Development of a galvanostatic analysis technique as an in-situ diagnostic tool for PEMFCs

Development of a galvanostatic analysis technique as an in-situ diagnostic tool for PEMFCs
PEMFC; MEA; electrochemistry; in-situ analysis; degradation
Issue Date
221st ECS Meeing
Potentiodynamic techniques that are used for single cells, such as CV and LSV, cannot be directly applied in the analysis of PEMFC stacks, because the voltage distribution in the stack is generally not uniform and has different cell performances and degradations. In the case of PEMFC stacks, galvanostatic techniques are preferred as cells are serially connected in most systems. Therefore, the stack evaluation is usually made by measuring the stack voltage and cell voltage distribution under galvanostatic control, as well as by EIS measurement with current perturbation. In the present study, a galvanostatic analysis technique under an atmosphere of nitrogen (cathodes) and hydrogen (anodes) was developed as an in-situ diagnostic tool for PEMFC single cells and stacks. With a half-cell configuration, the EAS calculation with converted galvanostatic data was experimentally validated by Stevens et al. for a series of carbon-supported Pt catalysts (Pt/C) [1]. However, in the case of a PEMFC system with an inert gas in the cathodes and hydrogen in the anodes, the electrochemical oxidation of hydrogen gases transferred through PEMs (from anode to cathode), which are not capacitive, should be considered in addition to the capacitive reactions.
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