Spatially-resolved current and impedance analysis of a stirred tank reactor and serpentine fuel cell flow-field at low relative humidity

Warren H.J. Hogarth, Johannes Steiner, Jay Burton Benziger, Alex Hakenjos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

A 20 cm2 segmented anode fuel cell is used to investigate the performance of a hydrogen-air fuel cell at 1 atm. with two different flow-fields using spatially-resolved current and impedance measurements. A self-draining stirred tank reactor (STR) fuel cell and a single-channel serpentine fuel cell are compared with humidified and dry feed conditions. The current density distribution, impedance distribution, heat distribution and water evolution are compared for the two different flow-fields. With inlet feed dew points of 30 °C, the STR fuel cell and serpentine system performed comparably with moderate current gradients. With drier feeds, however, the STR fuel cell exhibited superior overall performance in terms of a higher total current and lower current, impedance and temperature distribution gradients. The STR fuel cell design is superior to a single-channel serpentine design under dry conditions because its open channel design allows the feed gases to mix with the product water and auto-humidify the cell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)464-471
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Volume164
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 10 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Keywords

  • Auto-humidification
  • Current density distribution
  • Impedance
  • Single-channel serpentine design
  • Spatially-resolved impedance
  • Stirred tank reactor fuel cell

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