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Operando monitoring of local current density distributions in PEMWE, AWE, and AEMWE

Biswas, Indro and Garcia Sanchez, Daniel and Schulze, Mathias (2018) Operando monitoring of local current density distributions in PEMWE, AWE, and AEMWE. European Hydrogen Energy Conference 2018, 14.-16. März 2018, Malaga, Spanien.

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Abstract

The local current density in an electrochemical device such as fuel cells or electrolysers is correlated by Faraday's Law to the electrochemical turnover – to the local performance. The performance of such devices is determined by catalytic activity, electrical and chemical transport limitations, which are influenced by degradation. In consequence, the monitoring of local current densities provides local information about these variable performance properties. Segmented bipolar plates, based on printed circuit boards, have been applied in the past in fuel cells. The patented technology records the voltage drop along a defined resistor shunt while the current is flowing through the segmented bipolar plate. In this way, the measurement device is acting as regular bipolar plate and thus is a negligible perturbance to the system. This technology and the real-time visualization of the local current densities allow the direct observation of local gradients and temporal fluctuations of the local electrochemical activity. Depending on time scale and pattern, local condensation of liquid water, oscillating reaction fronts, slower irreversible local degradation, or other undesired conditions can be identified. The application of this technology to the most common low temperature water electrolysis technologies, proton exchange membrane based (PEMWE), alkaline (AWE), and anion exchange membrane based water electrolysis (AEMWE) is challenging due to the different requirements with regard to corrosion stability of material and detection limits and resolution. This development is performed by the European consortium "INSIDE" (In-situ Diagnostics in Water Electrolysers) and supported by the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking. Prototypes of segmented bipolar plates for PEMWE and AEMWE required mostly redesigns according to geometry and pressure, while more fundamental adaptations were required for the high pH conditions in AWE. The functionality of the prototypes of the first developed generation is presented with examples from operation as well as technological challenges. Specific applications in electrolysis of water are monitoring and intuitive visualisation of transient operation modes, identification and harvesting of hidden performance reserves, targeted development, and accelerated testing is given. The combination with ex-situ materials characterization allows the correlation of local operative deficiencies with materials properties and the identification of the relevant degradation mechanisms. Further objectives are the comparison between modelling data and local experimental data, which allows both the evaluation of model and the adaptation of monitoring hardware. The project works will continue until late 2018, and updated generations of the operando monitoring tools are scheduled.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/119542/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Operando monitoring of local current density distributions in PEMWE, AWE, and AEMWE
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Biswas, IndroIndro.Biswas (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Garcia Sanchez, DanielDaniel.GarciaSanchez (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Schulze, MathiasMathias.Schulze (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:15 March 2018
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Status:Published
Keywords:Elekytrolyse, Diagnostik, Echtzeit, Überwachung, PEMWE, AEMWE, AWE
Event Title:European Hydrogen Energy Conference 2018
Event Location:Malaga, Spanien
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:14.-16. März 2018
Organizer:Spanish Hydrogen Association AeH2
HGF - Research field:Energy
HGF - Program:Storage and Cross-linked Infrastructures
HGF - Program Themes:Electrolysis and Hydrogen
DLR - Research area:Energy
DLR - Program:E SP - Energy Storage
DLR - Research theme (Project):E - Elektrochemical Processes (Electrolysis)
Location: Stuttgart
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics > Electrochemical Energy Technology
Deposited By: Biswas, Indro
Deposited On:16 Nov 2018 12:23
Last Modified:16 Nov 2018 12:23

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