This paper explores the method of neutron imaging as an experimental tool to perform in situ non-destructive analysis on an operating polymer electrolyte membrane hydrogen fuel cell. Neutrons are ideal for the imaging of hydrogen fuel cells because of their sensitivity to hydrogen-containing compounds such as water. This research focused on using imaging techniques to develop methods for testing and evaluating the water management system of a fuel cell. A real-time radiography dataset consisting of 1000 images at 2-s intervals was used to create a movie which showed water production, transport, and removal throughout the cell. This dataset was also analyzed to quantify and calculate the amount of water present in the cell at any time and masking techniques were used to differentiate between water in the cell flow channels and in the gas diffusion layer. Additionally, a tomography dataset allowed for the creation of a digital 3-dimensional (3-D) reconstruction of the dry cell which can be analyzed for structural defects.
- Fuel cell
- Water management
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering