Effect of flow-field pattern and flow configuration on the performance of a polymer-electrolyte-membrane water electrolyzer at high temperature

Hua Li, Hironori Nakajima, Akiko Inada, Kohei Ito

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This study aimed to optimize the flow-field pattern and flow configuration of a polymer-electrolyte-membrane water electrolyzer, with a particular focus on high-temperature operation up to 120 °C. Three types of flow-field pattern (serpentine, parallel, and cascade) were tested in both the anode and cathode sides of a water electrolyzer cell, and the current-voltage characteristics and high-frequency resistance were measured to examine which overpotential components are impacted by the flow-field pattern. The experimental results revealed that the cathode flow-field pattern only affects the ohmic overpotential, while the anode flow-field pattern significantly affects the overpotential related to liquid water shortage at catalyst layer, and the flow configuration (counter- and co-flow) does not affect the electrolysis performance. Finally, under operating conditions of 120 °C and 0.3 MPa, we found that the optimized cell configuration consisted of cascade and serpentine flow-field patterns in the anode and cathode, respectively; this configuration produced the minimum electrolysis voltage of 1.69 V at 2 A/cm2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8600-8610
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Volume43
Issue number18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 3 2018

Fingerprint

Flow fields
flow distribution
Electrolytes
electrolytes
membranes
Membranes
polymers
Polymers
configurations
water
Water
Anodes
Cathodes
anodes
cathodes
electrolysis
Electrolysis
Temperature
cascade flow
High temperature operations

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

Cite this

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abstract = "This study aimed to optimize the flow-field pattern and flow configuration of a polymer-electrolyte-membrane water electrolyzer, with a particular focus on high-temperature operation up to 120 °C. Three types of flow-field pattern (serpentine, parallel, and cascade) were tested in both the anode and cathode sides of a water electrolyzer cell, and the current-voltage characteristics and high-frequency resistance were measured to examine which overpotential components are impacted by the flow-field pattern. The experimental results revealed that the cathode flow-field pattern only affects the ohmic overpotential, while the anode flow-field pattern significantly affects the overpotential related to liquid water shortage at catalyst layer, and the flow configuration (counter- and co-flow) does not affect the electrolysis performance. Finally, under operating conditions of 120 °C and 0.3 MPa, we found that the optimized cell configuration consisted of cascade and serpentine flow-field patterns in the anode and cathode, respectively; this configuration produced the minimum electrolysis voltage of 1.69 V at 2 A/cm2.",
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AU - Ito, Kohei

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