Read Fuel Cell Membrane Electrode Assembly Manufacturing R&D, DOE Hydrogen Program FY 2010 Annual Progress Report text version

VI.1 Fuel Cell Membrane Electrode Assembly Manufacturing R&D

Michael Ulsh (Primary Contact), Huyen Dinh, Guido Bender, Niccolo Aieta

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) 1617 Cole Blvd. Golden, CO 80401 Phone: (303) 275-3842 E-mail: [email protected]

Theseobjectiveshavestrongsupportfromour industrypartners.Ourspecificdevelopmentactivities havebeenandwillcontinuetobefullyinformedby directinputfromindustry.Asnewtechnologiesemerge andastheneedsoftheindustrychange,thedirectionsof this project will be adjusted.

DOE Technology Development Manager: Pete Devlin

Phone: (202) 586-4905 E-mail: [email protected]

Technical Barriers

Thisprojectaddressesthefollowingtechnical barriers,fromtheManufacturingR&Dsection(3.5)of theFuelCellTechnologiesProgramMulti-YearResearch, Development and Demonstration Plan: (A) LackofHigh-VolumeMembraneElectrode Assembly (MEA) Processes (F) LowLevelsofQualityControlandInflexible Processes

Partners:

· LawrenceBerkeleyNationalLaboratory(LBNL), Berkeley,CA · ColoradoSchoolofMines,Golden,CO · UniversityofHawaii,HawaiiNaturalEnergyInstitute, Honolulu,HI · RensselaerPolytechnicInstitute,Troy,NY · 3M,St.Paul,MN · ArkemaInc.,KingofPrussia,PA · BallardMaterialsProducts,Lowell,MA · BASFFuelCells,Somerset,NJ · JohnsonMattheyFuelCells,SonningCommon, Reading,U.K. · ProtonEnergySystems,Wallingford,CT · W.L.GoreandAssociates,Elkton,MD · NationalInstituteofStandardsandTechnology, Gaithersburg, MD

Contribution to Achievement of DOE Manufacturing Milestones

Thisprojectiscontributingtoachievementofthe followingDOEmilestones,fromtheManufacturing section(3.5)oftheFuelCellTechnologiesProgram Multi-YearResearch,DevelopmentandDemonstration Plan: · · · · Milestone1:Developprototypesensorsforquality controlofMEAmanufacturing.(4Q,2011) Milestone 2: Develop continuous in-line measurementforMEAfabrication.(4Q,2012) Milestone 3: Demonstrate sensors in pilot-scale applicationsformanufacturingMEAs.(4Q,2013) Milestone4:Establishmodelstopredicttheeffect ofmanufacturingvariationsonMEAperformance. (4Q,2013)

ProjectStartDate:July16,2007 Project End Date: Project continuation and direction determined annually by DOE

Objectives

NREL and its collaborators are developing capabilitiesandknowledgerelatedtoin-linequality controlthatwillassistmanufacturersofpolymer electrolytemembrane(PEM)fuelcellmembrane electrode assembly (MEA) components (membranes, coatedelectrodes,andgasdiffusionmedia)in transitioningtohigh-volumemanufacturingmethods. Ourmaintasksareto: · Evaluateanddevelopin-linediagnosticsforMEA componentqualitycontrolandvalidatediagnostics in-line. InvestigatetheeffectsofMEAcomponent manufacturingdefectsonMEAperformanceand durability. Furtherrefineandvalidatemodelstopredictthe effectsoflocalvariationsinMEAcomponent properties.

Accomplishments

NRELhasaccomplishedthefollowing: · Developedasystemandtechniquestoidentifyby arealinfraredthermographyvariousMEAandMEA componentdefects,suchasmembranepinholes, electrodecatalystnon-uniformity,micro-cracksin gasdiffusionmedia,andMEAshorting. Extendedourmembranethicknessimaging techniquetonon-polyfluorosulfonicacid(PFSA) membranes and PEM electrolysis membranes. Installedandcommissionedaresearchweb-lineto simulatecontinuousroll-to-rollprocessingofMEA componentmaterialsforevaluationofdiagnostics underprocess-likeconditions.

·

·

·

·

FY 2010 Annual Progress Report

1127

DOE Hydrogen Program

VI. Manufacturing

· Demonstratedfabricationmethodstorepeatably createmembraneandelectrodedefectsthatsimulate realas-manufactureddefectstostudytheeffectsof defectsonMEAperformance. UsedLBNLmodelstoqualitativelyexplainkey behaviorsofMEAswithdefectsandtounderstand thebehaviorofMEAsunderthedifferentexcitation diagnostictechniques. ContinuedcollaborationwiththreeofDOE's competitivelyawardedmanufacturingresearchand development(R&D)projects,inaccordancewith our project charter. CompletedworkonaPhaseISmallBusiness InnovationResearchprojectwithpartner ProtonEnergySystemsrelatedtoqualitycontrol measurements on PEM electrolyzer MEAs.

Ulsh ­ National Renewable Energy Laboratory

by evaluating, developing, and validating (in-line) diagnosticsthatwillsupporttheuseofhigh-volume manufacturingprocessesfortheproductionofMEA componentmaterials.Prioritizationofthiswork isbasedoninputsfromourindustrypartnerson criticalmanufacturingqualitycontrolneeds.Weare focusingondiagnosticcapabilitiesnotaddressedby commercially-available in-line systems. Understanding thatspecificationoftherequiredaccuracyandprecision ofadiagnosticdevicetomeasureoridentifymaterial propertyvariabilityordefectsrequiresinformation abouthowthisvariabilityaffectsthefunctionalityofthe MEA,wearedevelopingtestmethodologiestoidentify thresholdvaluesofsizeand/orextentofeachimportant typeofvariabilityordefect.Thresholdvaluesarebeing elucidatedbystatisticallydesignedexperimentsusing MEAcomponentswithcreateddefectsofdefinedsize orextent.TheseresultswillbevalidatedbyMEAswith componentshavingactualas-manufactureddefectsof similarscale.Keybehaviorsidentifiedbythesetests are being modeled to provide additional understanding and,wheremodelingcapabilitiesarelacking,additional refinementwillbemadesothatpredictivecapabilities fortheidentifiedeffectsofdefectsaredeveloped.

·

·

·

G

G

G

G

G

Introduction

InFiscalYears(FYs)2005-2007,NRELprovided technicalsupporttoDOEindevelopinganewkey programactivity:ManufacturingR&Dforhydrogen andfuelcelltechnologies.Thisworkincludeda workshoponmanufacturingR&D,whichgathered inputsontechnicalchallengesandbarriersfromthe fuelcellindustry,andsubsequentdevelopmentofa roadmapformanufacturingR&D.InlateFY2007, NRELinitiatedaprojecttoassistthefuelcellindustry inaddressingthesebarriers,initiallyfocusingonin-line qualitycontrolofMEAcomponents.Theprojectis relyingonandutilizingtheuniqueandwell-established capabilitiesofNREL'sNationalCenterforPhotovoltaics fordevelopingandtransferringdiagnosticandprocess technologytothemanufacturingindustry. DefectsinMEAcomponentsdifferintypeand extentdependingonthefabricationprocessused.The effectsofthesedefectsalsodiffer,dependingontheir size,locationinthecellrelativetothereactantflowfield,celloperatingconditions,andwhichcomponent containsthedefect.Understandingtheeffectsof thesedifferentkindsofdefectsisnecessarytobeable tospecifyand/ordevelopdiagnosticsystemswith theaccuracyanddataacquisition/processingrates requiredforthespeedandsizescalesofhigh-volume continuousmanufacturingmethods.Furthermore, predictivecapabilitiesformanufacturersarecriticalto assistinthedevelopmentoftransferfunctionsandto enableassessmentoftheeffectsofmaterialandprocess changes.

Results

WorkcontinuedontheNREL-developedoptical instrument.Weextendedthedemonstratedcapability toimagethicknessandidentifydefectsofPFSAbasedmembranes,non-PFSAmembranes,andthicker membranesforapplicationssuchasdirectmethanol fuelcellsandPEMelectrolyzers,anexampleofwhichis giveninFigure1.Wealsoprogressedinourassessment ofusingthissamegeneraltechniquetomeasurecatalyst uniformityinanarealfashion.Inadditiontothisoptical platform,weevaluatedthefeasibilityofusinginfrared thermographyasarapidmethodtocheckforMEAand MEAcomponentdefects.Usingworkdonebyseveral ofourindustrypartnersasabasis,wefurtherdeveloped andrefinedtheexcitationmethodsforavarietyoftarget MEAdefects.Wealsoassessedtheresponsetimeof thetechniquetobetterunderstandhowitmightbe appliedtoin-lineprocessmeasurements.Asexamples ofthepotentialofthistechnique,Figure2showsthe identificationofavoidinanelectrodecoating,and Figure3showstheidentificationofamicro-crackin themicroporouslayerofgasdiffusionmedia.Theinset inFigure3showsanLBNLsimulationofthisdefect modeledasaseriesofdiscontinuitiesofthermaland electricalconductivity.Withthismodeling,wecan better understand how to optimize the measurement techniqueforin-lineuse.Theelectrodesample depictedinFigure2alsoisanexampleofourwork todevelopfabricationmethodsforMEAcomponent defects.Inthiscase,weusedultrasonicsprayingas ahighlyrepeatableprocesswithexcellentcontrolof spray pattern and catalyst loading. The inset graphic

Approach

NREL and its partners are addressing the DOEManufacturingmilestoneslistedpreviously

DOE Hydrogen Program

1128

FY 2010 Annual Progress Report

Ulsh ­ National Renewable Energy Laboratory

VI. Manufacturing

Figure 3. Two-dimensional infrared thermography of a commerciallyavailable gas-diffusion layer with a series of micro-cracks in the microporous layer. The inset shows modeling from LBNL simulating this defect as a discontinuity in thermal and electrical conductivity. Figure 1. Two-dimensional image of an alternate membrane material measured with the NREL optical instrument. The image shows bubble and pinhole defects as well as thickness variations (color contrast). An area approximately 3 by 2 is shown.

Figure 4. The Research Web-Line

theaccuracy,repeatability,andresolutionofdifferent diagnostictechniquesunderconditionssimulating manufacturingprocesslines.

Figure 2. Two-dimensional infrared thermography of a 25 cm2 electrode fabricated with a 1 cm2 void in the center. White indicates higher loading, dark indicates lower loading, with black signifying the absence of platinum. The inset shows a validation of this measurement using an X-ray fluorescence scan from one edge of the sample to the other, through the void.

Future Direction

· Designaprototypein-lineconfigurationforthe membranethicknessimagingtechniqueand implement this system on our research web-line. Evaluatethefeasibilityofusinginfrared thermography as an in-line imaging diagnostic and develop a prototype system to install on the research web-line. CompleteourevaluationoftheNREL-developed opticalinstrumenttomeasureplatinumuniformity ofelectrodes.

·

isavalidationoftheintendedloadingusingX-ray fluorescence.Toprovideaplatformuponwhichto evaluate these and other diagnostics, we installed and commissionedaresearchweb-line,showninFigure4. Withthisuniquecapability,andusingMEAcomponent rollgoodsfromourindustrypartners,wewillassess

·

FY 2010 Annual Progress Report

1129

DOE Hydrogen Program

VI. Manufacturing

· Use single and segmented cell test methods to understandthresholdsizesforcriticalMEA componentdefectslikemembranepinholesand electrode voids. Studythegrowthratesofas-manufactureddefects in cells. Continue to gain critical insights on the electrochemicalandthermalbehaviorofMEAswith defectsfromtheLBNLMEAmodels. Continuetoworkwithourindustrypartnersto ensuretherelevanceofourstudiestotheirevolving needs and directions.

Ulsh ­ National Renewable Energy Laboratory

FY 2010 Publications/Presentations

1."AStudyoftheEffectsofPolymerElectrolyte MembraneThicknessDefectsonCellPerformance," DanielleK.Williams,JohnR.Berger,AndrewM.Herring, MichaelUlsh,HuyenN.Dinh,2009FuelCellSeminar, PalmSprings,CA. 2."FuelCellMEAManufacturingR&D,"DOEFuelCell TechnologiesProgramAnnualMeritReview,June,2010, Washington,D.C.

· ·

·

FY 2010 Patents

1.U.S.ProvisionalPatentApplicationNo.61/297,937 titled"OpticalTechniquesforMonitoringContinuous ManufacturingofProtonExchangeMembraneFuelCell Components."

DOE Hydrogen Program

1130

FY 2010 Annual Progress Report

Information

Fuel Cell Membrane Electrode Assembly Manufacturing R&D, DOE Hydrogen Program FY 2010 Annual Progress Report

4 pages

Report File (DMCA)

Our content is added by our users. We aim to remove reported files within 1 working day. Please use this link to notify us:

Report this file as copyright or inappropriate

460995