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Performance of miniature fuel cells with segmented contacts attached to the GDL

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4 Author(s)
Ramesh, P. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India ; Dimble, S.S. ; Agarwal, V. ; Duttagupta, S.P.

Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are very promising for both mobile and mid-power stationary applications. One of the key component of fuel cells is the flow field plate through which hydrogen fuel will reach the anode and oxygen reach the cathode. Another function of the flow field plate is the electron collection. Traditionally flow field plates are made of graphite which makes them good for current collection. But with the development of miniature fuel cells, authors have reported flow field plates in silicon and other technologies such as PCB. As silicon is not a good electrical conductor, electrical contacts has to be attached to the Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) for taking the power to outside world. This is achieved by attaching segmented contacts to the GDL area which are not covered by flow plates. Here we build a three dimensional model for a fuel cell in which current collection is carried out by segmented contacts attached to the GDL. Eight different ways of attaching contacts to the GDL is studied. The results were compared with a fabricated un segmented cell. The 3-D model was done using Comsol Multiphysics.

Published in:

Electric Power and Energy Conversion Systems (EPECS), 2011 2nd International Conference on

Date of Conference:

15-17 Nov. 2011