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In-Situ Diagnostics of PEFCs

[+] Author Affiliations
Kaspar Andreas Friedrich, Norbert Wagner, Mathias Schulze

German Aerospace Center (DLR), Stuttgart, Germany

Paper No. ICNMM2009-82186, pp. 321-328; 8 pages
  • ASME 2009 7th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels
  • ASME 2009 7th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels and Minichannels
  • Pohang, South Korea, June 22–24, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Nanotechnology Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4349-9 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3850-1
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) are one of the most interesting alternatives for a pollution-free electrical energy production in many applications where a highly reliable source of electricity is needed. One of the major challenges in the development of PEFCs is to exploit the whole capacity that is inherent to a given membrane electrode assembly (MEA). In practice, certain obstacles remain to be overcome like local mass transport effects, non-uniformly manufactured MEAs, locally varying contact resistances, water management and temperature gradients. All these parameters lead to an inhomogeneous electrochemical activity over the electrode area. Consequently, a variation and a gradient of the current density over the cell area occurs which tends to result in inferior performance and low durability of a PEFC. For the determination of current density distribution different in-situ methods and measurement techniques are applied. Results can be used to improve cell components, to validate models and to detect inappropriate detrimental operating conditions of the fuel cell.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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