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Technical Briefs

Bipolar Plate Thermal Response to PEM Fuel Cell Stack Compressive Load

[+] Author and Article Information
N. Fekrazad

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Connecticut, 191 Auditorium Road, Unit 3139, Storrs, CT 06269

T. L. Bergman

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Connecticut, 191 Auditorium Road, Unit 3139, Storrs, CT 06269tberg@engr.uconn.edu

J. Heat Transfer 130(6), 064503 (May 07, 2008) (3 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2897928 History: Received February 16, 2007; Revised October 09, 2007; Published May 07, 2008

This technical brief reports new findings regarding the strong relationship between the temperature of the bipolar plates of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack and thermal conditions within the membranes of the stack. The unique feature of the study is the notion that bipolar plate temperature might be used as an indicator to identify optimal stack clamping pressures that lead to nearly isothermal conditions inside the stack. Uniform thermal (and humidity) conditions are expected to enhance fuel cell durability and reliability.

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Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Electrical and thermal contact resistance dependences upon clamping pressure for Sigracet GDL material. The curve fits are to the experimental data of Ref. 2.

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Figure 2

Schematic diagram of (a) a fuel cell stack and (b) a single cell within the stack

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Figure 3

Maximum temperature difference along the centerline of the membrane of Fig. 2 as a function of the clamping pressure for Vcell=0.6V. Gas pressure and temperature are as indicated. The circles indicate clamping pressures associated with the BP thermal shift of Fig. 4.

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Figure 4

Dimensionless BP temperature versus clamping pressure for the conditions of Table 1.

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