Publication Detail

Neutron Radiography Measurements of In-situ PEMFC Liquid Water Saturation in 2D & 3D Morphology Gas Diffusion Layers

UCD-ITS-RP-17-22

Reprint

Suggested Citation:
Cooper, Nathanial J., Anthony Santamaria, Maxwell K. Becton, Jae Wan Park (2017) Neutron Radiography Measurements of In-situ PEMFC Liquid Water Saturation in 2D & 3D Morphology Gas Diffusion Layers. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 42 (25), 16269 - 16278

This work uses neutron radiography to examine the through-plane liquid water distribution of an operating polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) with a Sigracet SGL 25BC, a 235 μm thick, 2D straight fiber Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL). This work is performed for interdigitated flow fields at several cross flow rates, and a parallel flow field for comparison. The effect on pressure drop, effective permeability and liquid water saturation is determined. These results are compared to the previously studied Sigracet SGL 10BC, a 420 μm thick, 3D “spaghetti” fiber GDL, for comparable cross flow rates. The SGL 25BC has a higher permeability than the SGL 10BC. The 25BC has a relatively constant saturation within the GDL, from 8% to 10%, which is higher than the 10BC saturation level, between 4 and 8%. This may indicate that 2D GDLs may be better suited to low pumping power situations, while 3D GDLs may be better suited to low liquid water situations.

Keywords: Fuel cell, Through-plane, Neutron radiography, Interdigitated, Water saturation, Cross flow