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Title: Membrane Accelerated Stress Test Development for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Durability Validated Using Field and Drive Cycle Testing

Abstract

A combined chemical/mechanical accelerated stress test (AST) was developed for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells based on relative humidity cycling (RHC) between dry and saturated gases at open circuit voltage (OCV). Membrane degradation and failure were investigated using scanning electron microscopy and small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering. Changes to membrane thickness, hydrophilic domain spacing, and crystallinity were observed to be most similar between field-operated cells and OCV RHC ASTs, where local thinning and divot-type defects are the primary failure modes. While RHC in air also reproduces these failure modes, it is not aggressive enough to differentiate between different membrane types in >1,333 hours (55 days) of testing. Conversely, steady-state OCV tests result in significant ionomer morphology changes and global thinning, which do not replicate field degradation and failure modes. It is inferred that during the OCV RHC AST, the decay of the membrane's mechanical properties is accelerated such that materials can be evaluated in hundreds, instead of thousands, of hours, while replicating the degradation and failure modes of field operation; associated AST protocols are recommended as OCV RHC at 90°C for 500 hours with wet/dry cycle durations of 30s/45s and 2m/2m for automotive and bus operation, respectively.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3];  [3]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  3. Ballard Power Systems, Burnaby, BC (Canada)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Fuel Cell Technologies Office (EE-3F); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1440446
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1466713
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-18-20375
Journal ID: ISSN 0013-4651
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-06NA25396; AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of the Electrochemical Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 165; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 0013-4651
Publisher:
The Electrochemical Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
25 ENERGY STORAGE; Energy Sciences; Fuel Cell, durability, AST, accelerated stress test, drive cycle

Citation Formats

Mukundan, Rangachary, Baker, Andrew M., Kusoglu, Ahmet, Beattie, Paul, Knights, Shanna, Weber, Adam Z., and Borup, Rodney L. Membrane Accelerated Stress Test Development for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Durability Validated Using Field and Drive Cycle Testing. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1149/2.0101806jes.
Mukundan, Rangachary, Baker, Andrew M., Kusoglu, Ahmet, Beattie, Paul, Knights, Shanna, Weber, Adam Z., & Borup, Rodney L. Membrane Accelerated Stress Test Development for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Durability Validated Using Field and Drive Cycle Testing. United States. doi:10.1149/2.0101806jes.
Mukundan, Rangachary, Baker, Andrew M., Kusoglu, Ahmet, Beattie, Paul, Knights, Shanna, Weber, Adam Z., and Borup, Rodney L. Thu . "Membrane Accelerated Stress Test Development for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Durability Validated Using Field and Drive Cycle Testing". United States. doi:10.1149/2.0101806jes. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1440446.
@article{osti_1440446,
title = {Membrane Accelerated Stress Test Development for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Durability Validated Using Field and Drive Cycle Testing},
author = {Mukundan, Rangachary and Baker, Andrew M. and Kusoglu, Ahmet and Beattie, Paul and Knights, Shanna and Weber, Adam Z. and Borup, Rodney L.},
abstractNote = {A combined chemical/mechanical accelerated stress test (AST) was developed for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells based on relative humidity cycling (RHC) between dry and saturated gases at open circuit voltage (OCV). Membrane degradation and failure were investigated using scanning electron microscopy and small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering. Changes to membrane thickness, hydrophilic domain spacing, and crystallinity were observed to be most similar between field-operated cells and OCV RHC ASTs, where local thinning and divot-type defects are the primary failure modes. While RHC in air also reproduces these failure modes, it is not aggressive enough to differentiate between different membrane types in >1,333 hours (55 days) of testing. Conversely, steady-state OCV tests result in significant ionomer morphology changes and global thinning, which do not replicate field degradation and failure modes. It is inferred that during the OCV RHC AST, the decay of the membrane's mechanical properties is accelerated such that materials can be evaluated in hundreds, instead of thousands, of hours, while replicating the degradation and failure modes of field operation; associated AST protocols are recommended as OCV RHC at 90°C for 500 hours with wet/dry cycle durations of 30s/45s and 2m/2m for automotive and bus operation, respectively.},
doi = {10.1149/2.0101806jes},
journal = {Journal of the Electrochemical Society},
issn = {0013-4651},
number = 6,
volume = 165,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {3}
}

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