Water vapor exchange flow channels to enhance the performance of polymer electrolyte fuel cellswithout cathode humidification

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) generally have external humidifiers to feed humidified hydrogen and air for membrane hydration. The external humidifiers should be omitted to develop a very simplified PEFC system with increased total efficiency and reduced cost. In the present study, a water vapor exchange flow channels installed in the PEFC thus has been developed to enhance the performance without cathode humidification. A gas diffusion layer (GDL) coated with a hydrophilic microporous layer (MPL) consisting of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and carbon black is employed for the cathode water exchange flow channels to promote water transport from the cathode outlet wet gas to the anode inlet dry gas. This is effective for the membrane hydration, enhancing PEFC performance. Addition of hydrophilicity to the MPL is effective to water transport from the cathode to the anode.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1799-1805
Number of pages7
JournalECS Transactions
Volume58
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2013

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channel flow
Channel flow
fuel cell
electrolyte
Water vapor
Fuel cells
water vapor
Cathodes
polymer
Electrolytes
Polymers
hydration
Hydration
Anodes
gas
membrane
Membranes
Water
Diffusion in gases
Polyvinyl alcohols

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "Polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) generally have external humidifiers to feed humidified hydrogen and air for membrane hydration. The external humidifiers should be omitted to develop a very simplified PEFC system with increased total efficiency and reduced cost. In the present study, a water vapor exchange flow channels installed in the PEFC thus has been developed to enhance the performance without cathode humidification. A gas diffusion layer (GDL) coated with a hydrophilic microporous layer (MPL) consisting of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and carbon black is employed for the cathode water exchange flow channels to promote water transport from the cathode outlet wet gas to the anode inlet dry gas. This is effective for the membrane hydration, enhancing PEFC performance. Addition of hydrophilicity to the MPL is effective to water transport from the cathode to the anode.",
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