of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Stack and Its Optimization Design: A Review of Modeling and Experimental Research

[+] Author and Article Information
Cheng-wei Wu

e-mail: cwwu@dlut.edu.cn
State Key Laboratory of Structural Analysis for
Industrial Equipment,
Faculty of Vehicle Engineering and Mechanics,
Dalian University of Technology,
Dalian 116024, China

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FUEL CELL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received October 26, 2013; final manuscript received November 1, 2013; published online December 10, 2013. Editor: Nigel M. Sammes.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 11(2), 020801 (Dec 10, 2013) (11 pages) Paper No: FC-13-1102; doi: 10.1115/1.4026070 History: Received October 26, 2013; Revised November 01, 2013

When individual proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are assembled together to form a stack and provide energy for practical applications, an appropriate clamping load is usually required to render the stack high efficiency, high reliability, and excellent durability. From both modeling and experimental aspects, this article first highlights the effect of clamping load on the electron transfer, mass (water and reactant gases) transfer, and heat transfer in a PEMFC stack and then puts the attentions on the optimization design of clamping load with emphases on the optimal clamping load and the homogenous distribution of clamping load. This summary may deepen our understanding of the assembly of a PEMFC stack and provide referential information for the designer and manufacturer.

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Fig. 1

Schematic of a PEMFC stack assembled with bolts [7]. (Reprinted with permission from Elsevier.)

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Fig. 2

SEM images of the GDL at 200X magnification after it has been compressed for five minutes at (a) 0.18 MPa, (b) 0.36 MPa, (c) 0.68 MPa, and (d) 1.37 MPa [43]. (Reprinted with permission from Elsevier.)

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Fig. 3

The allowable range of the tightening torque applied to a single nut at different working temperatures (hatched areas are those for which a tightening torque is not allowed) [80]. (Reprinted with permission from Elsevier.)

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Fig. 4

Measured pressure distribution contours from the pressure film: 15 kgf mm−2 (left) and 25 kgf mm−2 (right) [83]. (Reprinted with permission from Elsevier.)

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Fig. 5

Schematic of a new design for the end plate and compression system [89]. (Reprinted with permission from Elsevier.)

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Fig. 6

Schematic diagram of the multiobjective optimization design: (a) original end plate; (b) optimization result; (c) manufacturing design according to the optimization result; (d) contact-pressure distribution on the GDL for the original structure; (e) contact-pressure distribution on the GDL for the optimized structure [92]. (Reprinted with permission from Elsevier.)




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