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Nitrogen Blanketing and Hydrogen Starvation in Dead-Ended-Anode Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells Revealed by Hydro-Electro-Thermal Analysis

Meyer, Q; Ashton, S; Torija, S; Gurney, C; Boillat, P; Cochet, M; Engebretsen, E; ... Brett, DJL; + view all (2016) Nitrogen Blanketing and Hydrogen Starvation in Dead-Ended-Anode Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells Revealed by Hydro-Electro-Thermal Analysis. Electrochimica Acta , 203 pp. 198-205. 10.1016/j.electacta.2016.04.018. Green open access

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Abstract

Dead-ended anode operation has a number of practical advantages that simplify system complexity and lower cost for polymer electrolyte fuel cells. However, dead-ended mode leads to performance loss over time which can only be reversed by performing intermittent purge events. This work applies a combined hydro-electro-thermal analysis to an air-cooled open-cathode fuel cell, presenting experimental functional maps of water distribution, current density and temperature. This approach has allowed the identification of a 'nitrogen blanketing' effect due to nitrogen cross-over from the cathode and a 'bypass' effect where a peripheral gap between the gasket and the GDL offers a hydrogen flow 'short circuit' to the border of the electrode. A consequence of high local current density at the margin of the electrode, and resulting high temperatures, may impact the lifetime of the cell in dead-end mode.

Type: Article
Title: Nitrogen Blanketing and Hydrogen Starvation in Dead-Ended-Anode Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells Revealed by Hydro-Electro-Thermal Analysis
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.electacta.2016.04.018
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.electacta.2016.04.018
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Keywords: Dead-ended anode; bypass effect; neutron imaging; nitrogen blanketing; current and temperature mapping
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Chemical Engineering
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1498675
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