|Optimisation of the design and manufacture of bipolar plates|
|Development of processes and optimisation of the mechanical design of fuel cells|
|Numerical simulation of processes in PEM fuel cells|
The research lines of the LIFTEC Fuel Cell Group aim to improve the design of components, systems and processes to manufacture fuel cells using a proton-exchange-polymer membrane (known as the PEM type) as an electrolyte at both low and high temperatures (up to 160°C). For that purpose, we have used experimental techniques and two- and three-dimensional numerical codes, developed entirely by group members and capable of simulating complex processes taking place inside these devices.
The main objective is to optimise the design and improve and simplify the processes involved in manufacturing fuel cells with varying powers and their components. The group can also optimise subsystems, create new experimental installations for evaluation and electrochemical characterisation, and research processes related to water and heat management.
The group’s three main lines of research are:
- Optimisation of the design and manufacture of bipolar plates: this includes the study of new materials and durability analysis, the design of new flow geometries and the optimisation of gas distribution systems in bipolar plates and the study of water generation and management inside the cells.
Development of processes and optimisation of the mechanical design of fuel cells: this includes studying the optimisation of the formation of membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs), the development of sealing systems, the development and optimisation of more effective cooling systems, the optimisation of medium-power fuel cell assembly and sealing processes and the evaluation and electrochemical characterisation of these electrochemical devices.
Numerical simulation of processes in PEM fuel cells: this line studies the influence of various operating and manufacture parameters on the performance of PEM fuel cells in a way that is precise and far cheaper than using experimental methods.