Fuel Cell X-Ray Study Details Effects of Temperature and Moisture on Performance

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Like a well-tended hothouse garden, a specialized form of hydrogen fuel dungeon – that shows guarantee as a clean, renewable next-generation appetite source for vehicles and other uses – requires accurate feverishness and dampness controls to be during a best. If a middle conditions are too dry or too wet, a fuel dungeon won’t duty well.

See charcterised 3D digest (40 Megabytes) generated by an X-ray-based imaging technique during Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source, that shows little pockets of H2O (blue) in a sinewy sample. The X-ray experiments showed how dampness and feverishness can impact a opening of fuel-cell components.

But saying inside a operative fuel dungeon during a little beam applicable to a fuel cell’s chemistry and production is challenging, so scientists used X-ray-based imaging techniques during a Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Argonne National Laboratory to investigate a middle workings of fuel-cell components subjected to a operation of feverishness and dampness conditions.

The investigate team, led by Iryna Zenyuk, a former Berkeley Lab postdoctoral researcher now during Tufts University, enclosed scientists from Berkeley Lab’s Energy Storage and Distributed Resources Division and a Advanced Light Source (ALS), an X-ray source famous as a synchrotron.

The ALS lets researchers picture in 3-D during high fortitude really quickly, permitting them to demeanour inside operative fuel cells in real-world conditions. The group combined a exam bed to impersonate a feverishness conditions of a operative polymer-electrolyte fuel dungeon that is fed hydrogen and oxygen gases and produces H2O as a byproduct.

“The H2O government and feverishness are critical,” pronounced Adam Weber, a staff scientist in a Energy Technologies Area during Berkeley Lab and emissary executive for a multi-lab fuel dungeon investigate effort, a Fuel Cell Consortium for Performance and Durability (FC-PAD).

The investigate has been published online in a biography Electrochimica Acta.

IMAGE - Temperature-controlled fuel-cell X-ray experiments were conducted during Berkeley Labs Advanced Light Source (bottom left) and Argonne National Laboratorys Advanced Photon Source (bottom right). The mechanism renderings (top) uncover a specialized representation holder, that enclosed a heating component nearby a tip and cooling coils during a base. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

Temperature-controlled X-ray experiments on fuel-cell components were conducted during Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (bottom left) and Argonne National Laboratory’s Advanced Photon Source (bottom right). The mechanism renderings (top) uncover a specialized representation holder, that enclosed a heating component nearby a tip and cooling coils during a base. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

The investigate aims to find a right change of steam and feverishness within a cell, and how H2O moves out of a cell.

Controlling how and where H2O fog condenses in a cell, for example, is vicious so that it doesn’t retard incoming gases that promote chemical reactions.

“Water, if we don’t mislay it, can cover a matter and forestall oxygen from reaching a greeting sites,” Weber said. But there has to be some steam to safeguard that a executive surface in a dungeon can well control ions.

The investigate group used an X-ray technique famous as micro X-ray computed tomography to record 3-D images of a representation fuel dungeon measuring about 3 to 4 millimeters in diameter.

“The ALS lets us picture in 3-D during high fortitude really quickly, permitting us to demeanour inside operative fuel cells in real-world conditions,” pronounced Dula Parkinson, a investigate scientist during a ALS who participated in a study.

The representation dungeon enclosed skinny carbon-fiber layers, famous as gas-diffusion layers, that in a operative dungeon sandwich a executive polymer-based surface coated with matter layers on both sides. These gas-diffusion layers assistance to discharge a reactant chemicals and afterwards mislay a products from a reactions.

Weber pronounced that a investigate used materials that are applicable to blurb fuel cells. Some prior studies have explored how H2O wicks by and is strew from fuel-cell materials, and a new investigate combined accurate feverishness controls and measurements to yield new discernment on how H2O and feverishness correlate in these materials.

Complimentary experiments during a ALS and during Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source, a synchrotron that specializes in a opposite operation of X-ray energies, supposing minute views of a H2O evaporation, condensation, and placement in a dungeon during feverishness changes.

“It took a ALS to try a production of this,” Weber said, “so we can review this to fanciful models and eventually optimize a H2O government routine and so a dungeon performance,” Weber said.

The experiments focused on normal temperatures trimming from about 95 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, with feverishness variations of 60 to 80 degrees (hotter to colder) within a cell. Measurements were taken over a march of about 4 hours. The formula supposing pivotal information to countenance H2O and feverishness models that fact fuel-cell function.

Image - Water clusters in representation fuel-cell components cringe over time in this method of images, constructed by a 3-D imaging technique famous as micro X-ray computed tomography. The H2O clusters were contained in a sinewy surface that was unprotected to opposite temperatures. The meant feverishness began during about 104 degrees Fahrenheit and was gradually increasing to about 131 degrees Fahrenheit. The tip side of a images was a hotter side of a sample, and a bottom of a images was a colder side. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

Water clusters in representation fuel-cell components cringe over time in this method of images, constructed by a 3-D imaging technique famous as micro X-ray computed tomography. The H2O clusters were contained in a sinewy surface that was unprotected to opposite temperatures. The meant feverishness began during about 104 degrees Fahrenheit and was gradually increasing to about 131 degrees Fahrenheit. The tip side of a images was a hotter side of a sample, and a bottom of a images was a colder side. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

This exam dungeon enclosed a prohibited side designed to uncover how H2O evaporates during a site of a chemical reactions, and a cooler side to uncover how H2O fog condenses and drives a bulk of a H2O transformation in a cell.

While a thermal conductivity of a carbon-fiber layers – their ability to send feverishness appetite – decreased rather as a dampness calm declined, a investigate found that even a smallest grade of superfluity constructed scarcely double a thermal conductivity of a totally dry carbon-fiber layer. Water evaporation within a dungeon appears to dramatically boost during about 120 degrees Fahrenheit, researchers found.

The experiments showed H2O placement with millionths-of-a-meter precision, and suggested that H2O ride is mostly driven by dual processes: a operation of a fuel dungeon and a cleansing of H2O from a cell.

The investigate found that incomparable H2O clusters evaporate some-more fast than smaller clusters. The investigate also found that a figure of H2O clusters in a fuel dungeon tend to resemble flattened spheres, while voids imaged in a carbon-fiber layers tend to be rather football-shaped.

There are also some ongoing studies, Weber said, to use a X-ray-based imaging technique to demeanour inside a full subscale fuel dungeon one territory during a time.

“There are ways to tack together a imaging so that we get a many incomparable margin of view,” he said. This routine is being evaluated as a approach to find a start of disaster sites in cells by imaging before and after testing. A standard operative subscale fuel dungeon measures around 50 block centimeters, he added.

Other researchers participating in this investigate were from Tufts University, Argonne National Laboratory, and a Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The work was upheld by a U.S. Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and a National Science Foundation.

The Advanced Light Source and a Advanced Photon Source are DOE Office of Science User Facilities that are open to visiting scientists from around a U.S. and world.

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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses a world’s many obligatory systematic hurdles by advancing tolerable energy, safeguarding tellurian health, formulating new materials, and divulgence a start and predestine of a universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s systematic imagination has been famous with 13 Nobel Prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for a U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. For more, revisit www.lbl.gov.

DOE’s Office of Science is a singular largest believer of simple investigate in a earthy sciences in a United States, and is operative to residence some of a many dire hurdles of the time. For some-more information, greatfully revisit science.energy.gov.

Source: Berkeley Lab

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