Effect of ambient conditions on performance and current distribution of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

T. Hottinen, M. Noponen, T. Mennola, O. Himanen, M. Mikkola, P. Lund

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Abstract

The performance and current distribution of a free-breathing polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) was studied experimentally in a climate chamber, in which temperature and relative humidity were controlled. The performance was studied by simulating ambient conditions in the temperature range 10 to 40 degreesC. The current distribution was measured with a segmented current collector. The results indicated that the operating conditions have a significant effect on the performance of the fuel cell. It was observed that a temperature gradient between the fuel cell and air is needed to achieve efficient oxygen transport to the electrode. Furthermore, varying the air humidity resulted in major changes in the mass diffusion overpotential at higher temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-271
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Electrochemistry
Volume33
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2003
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • ambient conditions
  • current distribution
  • natural convection
  • PEMFC
  • 2-PHASE FLOW
  • TRANSPORT
  • CATHODE
  • DESIGN

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