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Development of MEA with Built-in Oxygen Sensor for Measurement of Oxygen Concentration around Fuel Cell Cathode Electrode Layer

Article of Honda R&D Technical Review Vol.26 No.2

Summary

A membrane electrode assembly with a built-in fiber-optic oxygen sensor able to measure the oxygen concentration around fuel cell cathode electrode has been developed to clarify the effect of a variety of generating conditions on the transport of oxygen to the area around cathode electrode. Changes in the phosphorescence lifetime of an oxygen-sensitive dye coated on the tip of the optic fiber are used to measure oxygen concentration. This paper presents an example of the first-ever simultaneous measurement of the oxygen concentration distribution around cathode electrode and the current density distribution, which expresses the distribution of generation in the active area, in a vehicle-onboard cell during generation. Specifically, it was found that obstruction of transport of oxygen gas to the cathode electrode affects generation output under conditions of high current density operation and generation stability under conditions of low current density operation.
These results, together with the results of neutron radiography observation, indicate that condensed water formed in the gas channels of the cell impede the supply of gases, and can result in a decline in generation performance.

Reference

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(8) Krihak, M., Shahriari, M. R.: A Highly Sensitive All Solid State Fiber Optic Oxygen Sensor Based on the Sol-gel Coating Technique, Electronic Letters, Vol. 32, No. 3, p. 240-242 (1996)
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(10) Chiba, H., Iwasawa, C.: Optimization of Fuel Cell Generation Environment by Water Observation using Neutron Radiography, Honda R&D Technical Review, Vol. 25, No. 1, p. 122-131

Author (organization or company)

Masahiro MOURI(Automobile R&D Center)

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