Optimal design and operational tests of a high-temperature PEM fuel cell for a combined heat and power unit
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Development of new materials for polymer electrolyte membranes has allowed increasing the operational temperature of PEM fuel cell stacks above 120 degrees C. The present paper summarizes the main results obtained in a research devoted to the design, fabrication and operational tests performed on a high-temperature PEMFC prototype. A 5-cell stack has been assembled with commercial Celtec P-1000 high-temperature MEAs from BASF Fuel Cells, but the rest of elements and processes have been developed at LIFTEC research facilities. The stack includes different novelties, such as the way in which reactant gases are supplied to the flowfield, the design of the flowfield geometry for both anode and cathode plates, the concept of block that eases the assembling and maintenance processes, and the heating strategy for a very fast start-up. The different procedures comprising the assembly, closing and conditioning stages are also widely described and discussed. Results obtained in the preliminary operational tests performed are very promising, and it is expected that the 30-cells HT-PEMFC stack will deliver an electric power 2.3 times larger than the one initially predicted. Copyright (C) 2013, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
CitationBarreras, F. [et al.]. Optimal design and operational tests of a high-temperature PEM fuel cell for a combined heat and power unit. "International journal of hydrogen energy", 26 Març 2014, vol. 39, núm. 10, p. 5388-5398.