The loss in the performance during the fuel cell operation, such as lack of durability, is closely related to the degradation of membrane and catalyst of the cell. Operation under dynamic load cycling is known to enhance the degradation for various reasons. In this project, a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) made of Nafion 112 membrane was used for experiments to observe the response of fuel cell performance while cycling the load between 0.54 A/cm2 (0.63V) and 0.02A/cm2 (0.88V). The performance degradation was analyzed using four methods: polarization curve, impedance spectroscopy, ion chromatography and TEM. The results demonstrate the gradual degradation of membrane, with overall voltage loss by 48% for the low current condition.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Major Qualifying Project
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