This paper describes a measurement technique developed for the determination of the effective electrical bulk resistance of the gas diffusion layer (GDL) and the contact resistance distribution at the interface of the GDL and the bipolar plate (BPP). The novelty of this study is the measurement and separation of the bulk and contact resistance under inhomogeneous compression, occurring in an actual fuel cell assembly due to the presence of the channels and ribs on the bipolar plates. The measurement of the electrical contact resistance, contributing to nearly two-third of the ohmic losses in the fuel cell assembly, shows a non-linear distribution along the GDL/BPP interface. The effective bulk resistance of the GDL under inhomogeneous compression showed a decrease of nearly 40% compared to that estimated for homogeneous compression at different compression pressures. Such a decrease in the effective bulk resistance under inhomogeneous compression could be due to the non-uniform distribution of pressure under the ribs and the channels. This measurement technique can be used to identify optimum GDL, BPP and channel-rib structures based on minimum bulk and contact resistances measured under inhomogeneous compression.
Journal of Power Sources – Elsevier
Published: Jul 15, 2016
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