Next Generation Bipolar Plates for Automotive PEM Fuel Cells

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The results of a successful U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) funded two-year $2.9 MM program lead by GrafTech International Inc. (GrafTech) are reported and summarized. The program goal was to develop the next generation of high temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell bipolar plates for use in transportation fuel cell applications operating at temperatures up to 120 °C. The bipolar plate composite developed during the program is based on GrafTech’s GRAFCELL resin impregnated flexible graphite technology and makes use of a high temperature Huntsman Advanced Materials resin system which extends the upper use temperature of the composite to the ... continued below

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Adrianowycz, Orest; Norley, Julian; Stuart, David J.; Flaherty, David; Wayne, Ryan; Williams, Warren et al. April 15, 2010.

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Description

The results of a successful U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) funded two-year $2.9 MM program lead by GrafTech International Inc. (GrafTech) are reported and summarized. The program goal was to develop the next generation of high temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell bipolar plates for use in transportation fuel cell applications operating at temperatures up to 120 °C. The bipolar plate composite developed during the program is based on GrafTech’s GRAFCELL resin impregnated flexible graphite technology and makes use of a high temperature Huntsman Advanced Materials resin system which extends the upper use temperature of the composite to the DoE target. High temperature performance of the new composite is achieved with the added benefit of improvements in strength, modulus, and dimensional stability over the incumbent resin systems. Other physical properties, including thermal and electrical conductivity of the new composite are identical to or not adversely affected by the new resin system. Using the new bipolar plate composite system, machined plates were fabricated and tested in high temperature single-cell fuel cells operating at 120 °C for over 1100 hours by Case Western Reserve University. Final verification of performance was done on embossed full-size plates which were fabricated and glued into bipolar plates by GrafTech. Stack testing was done on a 10-cell full-sized stack under a simulated drive cycle protocol by Ballard Power Systems. Freeze-thaw performance was conducted by Ballard on a separate 5-cell stack and shown to be within specification. A third stack was assembled and shipped to Argonne National Laboratory for independent performance verification. Manufacturing cost estimate for the production of the new bipolar plate composite at current and high volume production scenarios was performed by Directed Technologies Inc. (DTI). The production cost estimates were consistent with previous DoE cost estimates performed by DTI for the DoE on metal plates. The final result of DTI’s analysis for the high volume manufacturing scenario ($6.85 /kW) came in slightly above the DoE target of $3 to $5/kW. This estimate was derived using a “Best Case Scenario” for many of the production process steps and raw material costs with projections to high volumes. Some of the process improvements assumed in this “Best Case Scenario” including high speed high impact forming and solvent-less resins, have not yet been implemented, but have a high probability of potential success.

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  • Report No.: DOE/07GO17012
  • Grant Number: FG36-07GO17012
  • DOI: 10.2172/975485 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 975485
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc927369

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • April 15, 2010

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  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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Adrianowycz, Orest; Norley, Julian; Stuart, David J.; Flaherty, David; Wayne, Ryan; Williams, Warren et al. Next Generation Bipolar Plates for Automotive PEM Fuel Cells, report, April 15, 2010; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc927369/: accessed August 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.