The Cylindrical Structure of Metallic Bipolar Plates for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell
As a key component of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), the bipolar plate’s performance will directly affect the power output and battery life of the fuel cell. The conventional metallic bipolar plate is prone to warp, and has large flatness error with residual stress induced by forming process. This will result in contacting incompletely with membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) and lower fuel cell efficiency. A cylindrical structure of the PEMFC metallic polar plate is proposed to improve its stiffness and to reduce assembling error of the fuel cell. The polar plate features, which were originally designed on a flat surface, are projected onto the cylindrical surface with a certain curvature. Two cylindrical polar plates are welded together to become a bipolar plate. The finite element method is applied to compare the stiffness of the conventional and cylindrical polar & bipolar plates. The cylindrical bipolar plate has better stiffness and anti-warping than the conventional bipolar plate. The feasibility of the cylindrical structure is verified by experiment and provides a new idea for the improvement of the bipolar plate and fuel cell stack.
J. Lan et al., "The Cylindrical Structure of Metallic Bipolar Plates for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 228-229, pp. 1029-1034, 2011