The development of a modular test system makes possible the reproducible and standardised characterisation of components for high-temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells (HT-PEFC)
The path to a net hydrogen technology, with energy production, storage and transformation has many steps. In the middle term, it leads through the combined use of reformed hydrogen (e.g. from natural gas) and hydrogen produced through electrolysis. HT-PEFC have shown to be more resilient to the use of such gas mixtures, compared to low-temperature fuel cells (LT-PEFC). This characteristic, together with the use of these systems in especial applications where high temperatures are necessary or expedient, point to the need to create the necessary development and testing tools for high-temperature fuel cells, as well as to study innovative systems approaches for HT-FC technology.
For this reason, the project partners will develop a standard in the form of a test system in order to systematically carry out and advance research in this area.
Using the method developed at Westphalian University of Applied Sciences to hydraulically compress individual cells, it is possible to create conditions of homogeneous temperature and pressure distribution in the test cells, and by extension, in the stack. This is fundamental to guarantee a stable operation with the least possible losses.
In the modular test system, the individual cells are placed in separate, flexible pouches, which are submerged in a hydraulic fluid. The fuel cells in the pouches can thus be uniformly pressed and homogeneously heated. Using this method, the testing capacity can be significantly increased, in comparison to existing test cells; up to five test cells can be studied under identic conditions. Additionally, the hydraulic liquid that bathes the test cells allows for a simple decoupling of the heat used in the system to be used in other processes.
The project partners will configure and characterise the necessary components, create test system prototypes and carry out test series.
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Westphalian Energy Institute
The Westphalian Energy Institute (WEI) is a central scientific institution of the Westphalian University of Applied Sciences...
Information on funding and further project participants
Funding code: EFRE-08000551