The design of an open zero-gradient hardware is proposed in this work. The hardware is thought for characterizing single Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs), specifically Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEAs), with a focus on transport application. The objective of the proposed design is to minimize both operation and degradation heterogeneities over the cell active area in order to evaluate material properties only. It is indeed specifically intended to quantify the PEMFC materials performance without accounting for any interdependency between the layers of the MEA and the cell hardware design (e.g. heating/cooling system and flow field features). This is granted by combining high stoichiometry ratios of the gas reactants and limited pressure drops: they indeed keep uniform operating conditions (concentration in the gas phase, relative humidity, pressure and temperature), as verified by the electrochemical and operational characterization. With such characteristics, accurate information about both the performance and the degradation of the MEA materials can be provided. This tool is powerful for assessing the ranking in terms of performance and durability of different PEMFCs, as well as for application in the field of the materials local diagnostics.

An open-source zero-gradient cell hardware to improve and accelerate durability testing of PEM fuel cells

Colombo E.;Casadei D.;Baricci A.;Casalegno A.
2023-01-01

Abstract

The design of an open zero-gradient hardware is proposed in this work. The hardware is thought for characterizing single Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs), specifically Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEAs), with a focus on transport application. The objective of the proposed design is to minimize both operation and degradation heterogeneities over the cell active area in order to evaluate material properties only. It is indeed specifically intended to quantify the PEMFC materials performance without accounting for any interdependency between the layers of the MEA and the cell hardware design (e.g. heating/cooling system and flow field features). This is granted by combining high stoichiometry ratios of the gas reactants and limited pressure drops: they indeed keep uniform operating conditions (concentration in the gas phase, relative humidity, pressure and temperature), as verified by the electrochemical and operational characterization. With such characteristics, accurate information about both the performance and the degradation of the MEA materials can be provided. This tool is powerful for assessing the ranking in terms of performance and durability of different PEMFCs, as well as for application in the field of the materials local diagnostics.
2023
Durability testing
Hardware
Material characterization
Membrane electrode assembly
Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell
Zero-gradient
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1261122
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