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An on-line study of fuel cell behavior by thermal neutrons

An on-line study of fuel cell behavior by thermal neutrons
An on-line study of fuel cell behavior by thermal neutrons
Generating electricity via electrochemical conversion of chemical energy within a fuel cell is a very promising approach, which is investigated in many laboratories worldwide. Although the fuel cell principle has been known since many years, dedicated studies are needed to make this technology competing and cost efficient. Especially, low-temperature fuel cells have gained interest as high-efficiency converters for mobile and portable applications. These polymer electrolyte fuel cells and direct methanol fuel cells operate in the temperature regime below 100 degrees C at-or slightly above-ambient pressure. Therefore, the coexistence of a liquid aqueous phase and a gaseous phase inside the fuel cell is possible. The operation under two-phase flow conditions is believed to seriously impede the electrochemical performance due to mass transport limitations. Hence, an experimental method to study these two-phase flow phenomena in situ is highly desirable.It is possible to investigate the water distribution inside an operating fuel cell by means of neutron imaging methods. This way, dedicated performance parameters can be applied to the fuel cell and the two-phase flow phenomena are studied in situ, with reasonable spatial and time resolution. Appropriate post-processing allows quantitative evaluation, which is essential for the understanding of the relation between flow characteristics and electrochemical behavior of the cell. For this paper, the investigation of the two-phase flow inside the anodic compartment of a direct methanol fuel cell has been chosen in order to quantitatively demonstrate the suitability of neutron imaging with thermal neutrons.
neutron imaging, fuel cells, two-phase, dmfc
0168-9002
52-60
Kramer, Denis
1faae37a-fab7-4edd-99ee-ae4c30d3cde4
Lehmann, Eberhard
e471ba21-7811-494f-9fc5-039e424052be
Frei, Gabriel
16d127e8-4555-4384-b137-54b5db2ec6a0
Vontobel, Peter
66828f3a-6185-4769-8adb-ef380a5927e6
Wokaun, Alexander
54ef9f9a-9751-4ce5-8dc0-2a6cc998f474
Scherer, Günther G.
56ef4270-8ab3-4836-b50a-2647c6d9d2cc
Kramer, Denis
1faae37a-fab7-4edd-99ee-ae4c30d3cde4
Lehmann, Eberhard
e471ba21-7811-494f-9fc5-039e424052be
Frei, Gabriel
16d127e8-4555-4384-b137-54b5db2ec6a0
Vontobel, Peter
66828f3a-6185-4769-8adb-ef380a5927e6
Wokaun, Alexander
54ef9f9a-9751-4ce5-8dc0-2a6cc998f474
Scherer, Günther G.
56ef4270-8ab3-4836-b50a-2647c6d9d2cc

Kramer, Denis, Lehmann, Eberhard, Frei, Gabriel, Vontobel, Peter, Wokaun, Alexander and Scherer, Günther G. (2005) An on-line study of fuel cell behavior by thermal neutrons. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, 542 (1-3), 52-60. (doi:10.1016/j.nima.2005.01.011).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Generating electricity via electrochemical conversion of chemical energy within a fuel cell is a very promising approach, which is investigated in many laboratories worldwide. Although the fuel cell principle has been known since many years, dedicated studies are needed to make this technology competing and cost efficient. Especially, low-temperature fuel cells have gained interest as high-efficiency converters for mobile and portable applications. These polymer electrolyte fuel cells and direct methanol fuel cells operate in the temperature regime below 100 degrees C at-or slightly above-ambient pressure. Therefore, the coexistence of a liquid aqueous phase and a gaseous phase inside the fuel cell is possible. The operation under two-phase flow conditions is believed to seriously impede the electrochemical performance due to mass transport limitations. Hence, an experimental method to study these two-phase flow phenomena in situ is highly desirable.It is possible to investigate the water distribution inside an operating fuel cell by means of neutron imaging methods. This way, dedicated performance parameters can be applied to the fuel cell and the two-phase flow phenomena are studied in situ, with reasonable spatial and time resolution. Appropriate post-processing allows quantitative evaluation, which is essential for the understanding of the relation between flow characteristics and electrochemical behavior of the cell. For this paper, the investigation of the two-phase flow inside the anodic compartment of a direct methanol fuel cell has been chosen in order to quantitatively demonstrate the suitability of neutron imaging with thermal neutrons.

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More information

Published date: 21 April 2005
Keywords: neutron imaging, fuel cells, two-phase, dmfc
Organisations: Engineering Mats & Surface Engineerg Gp

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 189835
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/189835
ISSN: 0168-9002
PURE UUID: a304e18c-38c1-4551-ac7a-f5c887b25e4f

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Date deposited: 15 Jun 2011 12:54
Last modified: 16 Jul 2019 23:29

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Contributors

Author: Denis Kramer
Author: Eberhard Lehmann
Author: Gabriel Frei
Author: Peter Vontobel
Author: Alexander Wokaun
Author: Günther G. Scherer

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