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Title: High resolution neutron imaging of water in PEM fuel cells

Abstract

Optimal water management in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells is critical to improving the performance and durability of fuel cell systems especially during transient, start-up and shut-down operations. For example, while a high water content is desirable for improved membrane and catalyst ionomer conductivity, high water content can also block gas access to the triple-phase boundary resulting in lowered performance due to catalyst and gas diffusion layer (GDL) flooding. Visualizing liquid water by neutron imaging has been used over the past decade to study the water distribution inside operating fuel cells. In this paper, the results from our imaging at NIST using their recently installed higher resolution ({approx} 25 mm) Microchannel Plate (MCP) detector with a pixel pitch of 14.7 mm are presented. This detector is capable of quantitatively imaging the water inside the MEA (Membrane Electrode Assembly)/GDL (Gas Diffusion Layer) of working fuel cells and can provide the water profiles within these various components in addition to the channel water. Specially designed fuel cells (active area = 2.25 cm{sup 2}) have been used in order to take advantage of the full detector resolution. The cell design is illustrated in a figure where one of the current collector/end platesmore » is shown. The serpentine pattern was machined into a block of aluminum and plated with nickel and then gold to form the flow field. The measurements were performed using beam no. 1 and aperture no. 2 with a fluence rate of 1.9 x 10{sup 6} neutrons cm{sup -2} sec{sup -1}. The cells were assembled with Gore{sup TM} Primea{sup R} MEAs and SGL Sigracet {sup R} 24 series GDLs (PRIMEA, GORE-SELECT and GORE are trademarks of W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc). All the cells were tested at 80 {sup o}C with 1.2 stoichiometry H{sub 2} and 2.0 stoichiometry air flows.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Laboratory
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
960495
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-08-05051; LA-UR-08-5051
TRN: US201006%%1161
DOE Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 2008 Fuel Cell Seminar and Exposition ; October 27, 2008 ; Phoenix
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36; AIR FLOW; ALUMINIUM; CATALYSTS; DIFFUSION; ELECTROLYTES; FUEL CELLS; GOLD; LAYERS; LIQUIDS; MANAGEMENT; MEMBRANES; NEUTRONS; NICKEL; PERFORMANCE; PLATES; POLYMERS; PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANE FUEL CELLS; START-UP; STOICHIOMETRY; WATER; WATER SUPPLY

Citation Formats

Mukundan, Rangachary, Borup, Rodney L, Davey, John R, and Spendelow, Jacob S. High resolution neutron imaging of water in PEM fuel cells. United States: N. p., 2008. Web.
Mukundan, Rangachary, Borup, Rodney L, Davey, John R, & Spendelow, Jacob S. High resolution neutron imaging of water in PEM fuel cells. United States.
Mukundan, Rangachary, Borup, Rodney L, Davey, John R, and Spendelow, Jacob S. Tue . "High resolution neutron imaging of water in PEM fuel cells". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/960495.
@article{osti_960495,
title = {High resolution neutron imaging of water in PEM fuel cells},
author = {Mukundan, Rangachary and Borup, Rodney L and Davey, John R and Spendelow, Jacob S},
abstractNote = {Optimal water management in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells is critical to improving the performance and durability of fuel cell systems especially during transient, start-up and shut-down operations. For example, while a high water content is desirable for improved membrane and catalyst ionomer conductivity, high water content can also block gas access to the triple-phase boundary resulting in lowered performance due to catalyst and gas diffusion layer (GDL) flooding. Visualizing liquid water by neutron imaging has been used over the past decade to study the water distribution inside operating fuel cells. In this paper, the results from our imaging at NIST using their recently installed higher resolution ({approx} 25 mm) Microchannel Plate (MCP) detector with a pixel pitch of 14.7 mm are presented. This detector is capable of quantitatively imaging the water inside the MEA (Membrane Electrode Assembly)/GDL (Gas Diffusion Layer) of working fuel cells and can provide the water profiles within these various components in addition to the channel water. Specially designed fuel cells (active area = 2.25 cm{sup 2}) have been used in order to take advantage of the full detector resolution. The cell design is illustrated in a figure where one of the current collector/end plates is shown. The serpentine pattern was machined into a block of aluminum and plated with nickel and then gold to form the flow field. The measurements were performed using beam no. 1 and aperture no. 2 with a fluence rate of 1.9 x 10{sup 6} neutrons cm{sup -2} sec{sup -1}. The cells were assembled with Gore{sup TM} Primea{sup R} MEAs and SGL Sigracet {sup R} 24 series GDLs (PRIMEA, GORE-SELECT and GORE are trademarks of W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc). All the cells were tested at 80 {sup o}C with 1.2 stoichiometry H{sub 2} and 2.0 stoichiometry air flows.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2008},
month = {Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2008}
}

Conference:
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