Cold Start of Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells
The ability of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) to startup and operate under subzero temperatures has been an issue for the commercialization of the fuel cell vehicle (FCV). It is widely believed that during PEFC operation in a subzero temperature environment a portion of water produced from the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) forms ice in the catalyst layer (CL) that hinders the oxygen transport to the reaction sites, until the PEFC eventually stops operation due to oxygen starvation. For the automotive application, successful cold start is defined as PEFC temperature increase above 0°C with self-heating before the cell shutdown due to oxygen starvation. Several automakers have already claimed capability of FCV startup from a subzero temperature environment. However, the underlying physics has only begun to emerge in the most recent literature.
KeywordsOxygen Reduction Reaction Catalyst Layer Cold Start Bipolar Plate Convective Flux
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