This proposed Mitacs project will investigate and further develop EIS (Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy), or AC-impedance-based measurement hardware used for diagnosing faults in PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) fuel cell systems (FCS), and incorporating the on-board EIS function in the fuel cell dc/dc converters used to transfer power from the fuel cell to the vehicle traction drive.
Polymer electrolyte fuel cells are a key technology in the race against climate challenge, and while commercial applications are increasingly common, challenges remain in cost, performance, and durability. Most of the issues that prevent full commercialization affect the catalyst layer, the region where the power-generating electrochemical reactions take place, like the oxygen reduction reaction. This layer consists of platinum nanoparticles supported on a carbon material and covered by an ion conducting polymer.
Fuel cells are a clean energy technology that generates electricity without harmful emissions and uses hydrogen as the fuel in place of oil. As fuel cell electric vehicles are deployed globally on a significant scale, it is critical to ensure high levels of operational durability and reliability, equal to or exceeding that of incumbent engine technologies. The proposed project addresses the durability of the membrane, which is one of the key components of fuel cells.
This proposed research project is an extension of a previous NSERC CRD project that is investigating hybridization optimization of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) used in FC bus and rail applications. The models developed in this research are expected to yield improved fuel cell and system lifetimes in service, and improved detection and mitigation of fuel cell faults causing degradation and unacceptable emissions, and detection/mitigation of critical system component faults.
The joint objective of the consortium is to undertake R&D necessary to produce a scalable, cost-effective combined hydrogen storage and fuel cell solution for UAVs that addresses weight and volume and improves refueling logistics. The novel hydrogen storage system will be combined with a high-power density optimized fuel cell stack for UAVs that integrates with the low pressure, volumetrically efficient, hydrogen storage solution.
The production of optimised catalysts and catalyst layers for proton exchange membrane fuel cells is both labour intensive and time consuming. However, these materials and composites are of critical importance if proton exchange membrane fuel cells are to become commercially viable. Specifically, highly active catalysts are required in order to reduce platinum group metal content and system cost, while optimized catalyst layer designs are necessary to achieve high performance and robustness in operating cells.
Hydrogen fuel cells are a promising alternative to meeting todays transportation demands. Longer lasting and more robust fuel cells are essential for commercial applications. A common issue with the longevity of a fuel cell stack is the tolerance to repeated start-up shutdown cycles. During these cycles, the fuel cell can become starved of fuel due to blockages in the channels. Without fuel to react, the fuel cell will begin to break down the carbon supports causing catastrophic cell failure.
The performance of non-precious metal catalysts (NPMCs) for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) has now reached a stage at which they can be considered as possible alternatives to expensive Pt, especially for low power applications. However, despite significant efforts on catalyst development in the past, only limited studies have been performed on NPMC-based electrode designs. Thus, it is required to develop an effective NPMC-based electrode that can correctly balance the complex parameters to maximize the performance it can bring.
Hydrogen powered polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are a clean energy technology that generates electricity without harmful emissions at the point of use. To accelerate commercialization, current R&D efforts mainly target reduced cost and increased lifetime. The proposed research project addresses both aspects by developing a unified chemical and mechanical modeling platform for evaluating membrane durability in PEMFCs. The core validation is based on extensive test and field data provided by our industry partner, Ballard Power Systems.
Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) has emerged as an eminent technology to address today's growing energy crisis and environmental issues. PEMFC technology faces multiple challenges before widespread commercialization. Water transport inside a PEMFC has a significant impact on the cell performance and durability. In this internship a numerical model is implemented to study the transport phenomena inside and across the membrane of a PEMFC.