A proton exchange membrane fuel cell impedance model taking into account convection along the air channel: On the bias between the low frequency limit of the impedance and the slope of the polarization curve

Abstract : The Nyquist impedance spectra of proton exchange membrane fuel cells fed with air exhibit generally two loops, the low frequency one being ordinarily associated with oxygen diffusion. However, as shown experimentally by Schneider et al. and numerically by Kramer et al., the convective motion of air along the flow field channels results in an additional impedance that contributes significantly to this low frequency loop. In this paper, we derive an analytical expression of 2D convecto-diffusive impedance taking into account convection along the channel direction, which makes it possible to determine the extent to which the low frequency loop results from diffusion losses in the direction perpendicular to the MEA or from convective phenomena occuring along the channel direction. This work confirms that AC induced sinusoid variations of the oxygen concentrations amplify significantly along the air channel, especially at low frequency. However, we show in addition that using constant air (any hydrogen) flow rates when performing EIS contributes also significantly to the low frequency loop: since the air flow rate is not oscillating in phase with the current, the oxygen stoichiometry is not constant and the operating conditions in the presence of the AC signal cannot converge to the steady state conditions when the frequency tens to zero. As a consequence contrary to the common conception, the fuel cell low frequency resistance R-If cannot be equal to the slope of the polarization curve R-DC (in identical operating conditions). The bias between R-If and R-DC is all the more significant since the oxygen stoichiometry is low; locally, it is the most important near the air channel outlet. In order to assess the magnitude of these effects, it is possible to use a non-dimensional number, function of the characteristic times associated with convection along the channel and with diffusion the direction perpendicular to the membrane (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Electrochimica Acta, Elsevier, 2012, 83, pp.13 - 27. 〈10.1016/j.electacta.2012.07.065〉
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Soumis le : lundi 24 juillet 2017 - 16:37:35
Dernière modification le : lundi 4 juin 2018 - 10:04:03

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Gaël Maranzana, Julia Mainka, Olivier Lottin, Jérôme Dillet, Adrien Lamibrac, et al.. A proton exchange membrane fuel cell impedance model taking into account convection along the air channel: On the bias between the low frequency limit of the impedance and the slope of the polarization curve. Electrochimica Acta, Elsevier, 2012, 83, pp.13 - 27. 〈10.1016/j.electacta.2012.07.065〉. 〈hal-01567953〉

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