Two-dimensional spatial distributions of the water content of the membrane electrode assembly and the electric current generated in a polymer electrolyte fuel cell measured by 49 nuclear magnetic resonance surface coils: Dependence on gas flow rate and relative humidity of supplied gases

Kuniyasu Ogawa, Tatsuyoshi Sasaki, Shigeki Yoneda, Kumiko Tsujinaka, Ritsuko Asai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A PEFC (polymer electrolyte fuel cell) with a large power generation area of 140 mm × 160 mm has spatial distributions of the water content of the MEA (membrane electrode assembly) and the electric current produced that depend on the flow rate and relative humidity of the supplied gas. When 49 NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) surface coils arranged in 7 rows × 7 columns were inserted into the PEFC, two-dimensional spatial distributions of the water content of the MEA and the electric current could be measured from the acquired NMR signals. The water content of the MEA was calculated from the intensity of the NMR signal, and the electric current distribution was determined by an inverse analysis that reproduces the spatial distribution of the resonance frequency of the NMR signals. The PEFC, which was supplied with hydrogen and oxygen at a high humidity of 80 %RH, generated electric power at 130 A over the whole area of the MEA. On the other hand, under a low humidity of 40 %RH and low flow rate conditions, the water content of the MEA became high in the midstream and downstream regions, and a high electric current was generated in these regions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number227254
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Volume444
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 31

Keywords

  • Electric current
  • NMR measurement
  • Polymer electrolyte fuel cell
  • Surface coil
  • Two-dimensional spatial distribution
  • Water content

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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