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Title: Transport Studies Enabling Efficiency Optimization of Cost-Competitive Fuel Cell Stacks (aka AURORA: Areal Use and Reactant Optimization at Rated Amperage)

Hydrogen fuel cells are recognized as one of the most viable solutions for mobility in the 21st century; however, there are technical challenges that must be addressed before the technology can become available for mass production. One of the most demanding aspects is the costs of present-day fuel cells which are prohibitively high for the majority of envisioned markets. The fuel cell community recognizes two major drivers to an effective cost reduction: (1) decreasing the noble metals content, and (2) increasing the power density in order to reduce the number of cells needed to achieve a specified power level. To date, the majority of development work aimed at increasing the value metric (i.e. W/mg-Pt) has focused on the reduction of precious metal loadings, and this important work continues. Efforts to increase power density have been limited by two main factors: (1) performance limitations associated with mass transport barriers, and (2) the historical prioritization of efficiency over cost. This program is driven by commercialization imperatives, and challenges both of these factors. The premise of this Program, supported by proprietary cost modeling by Nuvera, is that DOE 2015 cost targets can be met by simultaneously exceeding DOE 2015 targets for Platinum loadingsmore » (using materials with less than 0.2 mg-Pt/cm 2) and MEA power density (operating at higher than 1.0 Watt/cm 2). The approach of this program is to combine Nuvera’s stack technology, which has demonstrated the ability to operate stably at high current densities (> 1.5 A/cm 2), with low Platinum loading MEAs developed by Johnson Matthey in order to maximize Pt specific power density and reduce stack cost. A predictive performance model developed by PSU/UTK is central to the program allowing the team to study the physics and optimize materials/conditions specific to low Pt loading electrodes and ultra-high current density and operation.« less
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  1. Nuvera Fuel Cells, Inc., Billerica, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Nuvera Fuel Cells, Inc., Billerica, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Contributing Orgs:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States); Johnson Matthey Fuel Cell Ltd., Swindon (United Kingdom)
Country of Publication:
United States
30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; fuel cell predictive model; low Platinum Loading; cost effective fuel cell; efficient fuel cell; high power density; high current density; open flowfield architecture; DOE cost targets