FC - RAT – Fuel Cell Realistic Aging Trend Modelling

Duration: 01/2021 - 06/2024
Contracting Authority/ Sponsors: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Projektträger Jülich (PTJ)
Project Partners: Albert-Ludwig-Universität Freiburg, AVL Deutschland GmbH
Project Focus:    
Segmented along-the-channel (ATC) cell for characterization of local degradation.
© Fraunhofer ISE
Segmented along-the-channel (ATC) cell for characterization of local degradation.
© Fraunhofer ISE
Das FC-RAT Logo zeigt Deckschichtdiagramme einer Zyklovoltammetrie-Messung in Form einer Ratte.
© Fraunhofer ISE
Lokale Unterschiede z.B. der Pt2+-Konzentration in der Katalysatorschicht aufgrund Pt-Auflösung führt zu unterschiedlichen Degradationsraten bei der Ostwaldreifung. Die Diffusion von Pt-Ionen in die Membran verursacht eine Verarmung von Pt-Partikel an der Grenzfläche von Katalysatorschicht zur Membran.

An important form of propulsion in the future will be powered by fuel cells. However, the development focus has shifted significantly from passenger cars to freight and heavy duty traffic. At the same time, this increases the expectation of the service life of fuel cells by a factor of five to ten. This aspect is being investigated by the FC-RAT research project coordinated by Fraunhofer ISE. The understanding of the aging processes is to be significantly expanded and deepened.

In order to make statements about the long-term stability of fuel cell components, so-called accelerated aging tests (AST) are used, in which the materials are rapidly aged by means of harsh operating conditions such as high temperatures or high cell potentials. A comparison of different materials for degradation under AST conditions is used for the material selection. However AST measurements cannot be used to predict the lifetime of the components under real operating conditions, a degradation model is required for this. In the project "FC-RAT – Fuel Cell Realistic Aging Trend Modelling" a 1D degradation model is being developed, which is based on the assumptions of a complex microstructure interaction of Pt particles and carbon support. These assumptions were adopted by the parallel project "FC-CAT", so that the degradation model can be coupled with the performance model. By coupling several 1D models, lateral in-plane effects, such as those that occur during start-stop processes, can be mapped spatially resolved. These can be validated using segmented cell measurements.

Based on this, the development of an degradation model makes it possible to estimate the lifetime of fuel cells under real load profiles. At the same time, this aging modeling can serve to optimize operating strategies.

More Information on this Topic:

Research Topic 1

Fuel Cell Systems

Research Topic 2

Hydrogen Technologies and Electrical Energy Storage