Electrochemical pressure impedance spectroscopy applied to the study of polymer electrolyte fuel cells
Abstract The development of novel in-situ diagnostic techniques allows new insight into the internal working of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) so that improved performance can be realised. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) is a widely used characterisation technique that takes advantage of the dynamic relationship between current and voltage to deconvolute critical mechanisms and sources of performance loss occurring with different time constants. Here, we apply electrochemical pressure impedance spectroscopy (EPIS) which examines the transfer function relating reactant gas pressure modulation to the electrical response of the fuel cell. A sinusoidally oscillating perturbation is applied to the cathode backpressure using a loudspeaker arrangement and the resulting voltage perturbation is monitored. It is shown that the technique can be used to separate the explicit effect of water management from reactant starvation when a PEFC is operated under different reactant humidification conditions. Highlights Pneumato-electrochemical impedance spectroscopy applied to a PEFC. PEIS provides extra dimension of information to EIS. PEIS applied at varying inlet gas humidity conditions. Technique separates effects of water management and mass transport limitation. Graphical abstract [DISPLAY OMISSION]
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