Coating Ti-V-Cr Thin Film on the Anode Gas Diffusion Layer to Improve the Performance of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

Tuesday, 26 May 2015: 17:40
Continental Room A (Hilton Chicago)
S. Y. Fang, R. H. Huang (National Chung Hsing University), L. G. Teoh (National Pingtung University of Science and Technology), K. L. Hsueh (Industrial Technology Research Institute), W. K. Chao (AU Optronics Corporation), D. C. Tsai, T. N. Yang, and F. S. Shieu (National Chung Hsing University)
In this study, a TiVCr hydrogen storage alloy was coated onto the anode gas diffusion layer (GDL) of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) by direct-current sputtering to improve cell performance and durability. Scanning electron microscopy analysis indicated that the GDLs are well coated and that the TiVCr coating shows pyramidal protrusions. The single-cell performance of PEMFCs, in which the GDLs were coated with TiVCr hydrogen storage alloy as the anode, was investigated at cell temperatures of 25 and 65 °C (non-humidification and full-humidification conditions, respectively). The membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) with TiVCr hydrogen storage alloy-coated GDL (10 min sputtering time) exhibited optimal performance at 25 and 65 °C, with power densities 18.49% and 43.67%, respectively, higher than that without TiVCr hydrogen storage alloy coating. The MEA with the TiVCr-coated GDL obtained by 60 min of sputtering exhibited 90.6% greater durability under no-hydrogen flow conditions than the MEA without the TiVCr hydrogen storage alloy coating. These results demonstrate for the first time that GDLs coated with a hydrogen storage alloy such as TiVCr may be applied in PEMFCs to improve their performance and durability.