Dynamic characteristics of local current densities and temperatures in proton exchange membrane fuel cells during reactant starvations

Guangsheng Zhang, Shuanglin Shen, Liejin Guo, Hongtan Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Reactant starvation during proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) operation can cause serious irreversible damages. In order to study the detailed local characteristics of starvations, simultaneous measurements of the dynamic variation of local current densities and temperatures in an experimental PEMFC with single serpentine flow field have been performed during both air and hydrogen starvations. These studies have been performed under both current controlled and cell voltage controlled operations. It is found that under current controlled operations cell voltage can decrease very quickly during reactant starvation. Besides, even though the average current is kept constant, local current densities as well as local temperatures can change dramatically. Furthermore, the variation characteristics of local current density and temperature strongly depend on the locations along the flow channel. Local current densities and temperatures near the channel inlet can become very high, especially during hydrogen starvation, posing serious threats for the membrane and catalyst layers near the inlet. When operating in a constant voltage mode, no obvious damaging phenomena were observed except very low and unstable current densities and unstable temperatures near the channel outlet during hydrogen starvation. It is demonstrated that measuring local temperatures can be effective in exploring local dynamic performance of PEMFC and the thermal failure mechanism of MEA during reactants starvations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1884-1892
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Volume37
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

Fingerprint

Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC)
dynamic characteristics
fuel cells
Current density
current density
membranes
protons
Hydrogen
Temperature
temperature
Electric potential
electric potential
hydrogen
channel flow
Channel flow
low currents
outlets
cells
Flow fields
flow distribution

Keywords

  • Current distribution
  • Dynamic measurement
  • PEMFC
  • Proton exchange membrane fuel cell
  • Reactant starvation
  • Temperature distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

Cite this

Dynamic characteristics of local current densities and temperatures in proton exchange membrane fuel cells during reactant starvations. / Zhang, Guangsheng; Shen, Shuanglin; Guo, Liejin; Liu, Hongtan.

In: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol. 37, No. 2, 01.01.2012, p. 1884-1892.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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