Fuel Cell Basics

Introduction to Electrolyzers

Electrolyzers use electricity to break water into hydrogen and oxygen. The electrolysis of water occurs through an electrochemical reaction that does not require external components or moving parts. It is very reliable and can produce ultra-pure hydrogen (> 99.999%) in a non-polluting manner when...

Fuel Cell Modeling

After you understand the basic concepts around designing, building, and testing fuel cells, the next step is optimization. Optimization often involves extensive experimentation and testing, however, sometimes experimentation does not yield the expected results. Mathematical modeling is useful when phenomena cannot be visually...

Electrical Subsystem of Fuel Cells

If you took the electrical output directly from a fuel cell, it would be an unideal power source. The output of a fuel cell is a DC voltage that varies widely and has a limited overload capacity. The electrical output is slow to respond to load changes because it is based on a chemical reaction, and may have...

Techniques for Measuring Fuel Cell Resistance

The fuel cell polarization curve provides useful information on fuel cell performance, however; additional information is needed to study its performance characteristics accurately. Cell resistance provides insightful information about a fuel cell that is not completely captured by polarization curves. Since fuel cell current densities are high in comparison with...

Water Management For PEM Fuel Cells

One of the greatest challenges associated with PEMFCs is the water balance in the fuel cell stack. As the chemical reaction occurs in each cell, water is generated. Depending upon the load and the operating conditions, there is a tendency for the fuel cells to both flood and dry-out. The water content in the...

Fuel Cell Heat Management

Creating high-efficiency fuel cells requires proper temperature control, and heat management to ensure that the fuel cell system runs consistently. Depending upon the fuel cell type, the optimal temperature can range from room temperature to 1000 ºC, and any deviation from the designed temperature range can result in...

Polarization Curves

If you work with fuel cells, then you are definitely working with polarization curves. The polarization curve does not have a lot of specificity; however, it is one of the most common methods of testing a fuel cell. It also allows an easy comparison to other published polarization curves. The polarization curve displays the voltage output of the fuel cell for a given current density loading...

Fuel Cell System Design

Fuel cell system designs range from very simple to very complex depending upon the fuel cell application and the system efficiency desired. A fuel cell system can be very efficient with just the fuel cell stack and a few other balance-of-plant components or may require many outside components to optimize...

Fuel Cell Characterization

Different characterization techniques enable the quantitative comparison of every property and part of the fuel cell stack. By characterizing the fuel cell properly, you can understand why the fuel cell is performing well or poorly. These techniques help discriminate between activation, ohmic and concentration losses, fuel crossover, and...

Fuel Cell Operating Conditions

Fuel cell operating conditions depend upon the cell and stack design. The operating parameters that affect fuel cell performance are: Operating Pressure, Operating Temperature, Flow Rates of Reactants, and Humidity of Reactants. Using the correct operating condition for each parameter is...