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PEM Fuel Cells by Ken S. Chen, Yun Wang

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Chapter 7

ICE Dynamics and Removal

PEM fuel cells must have the ability to survive and startup from subfreezing temperatures for them to be successfully deployed in automobiles. Under freezing environmental conditions, water produced in the cathode has a tendency to freeze in open pores in the catalyst layers and GDLs, rather than be removed from the fuel cell, thus creating mass transport limitations that eventually shutdown the operation. Therefore, starting up a PEM fuel cell from subfreezing temperatures or simply “cold start” is of paramount importance to automobile applications. In this chapter, we provide an overview on important issues and fundamentals in subfreezing operation, such as stages of cold start, oxygen starvation, the cell ...

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