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Hydration-dehydration cycles in PEFCs operated with wet anode and dry cathode feed: A neutron imaging and modeling study

Garcia-salaberri, P.A and Garcia Sanchez, Daniel and Boillat, Pierre and Vera, Marcos and Friedrich, K. Andreas (2016) Hydration-dehydration cycles in PEFCs operated with wet anode and dry cathode feed: A neutron imaging and modeling study. Journal of Power Sources, pp. 1-22. Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2017.03.155 ISSN 0378-7753

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Abstract

Proper water management plays an essential role in the performance and durability of Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells (PEFCs), but it is challenged by the variety of water transport phenomena that take place in these devices. Previous experimental work has shown the existence of fluctuations between low and high current density levels in PEFCs operated with wet hydrogen and dry air feed. The alternation between both performance states is accompanied by strong changes in the high frequency resistance, suggesting a cyclic hydration and dehydration of the membrane. This peculiar scenario is examined here considering liquid water distributions from neutron imaging and predictions from a 3D two-phase nonisothermal model. The results show that the hydration-dehydration cycles are triggered by the periodic condensation and shedding of liquid water at the anode inlet. The input of liquid water humidifies the anode channel and offsets the membrane dry-out induced by the dry air stream, thus leading to the highperformance state. When liquid water is flushed out of the anode channel, the dehydration process takes over, and the cell comes back to the low-performance state. The predicted amplitude of the current oscillations grows with decreasing hydrogen and increasing air flow rates, in agreement with previous experimental data. in the high frequency resistance due to the cyclic hydration and dehydration of the membrane. This peculiar scenario is examined here using liquid water distributions obtained by neutron imaging and the predictions of a 3D two-phase non-isothermal model. The results show that the hydration-dehydration cycles are triggered by the periodic condensation and shedding of liquid water at the anode inlet. The water input humidifies the anode channel and offsets the membrane dry-out caused by the cathode, thus leading to the high-performance state. When liquid water is flushed out of the anode channel, the dehydration process takes over, and the cell eventually returns to the low-performance state. The predicted amplitude of the current oscillations grows for decreasing hydrogen and increasing air flow rates, in agreement with previous experimental data.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/109827/
Document Type:Article
Title:Hydration-dehydration cycles in PEFCs operated with wet anode and dry cathode feed: A neutron imaging and modeling study
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Garcia-salaberri, P.APablo.GarciaSalaberri (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Garcia Sanchez, Danieldaniel.garciasanchez (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Boillat, Pierrepaul scherrer institut (psi)UNSPECIFIED
Vera, MarcosciiiUNSPECIFIED
Friedrich, K. Andreasandreas.friedrich (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:2016
Journal or Publication Title:Journal of Power Sources
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1016/j.jpowsour.2017.03.155
Page Range:pp. 1-22
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0378-7753
Status:Published
Keywords:PEFC Water management Membrane Ionic resistance Hydration-dehydration Alternating performance states
HGF - Research field:Energy
HGF - Program:Storage and Cross-linked Infrastructures
HGF - Program Themes:Fuel cells
DLR - Research area:Energy
DLR - Program:E SP - Energy Storage
DLR - Research theme (Project):E - Electrochemical Processes (Fuel Cells)
Location: Stuttgart
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics > Electrochemical Energy Technology
Deposited By: Garcia Sanchez, Dr Daniel
Deposited On:26 Jun 2017 10:49
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 20:07

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