Design and experimental characterization of a 350 W High Temperature PEM fuel cell stack

N. Zuliani

Abstract


High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane (HT PEM) fuel cell based on polybenzimidazole (PBI) polymer and phosphoric acid, can be operated at temperature between 120 °C and 180 °C. Reactants humidification is not required and CO content up to 2% in the fuel can be tolerated, affecting only marginally performance. This is what makes HT PEM very attractive, as low quality reformed hydrogen can be used and water management problems are avoided. Till nowadays, from experimental point of view, only few studies relate to the development and characterization of high temperature stacks. The aim of this work is to present the main design features and the performance curves of a 25 cells HT PEM stack based on PBI and phosphoric acid membranes. Performance curves refer to the stack operating with two type of fuels: pure hydrogen and a gas mixture simulating a typical steam reformer output. The stack voltage distribution analysis and the stack temperature distribution analysis suggest that cathode air could be used as coolant leading to a better thermal management. This could simplify stack design and system BOP, thus increasing system performance

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3221%2FIGF-ESIS.15.04