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Reference Number EP/G061424/1
Title Developing an experimental functional map of polymer electrolyte fuel cell operation
Status Completed
Energy Categories HYDROGEN and FUEL CELLS(Fuel Cells, Stationary applications) 50%;
HYDROGEN and FUEL CELLS(Fuel Cells, Mobile applications) 50%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Chemistry) 75%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Prof A (Anthony ) Kucernak
No email address given
Imperial College London
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 April 2009
End Date 31 March 2012
Duration 36 months
Total Grant Value £301,105
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region London
Programme Energy : Energy
Investigators Principal Investigator Prof A (Anthony ) Kucernak , Chemistry, Imperial College London (99.999%)
  Other Investigator Professor NP (Nigel ) Brandon , Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Intelligent Energy (0.000%)
Project Contact , Johnson Matthey Technology Centre (0.000%)
Web Site
Objectives Linked to grant EP/G060991/1
Abstract It is not possible to understand the way that a fuel cell operates without understanding how reactants, products, heat and electrochemical potential varies within that fuel cell. A consequence of this is that in order to obtain the best performance out of a fuel cell we cannot treat it like a simple electrical device with a positive and negative terminal: we need to be able to understand what ishappening at different points within that fuel cell.Put simply, the purpose of this project is to develop a new way to "image" what is happening within an operating fuel cell. That is, to develop a way in which we can see how well the different parts of the fuel cell is operating - whether they are operating well, or starved of reactants, or undergoing damaging processes which will limit the longevity of the system.In this programme we intend to build on previous work at NPL, Imperial and UCL to develop a world-class instrument to allow us to study what is happening within an operating fuel cell. We will utilise a specially instrumented fuel cell which will allow us to monitor several very important parameters in real time. In this way we can monitor how the fuel cell operates under thedifferent extreme conditions imposed on it during both normal and abnormal operating conditions. Examples of such extreme conditions occur when the fuel cell is started up, or shut down or when the fuel cell is "pushed" to perform at the limits of its performance (as might be expected during an overtaking manoeuvre if the fuel cell were powering a vehicle). Results of this researchwill be utilised to improve the design of the fuel cell.The hardware will be designed and built at Imperial College, and tested at both Imperial and NPL. A bipolar plate rapid prototyping facility will be built at UCL which will allow us to experiment with different flow-field geometries in order to achieve as even as possible distribution of the parameters being measured with the fuel cellmapping hardware. Modelling will be performed at UCL in order to test improvements to the performance of the cells brought about by using different flow-field architecturesWe have engaged with two major UK fuel cell companies, Johnson Matthey and Intelligent Energy, who are interested in utilising the instrumentation and results of this work
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 16/02/09