Progress of Cryogenics and Isotopes Separation , ISSN: 1582-2575
2014, Volume 17, Issue 2

On the Road to High Performance PEM Fuel Cells for Portable Applications

Stanica Enache * , Irina Petreanu , Laurentiu Patularu , Daniela Ebrașu , Dorin Schitea , Mihai Varlam

National Research and Development Institute for Cryogenics and Isotopic Technologies - ICSI Rm. Valcea, Uzinei Street no. 4, PO Box Râureni 7, 240050, Râmnicu Vâlcea, Romania

*Corresponding author: Stanica Enache, E-mail:

Published: October 2014


For portable applications, low mass and reduced cost integrated Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) should deliver power intermittently, adaptable to customer demand, without involving intermediate power conversion units. One way to achieve that is to scale down the active area in order to reduce the specific ohmic losses at the expense of making use of more single-cells (i.e., or stacks) to match the desired output power (e.g., ~20Wh).

In this work, we show that PEM single-cells with 10cm2 active area have excellent power output (i.e., > 0.5W/cm2). Although high fuel and oxidant flows are used, the optimal operating temperature is not higher than 55°C. This is, however, due to the interplay between the temperature dependent activation mechanism responsible for the enhanced proton conductivity of the membrane and the optimal clamping force on the cell that mitigates water management.


PEMFC, proton conducting membrane, gas diffusion layer.

Tag search PEMFC proton conducting membrane gas diffusion layer