Free air breathing planar PEM fuel cell design for portable electronics
Author(s)Crumlin, Ethan J
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
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PEM fuel cell technology is an energy source that can provide several times more energy per unit volume then current lithium ion batteries. However, PEM fuel cells remain to be optimized in volume and mass to create a minimum size for integration into portable electronics. A planar fuel cell design utilizes the bare minimum in volume and mass over current stacked fuel cell designs. This was done by taking an innovative approach of assembling the fuel cell with just the bare minimum components, a proton exchange membrane, cathode electrode, anode electrode, and gas diffusion layer on both sides of the membrane to assume the role of GDL and current collector. This planar fuel cell design was able to produce a power density over 25mW/cm2. This is an order of magnitude lower then reported air breathing fuel cell values, however the route cause has been isolated to the ohmic losses of the planar fuel cell. Increasing the applied contact forces and creating low resistance electronically conductive grid lines, have shown to contribute to the reduction in ohmic resistance and will be the focus of future research. From this research, a planar fuel cell design has been shown to successful work and there are ways to improve its performance.
Thesis (S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2005.Includes bibliographical references (leaf 33).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology