The ability of the polymer electrolyte fuel cell to start up at sub-freezing temperatures, also called cold start, is paramount for its transportation application. The ability to cold start is governed by whether the fuel cell is able to overcome 0 °C before the produced ice terminates the electrochemical reaction. Therefore, fundamental understanding of the fuel cell performance at sub-freezing temperatures is highly needed to improve its cold start characteristics. In this work, we investigated the fuel cell sub-freezing operation through experimental investigation. PEFCs using various membranes and catalyst layer configurations were constructed. In particular, various catalyst layer thickness, ionomer-catalyst ratios, RHs, and membrane thicknesses were considered, and their influence on fuel cell cold start performance was investigated. The voltage, current, high-frequency resistance, and the coulombs passed before failure were recorded and presented to reveal the fuel cell cold start operation. Further, a simplified analysis of cold start was performed based on an electrode model. The cell voltage evolution and solid water build up were predicted and compared with the experimental data.
- Advanced Energy Systems Division
Performance of PEM Fuel Cells at Sub-Freezing Temperatures
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Mishler, J, Wang, Y, Lujan, R, Borup, RL, & Mukundan, R. "Performance of PEM Fuel Cells at Sub-Freezing Temperatures." Proceedings of the ASME 2011 9th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology collocated with ASME 2011 5th International Conference on Energy Sustainability. ASME 2011 9th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology. Washington, DC, USA. August 7–10, 2011. pp. 727-733. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/FuelCell2011-54654
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