Effects of surface irregularities and interfacial cracks on polymer electrolyte fuel cell performance

M. P. Manahan, S. Kim, E. C. Kumbur, M. M. Mench

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study seeks to investigate the impact of surface irregularities and cracks at the catalyst layer (CL) and microporous layer (MPL) interface on the mass and electronic transport of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). Two different CLs were compared, i.e. one with negligible cracking and the other with high cracking (≃6% contact surface area reduction), under a combination of various operating conditions, including high/low relative humidity, and the presence of nitrogen/helium inert gases in the cathode inlet stream. A limiting current density analysis indicated that the cracked CL demonstrated a small increase (0.5%) in the Fickian diffusion of the reactants across the cathode electrode compared to the negligible-cracked CL case. Furthermore, the results from a relative humidity analysis showed that the protonic resistance in the CL might dominate the moderate current density region (≃0.2 A/cm2<current density<0.45 A/cm2). Finally, comparison of the cell performance for cracked and negligible-cracked CL cases suggests that the cracks may act as water pooling sites, which in turn, may enhance the performance in the high current density region (current density>0.45 A/cm2) due to the decreased water surface coverage and/or enhanced water removal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationECS Transactions -Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells 9
Pages1745-1754
Number of pages10
Edition1 PART 2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2009
Event9th Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Symposium (PEMFC 9) - 216th Meeting of the Electrochemical Society - Vienna, Austria
Duration: Oct 4 2009Oct 9 2009

Publication series

NameECS Transactions
Number1 PART 2
Volume25
ISSN (Print)1938-5862
ISSN (Electronic)1938-6737

Other

Other9th Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Symposium (PEMFC 9) - 216th Meeting of the Electrochemical Society
CountryAustria
CityVienna
Period10/4/0910/9/09

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

Manahan, M. P., Kim, S., Kumbur, E. C., & Mench, M. M. (2009). Effects of surface irregularities and interfacial cracks on polymer electrolyte fuel cell performance. In ECS Transactions -Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells 9 (1 PART 2 ed., pp. 1745-1754). (ECS Transactions; Vol. 25, No. 1 PART 2). https://doi.org/10.1149/1.3210730