A self-supported 40W Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) system has been developed and performance tested. The auxiliaries in the DMFC system comprise a methanol sensor, a liquid-level indicator, and fuel and air pumps that consume a total power of about 5W. The system has a 15-cell DMFC stack with active electrode-area of 45 cm2. The self-supported DMFC system addresses issues related to water recovery from the cathode exhaust, and maintains a constant methanol-feed concentration with thermal management in the system. Pure methanol and water from cathode exhaust are pumped to the methanol-mixing tank where the liquid level is monitored and controlled with the help of a liquid-level indicator. During the operation, methanol concentration in the feed solution at the stack outlet is monitored using a methanol sensor, and pure methanol is added to restore the desired methanol concentration in the feed tank by adding the product water from the cathode exhaust. The feed-rate requirements of fuel and oxidant are designed for the stack capacity of 40W. The self-supported DMFC system is ideally suited for various defense and civil applications and, in particular, for charging the storage batteries.
Volume 135, 2023
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