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Investigations of new horizons on H2/O2 proton exchange membrane fuel cells

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2003
Yazaydın, Ahmet Özgür
Proton exchange membrane fuel cells are electrochemical devices which convert the chemical energy of hydrogen into electrical energy with a high efficiency. They are compact and produce a powerful electric current relative to their size. Different from the batteries they do not need to be recharged. They operate as long as the fuel is supplied. Fuel cells, therefore, are considered as one of the most promising options to replace the conventional power generating systems in the future. In this study five PEMFCs; namely EAE1, AOY001, AOY002, AOY003 and AOY004 were manufactured with different methods and in different structures. A test station was built to make the performance tests. Performances of the PEMFCs were compared by comparing the voltage-current (V-i) diagrams obtained during the initial tests at 25 ð C of fuel cell and gas humidification temperatures. AOY001 showed the best performance among all PEMFCs with a current density of 77.5 mA/cm2 at 0.5 V and it was chosen for further parametric studies where the effect of different flow rates of H2 and O2 gases, gas humidification and fuel cell temperatures on the performance were investigated. It was found that increasing fuel cell and gas humidification temperatures increased the performance. Excess flow rate of reactant gases had an adverse effect on the performance. On the other hand increasing the ratio of flow rate of oxygen to hydrogen had a positive but limited effect. AOY001 delivered a maximum current density of 183 mA/cm2 at 0.5 V. The highest power obtained was 4.75 W