The influence of gas diffusion layer (GDL) design parameters on the performance of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) was evaluated using a test apparatus in which the clamp pressure on the cell could be accurately controlled. The PEFC performance varies significantly depending on the humidity of the supplied gas. Under moderate humidity, the PEFC performance is enhanced when using an untreated GDL with high air permeability. Under high humidity, improved performance is achieved using a GDL with PTFE hydrophobic treatment. A microporous layer (MPL) coated GDL significantly reduces flooding on the electrode, resulting in a decrease in the concentration overpotential. This enhances the PEFC performance at high current densities. A substrate with high air permeability for the MPL coated GDL enhances the ability of the MPL to prevent flooding. Under low humidity, the MPL is also effective to prevent drying-up of the membrane electrode assembly (MEA), resulting in enhanced performance. A substrate with low air permeability for the MPL coated GDL is effective for the prevention of drying-up.
|Number of pages||345|
|Journal||Journal of Environment and Engineering|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 1 2009|