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Title: The Effect of Membrane Casting Irregularities on Initial Fuel Cell Performance

Abstract

Membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) may possess as-manufactured non-uniformities in any of its constituent components. This work studies casting irregularities located within the PEM to understand their potential impact on MEA initial performance. Membrane material was cast on a lab-scale polymer casting line operating either within or at the boundaries of the process window. The resulting membrane material was either pristine in the former case, or, in the latter case, contained air bubbles, cracks, and other irregularities, ranging in size from about 0.6 to 3 mm. Spatial polarization experiments were conducted using a 121-channel segmented fuel cell system, and thermal imaging was performed subsequently to map hydrogen crossover to spatial performance. While total-cell polarization data was minimally impacted by the irregularities, the spatial diagnostics showed local performance impacts that, in operation over time, could cause degradation in performance or earlier failure of the MEA. Such impacts could lead to these irregularities being classified as defects, i.e., manufacturing variations that should be identified and not included in a fuel cell stack. Classification of irregularities as defects will ultimately assist the industry by contributing to the development of threshold detection limits for in-line quality control diagnostics.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [3];  [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  2. Georgia Institute of Technology
  3. Colorado School of Mines
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Fuel Cell Technologies Office (EE-3F)
OSTI Identifier:
1596622
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5900-74521
DOE Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Fuel Cells
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Fuel Cells
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; 47 OTHER INSTRUMENTATION; defect; infrared thermography; membrane pinhole; polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells; roll-to-roll manufacturing; segmented cell

Citation Formats

Phillips, Adam, Ulsh, Michael J, Mackay, Jocelyn, Harris, Tequila, Shrivastava, Naveen, Chatterjee, Abheek, Porter, Jason, and Bender, Guido. The Effect of Membrane Casting Irregularities on Initial Fuel Cell Performance. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.1002/fuce.201900149.
Phillips, Adam, Ulsh, Michael J, Mackay, Jocelyn, Harris, Tequila, Shrivastava, Naveen, Chatterjee, Abheek, Porter, Jason, & Bender, Guido. The Effect of Membrane Casting Irregularities on Initial Fuel Cell Performance. United States. doi:10.1002/fuce.201900149.
Phillips, Adam, Ulsh, Michael J, Mackay, Jocelyn, Harris, Tequila, Shrivastava, Naveen, Chatterjee, Abheek, Porter, Jason, and Bender, Guido. Fri . "The Effect of Membrane Casting Irregularities on Initial Fuel Cell Performance". United States. doi:10.1002/fuce.201900149.
@article{osti_1596622,
title = {The Effect of Membrane Casting Irregularities on Initial Fuel Cell Performance},
author = {Phillips, Adam and Ulsh, Michael J and Mackay, Jocelyn and Harris, Tequila and Shrivastava, Naveen and Chatterjee, Abheek and Porter, Jason and Bender, Guido},
abstractNote = {Membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) may possess as-manufactured non-uniformities in any of its constituent components. This work studies casting irregularities located within the PEM to understand their potential impact on MEA initial performance. Membrane material was cast on a lab-scale polymer casting line operating either within or at the boundaries of the process window. The resulting membrane material was either pristine in the former case, or, in the latter case, contained air bubbles, cracks, and other irregularities, ranging in size from about 0.6 to 3 mm. Spatial polarization experiments were conducted using a 121-channel segmented fuel cell system, and thermal imaging was performed subsequently to map hydrogen crossover to spatial performance. While total-cell polarization data was minimally impacted by the irregularities, the spatial diagnostics showed local performance impacts that, in operation over time, could cause degradation in performance or earlier failure of the MEA. Such impacts could lead to these irregularities being classified as defects, i.e., manufacturing variations that should be identified and not included in a fuel cell stack. Classification of irregularities as defects will ultimately assist the industry by contributing to the development of threshold detection limits for in-line quality control diagnostics.},
doi = {10.1002/fuce.201900149},
journal = {Fuel Cells},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {1}
}

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