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Evaluating Current Distribution and Influence of Defect Sites for Graphitic Compound Bipolar Plate Materials

: Baumann, Nils; Blankenship, A.; Dorn, M.; Cremers, Carsten

Fulltext urn:nbn:de:0011-n-5696242 (670 KByte PDF)
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Created on: 3.1.2020

Fuel Cells 20 (2020), No.1, pp.40-47
ISSN: 1615-6846
ISSN: 1615-6854
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer ICT ()
bipolar plate; conducting materials; Current Distribution Measurement; Defect Sites; energy conversion; fuel cell; in-plane resistivity; measurement technique; through-plane resistivity

With the growth in power and size of energy conversion devices, the consideration of current distribution inside cell sand stacks becomes increasingly important. In light of under-standing the effect of the material properties of graphitic compound materials on current distribution, we developed a novel measurement cell based on a segmented current feed and a segmented measurement board. Using this cell, we determined the cross-conduction of current in three commercial graphitic compound materials used for the manufacturing of bipolar plates. The conduction behaviors, with respect to compacting pressure as well as total current density, were explained by differences in resistance of conduction pathways. Large observed differences between the materials were discussed in terms of the ratio of through-plane and inplane resistivities. Additionally, we compared several methods to emulate defect sites, in order to evaluate their effect using the novel measurement cell and showed the effect of their size on the current distribution. Finally, we discuss improvements on the measurement setup.