Chih-Chia Lin


3 Study on Properties of Carbon-based Layer for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Application

Authors: Pei-Jung Wu, Ching-Ying Huang, Chih-Chia Lin, Chun-Han Li, Chien-Yuan Wang


The fuel cell market has considerable development potential, but the cost is still less competitive. Replacing the traditional graphite plate with a stainless steel plate as a bipolar plate can greatly reduce the weight and volume of the stack, and has more cost advantages. However, the passivation layer on the surface of stainless steel makes the contact resistance reach the ohmic level and reduces the performance of the fuel cell. Therefore, it is necessary to reduce the interfacial contact resistance through the surface treatment. In this research, the thickness, uniformity, interfacial contact resistance (ICR), and adhesion of the carbon-based layer was analyzed. On the other hand, the effect of coating properties on the performance of the fuel cell was verified through I-V tests. The results show that after coating the contact resistance is greatly reduced by three stages to the microohm level, and as the film thickness is reduced, the contact resistance is reduced from 229~118 mΩ-cm² to 135~73 mΩ-cm² at a general assembly pressure of 1 to 2 MPa., and the current density at 0.6 V increased from 485.7 mA/cm² to 575.7 mA/cm². This study verifies the importance of the uniformity and ICR of the coating on proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), and the surface coating technology is the key to affecting the characteristics of the coating.

Keywords: contact resistance, PEMFC, proton exchange membrane fuel cell, SS bipolar plate, spray coating process

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2 Field Synergy Analysis of Combustion Characteristics in the Afterburner of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell System

Authors: Shing-Cheng Chang, Cheng-Hao Yang, Wen-Sheng Chang, Chih-Chia Lin, Chun-Han Li


The solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) is a promising green technology which can achieve a high electrical efficiency. Due to the high operating temperature of SOFC stack, the off-gases at high temperature from anode and cathode outlets are introduced into an afterburner to convert the chemical energy into thermal energy by combustion. The heat is recovered to preheat the fresh air and fuel gases before they pass through the stack during the SOFC power generation system operation. For an afterburner of the SOFC system, the temperature control with a good thermal uniformity is important. A burner with a well-designed geometry usually can achieve a satisfactory performance. To design an afterburner for an SOFC system, the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation is adoptable. In this paper, the hydrogen combustion characteristics in an afterburner with simple geometry are studied by using CFD. The burner is constructed by a cylinder chamber with the configuration of a fuel gas inlet, an air inlet, and an exhaust outlet. The flow field and temperature distributions inside the afterburner under different fuel and air flow rates are analyzed. To improve the temperature uniformity of the afterburner during the SOFC system operation, the flow paths of anode/cathode off-gases are varied by changing the positions of fuels and air inlet channel to improve the heat and flow field synergy in the burner furnace. Because the air flow rate is much larger than the fuel gas, the flow structure and heat transfer in the afterburner is dominated by the air flow path. The present work studied the effects of fluid flow structures on the combustion characteristics of an SOFC afterburner by three simulation models with a cylindrical combustion chamber and a tapered outlet. All walls in the afterburner are assumed to be no-slip and adiabatic. In each case, two set of parameters are simulated to study the transport phenomena of hydrogen combustion. The equivalence ratios are in the range of 0.08 to 0.1. Finally, the pattern factor for the simulation cases is calculated to investigate the effect of gas inlet locations on the temperature uniformity of the SOFC afterburner. The results show that the temperature uniformity of the exhaust gas can be improved by simply adjusting the position of the gas inlet. The field synergy analysis indicates the design of the fluid flow paths should be in the way that can significantly contribute to the heat transfer, i.e. the field synergy angle should be as small as possible. In the study cases, the averaged synergy angle of the burner is about 85̊, 84̊, and 81̊ respectively.

Keywords: Combustion, Solid Oxide Fuel Cell, field synergy, afterburner

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1 Laser Welding Technique Effect for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Application

Authors: Chih-Chia Lin, Ching-Ying Huang, Cheng-Hong Liu, Wen-Lin Wang


A complete fuel cell stack comprises several single cells with end plates, bipolar plates, gaskets and membrane electrode assembly (MEA) components. Electrons generated from cells are conducted through bipolar plates. The amount of cells' components increases as the stack voltage increases, complicating the fuel cell assembly process and mass production. Stack assembly error influence cell performance. PEM fuel cell stack importing laser welding technique could eliminate transverse deformation between bipolar plates to promote stress uniformity of cell components as bipolar plates and MEA. Simultaneously, bipolar plates were melted together using laser welding to decrease interface resistance. A series of experiments as through-plan and in-plan resistance measurement test was conducted to observe the laser welding effect. The result showed that the through-plane resistance with laser welding was a drop of 97.5-97.6% when the contact pressure was about 1MPa to 3 MPa, and the in-plane resistance was not significantly different for laser welding.

Keywords: Resistance, Laser Welding, PEM fuel cell, through-plan, in-plan

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