Natural degradation and stimulated recovery of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 2014, 39 (24), pp. 12849 - 12858
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In this paper, the stimulated recovery of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells after natural degradation has been investigated. The performance degradation of a 63-cell PEM fuel cell stack over a storage interval of 40,000 h at temperature 24 °C and relative humidity 65% was analyzed by static and dynamical tests. The average cell voltage degradation rate was 309 μV h -1, averaged over a range of currents. The performance was then partially recovered by application of a high frequency pulsing procedure after which the effective average degradation rate (from the commencement of storage to after the recovery) was approximately 170 μV h-1. This indicates the existence of both recoverable and irrecoverable degradations in the fuel cell. Furthermore, the equivalent circuit model and membrane resistance were used to investigate the degradation mechanisms, suggesting that the natural degradation of the fuel cell is mainly caused by the increase of the resistance, which is most likely caused by membrane dehydration. © 2014, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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