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Oscillations of PEM fuel cells at low cathode humidification

Sanchez, Daniel and Diaz, Domingo and Hiesgen, Renate and Wehl, Ines and Friedrich, K. Andreas (2010) Oscillations of PEM fuel cells at low cathode humidification. Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, 649, pp. 219-231. Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/j.elechem.2010.04.005 ISSN 1572-6657

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Oscillatory fluctuations of a single polymer electrolyte fuel cell appear upon operation with a dry cathode air supply and a fully humidified anode stream. Periodic transitions between a low and a high current operation point of the oscillating state are observed. The transition time of 20�25 s for the change from the low to the high operation is fast and does not depend on the operating parameters. Contrasting with this behavior, the downward transition depends strongly on the operating conditions. Impedance measurements indicate a high ionic resistance with low water content for the low current operation and a low ionic resistance of the membrane with high water content for the high current operation. An insight into the transitions is obtained by current density distributions at distinct times indicating a propagating active area with defined boundaries. The observations are in agreement with assuming a liquid water reservoir at the anode with a downward transition period depending on the operation conditions. The high current operation possesses a high electro-osmotic drag and a high permeation rate (corresponding to liquid�vapor permeation) leading to a large water flux to the cathode. Subsequently, the liquid reservoir at the anode is consumed leading to an anode drying. The system establishes a new quasi-stable operation point associated with a low current, low electro-osmotic drag coefficient, and a low water permeation (corresponding to vapor�vapor permeation). When liquid water is formed at the anode interface after some time the fast transition to the high current operation occurs. This interpretation is supported by conductive atomic force microscopy current images of the membrane showing a strong dependence of the ionic conductivity on the activation procedures with or without liquid water and also showing oscillatory behavior after the membrane is activated. Specifically, activation with liquid water yields a high conductivity with currents larger by three orders of magnitude.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/66714/
Document Type:Article
Title:Oscillations of PEM fuel cells at low cathode humidification
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Sanchez, DanielSpanish National Research CouncilUNSPECIFIED
Diaz, DomingoSpanish National Research CouncilUNSPECIFIED
Hiesgen, Renaterenate.hiesgen (at) hs-esslingen.deUNSPECIFIED
Wehl, Inesines.wehl (at) hs-esslingen.deUNSPECIFIED
Friedrich, K. Andreasandreas.friedrich (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1016/j.elechem.2010.04.005
Page Range:pp. 219-231
Keywords:Oscillations; Polymer Fuel Cell; Humidifaction of Cell
HGF - Research field:Energy
HGF - Program:Efficient Energy Conversion (old)
HGF - Program Themes:E EV - Energy process technology (old)
DLR - Research area:Energy
DLR - Program:E EV - Energy process technology
DLR - Research theme (Project):E - Elektrochemische Prozesse (old), E - Membran-Brennstoffzellen (old)
Location: Stuttgart
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics > Electrochemical Energy Technology
Deposited By: Friedrich, Prof.Dr. Kaspar Andreas
Deposited On:30 Nov 2010 14:53
Last Modified:27 Feb 2015 16:09

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