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Title: Integrated Manufacturing for Advanced MEAs

Abstract

This program addressed a two-pronged goal for developing fuel cell components: lowering of precious metal content in membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs), thereby reducing the fuel cell cost, and creating MEAs that can operate at 120oC and 25% RH whereby the system efficiency and effectiveness is greatly improved. In completing this program, we have demonstrated a significant reduction in precious metal while at the same time increasing the power output (achieved 2005 goal of 0.6g/Kw). We have also identified a technology that allows for one step fabrication of MEAs and appears to be a feasible path toward achieving DOE’s 2010 targets for precious metal and power (approaches 0.2g/Kw). Our team partner Du Pont invented a new class of polymer electrolyte membrane that has sufficient stability and conductivity to demonstrate feasibility for operation at 120 oC and low relative humidity. Through the course of this project, the public has benefited greatly from numerous presentations and publications on the technical understanding necessary to achieve these goals.

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
PEMEAS U.S.A.
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
901566
Report Number(s):
DOE/AL/67606
TRN: US200716%%402
DOE Contract Number:
FC36-02AL67606
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; EFFICIENCY; ELECTRODES; ELECTROLYTES; FABRICATION; FUEL CELLS; HUMIDITY; MANUFACTURING; MEMBRANES; POLYMERS; STABILITY; TARGETS; Fuel Cell Components; Membrane Electrode Assemblies; precious metal reduction; high temperature membranes

Citation Formats

Emory S. De Castro, Yu-Min Tsou, Mark G. Roelofs, and Olga Polevaya. Integrated Manufacturing for Advanced MEAs. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/901566.
Emory S. De Castro, Yu-Min Tsou, Mark G. Roelofs, & Olga Polevaya. Integrated Manufacturing for Advanced MEAs. United States. doi:10.2172/901566.
Emory S. De Castro, Yu-Min Tsou, Mark G. Roelofs, and Olga Polevaya. Fri . "Integrated Manufacturing for Advanced MEAs". United States. doi:10.2172/901566. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/901566.
@article{osti_901566,
title = {Integrated Manufacturing for Advanced MEAs},
author = {Emory S. De Castro and Yu-Min Tsou and Mark G. Roelofs and Olga Polevaya},
abstractNote = {This program addressed a two-pronged goal for developing fuel cell components: lowering of precious metal content in membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs), thereby reducing the fuel cell cost, and creating MEAs that can operate at 120oC and 25% RH whereby the system efficiency and effectiveness is greatly improved. In completing this program, we have demonstrated a significant reduction in precious metal while at the same time increasing the power output (achieved 2005 goal of 0.6g/Kw). We have also identified a technology that allows for one step fabrication of MEAs and appears to be a feasible path toward achieving DOE’s 2010 targets for precious metal and power (approaches 0.2g/Kw). Our team partner Du Pont invented a new class of polymer electrolyte membrane that has sufficient stability and conductivity to demonstrate feasibility for operation at 120 oC and low relative humidity. Through the course of this project, the public has benefited greatly from numerous presentations and publications on the technical understanding necessary to achieve these goals.},
doi = {10.2172/901566},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Mar 30 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Fri Mar 30 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}

Technical Report:

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  • This subcontract report describes Shell Solar Industries (SSI), formerly Siemens Solar Industries, pursuing research and development of CuInSe2-based thin-film PV technology since 1980. In the 1980s, SSI demonstrated a 14.1%-efficient 3.4-cm2 active-area cell; unencapsulated integrated modules with aperture efficiencies of 11.2% on 940 cm2 and 9.1% on 3900 cm2; and an encapsulated module with 8.7% efficiency on 3883 cm2 (verified by NREL). Since these early achievements, SSI has made outstanding progress in the initial commercialization of high-performance thin-film CIS technology. Line yield has been increased from about 60% in 2000 to about 85% in 2002. This major accomplishment supports attractivemore » cost projections for CIS. Recently, NREL confirmed a champion 12.8% aperture-area conversion efficiency for a large-area (3626 cm2) CIS module. Other than definition of the aperture area, this module is simply one module from the upper end of the production distribution for standard modules. Prerequisites for commitment to large-scale commercialization have been demonstrated at successive levels of CIS production. Remaining R&D challenges are to scale the processes to even larger areas, to reach higher production capacity, to demonstrate in-service durability over longer times, and to advance the fundamental understanding of CIS-based materials and devices with the goal of improvements for future products. SSI's thin-film CIS technology is poised to make very significant contributions to DOE/NREL/NCPV long-term goals of higher volume, lower-cost commercial products. The objective of this subcontract is to continue advancement of SSI's copper indium diselenide (CIS) technology through development and implementation of: high-throughput CIS absorber formation reactors; an XRF measurement system; a bar-code scribing system; a high-capacity ZnO monitoring system; a high-capacity continuous-light-source simulator; and integrated manufacturing infrastructure including Statistical Process Control (SPC), Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), and intelligent processing functions.« less
  • The objective of this subcontract was to continue the advancement of CIS production at Shell Solar Industries through the development of high-throughput CIS absorber formation reactors, implementation of associated safety infrastructure, an XRF measurement system, a bar code scribing system, and Intelligent Processing functions for the CIS production line. The intent was to open up production bottlenecks thereby allowing SSI to exercise the overall process at higher production rates and lay the groundwork for evaluation of near-term and long-term manufacturing scale-up. The goal of the absorber formation reactor subcontract work was to investigate conceptual designs for high-throughput, large area (2x5more » ft.) CIS reactors and provide design specifications for the first generation of these reactors. The importance of reactor design to the CIS formation process was demonstrated when first scaling from a baseline process in reactors for substrates to a large area reactor. SSI demonstrated that lower performance for large substrates was due to differences in absorber layer properties that were due to differences in the materials of construction and the physical design of the large reactor. As a result of these studies, a new large area reactor was designed and built that demonstrated circuit plate performance comparable to the performance using small area reactors. For this subcontract work, three tasks were identified to accomplish the absorber formation reactor work: Modeling, Mockup and Vendor Search. The goal of the mockup task was to demonstrate that large area substrates, nominally 2 by 5 ft., could be heated without warping and to begin exploring the achievable thermal uniformity for various reactor and substrate configurations and varied ramp rates. The mockup consisted of a metal simulation of the reactor that was placed in a large industrial furnace. Substrate temperature variations ranged from minimal to significant with increasing substrate load. Warping ranged from minimal to significant with increasing substrate load for higher cool down rates. Repeated mockup runs indicated that a slower cool down does not necessarily avoid warping without improvements in thermal uniformity that could not be implemented in the mockup.« less
  • New production technologies of membrane-electrode-assemblies for PEWCs which ensure almost complete catalyst utilization by {open_quotes}wetting{close_quotes} the internal catalyst surface with the ionomeric electrolyte, allow for a reduction of Pt-loadings from prior 4 mg cm{sup -2} to now less than 0.5 mg cm{sup -2}. Such electrodes are not thicker than from 5 to 10 {mu}m. Little has been published hitherto about the detailed micromorphology of such electrodes and the role of electrode porosity on electrode performance. It is well known, that the porosity of thicker fuel cell electrodes, e.g. of PAFC or AFC electrodes is decisive for their performance. Therefore themore » issue of this investigation is to measure and to modify the porosity of electrodes prepared by typical MEA production procedures and to investigate the influence of this porosity on the effective catalyst activity for cathodic reduction of oxygen from air in membrane cells. It may be anticipated that any mass transfer hindrance of gaseous reactants into porous electrodes would manifest itself rather in the conversion of dilute gases than in the conversion of pure gases (e.g. neat oxygen). Therefore in this investigation the performance of membrane cell cathodes with non pressurized air had been compared to that with neat oxygen at cathodes which had a relatively low Pt-loading of 0.15 mg cm{sup -2}.« less