Diagnosis of MEA degradation under accelerated relative humidity cycling

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2011.01.088
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Journal titleJournal of Power Sources
Pages50455052; # of pages: 8
SubjectDurability; MEA degradation; Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells; RH cycling; Selective permeability
AbstractThe objective of this work is to identify the failure mode diagnosis protocols for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells with the use of accelerated testing conditions. The single cells used in this work were constructed using commercial Ion Power® membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) and the performance degradation was studied under accelerated dynamic reactant relative humidity (RH) conditions. The influence of RH on cell performance was investigated, and a strong dependence of degradation with respect to relative humidity was found. RH cycling was seen to not only cause the gradual decrease in performance at the beginning of cell operation, but it was also related to the rapid decline in performance observed after 330 h operation. This change in degradation rate is seen a change in the material degradation failure mechanism at this point in the operational history of the cell. The increase in cell resistance, membrane crossover, fluoride release rate and decrease in electrochemical surface area (ESA) were also observed with time, and these results were correlated to change in degradation rate. Infra-Red (IR) imaging of an aged MEA was utilized to show varying temperature profiles and outline the possibility of cracks, tears or pinholes in the membrane.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number19542545
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Record identifierb9c4555f-7f97-4c98-a15d-585965113a72
Record created2012-02-23
Record modified2016-05-09
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