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Journal of Energy
Volume 2013, Article ID 571389, 11 pages
Research Article

Influences of Contact Pressure on the Performances of Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells

Department Energy Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai 400076, India

Received 3 February 2013; Revised 13 May 2013; Accepted 18 May 2013

Academic Editor: Ching Yuan Chang

Copyright © 2013 Prakash C. Ghosh. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Fuel cells face major challenges in sustaining the laboratory-scale performance during the scale up. The contact resistance mainly arises from the dimensional mismatch between gasket and gas diffusion layer during scale up, which may cause diminution in performance. In the present work, experiment as well as modelling is carried out for different combinations of clamping force and gasket thickness. The polarisation behaviours of PEFCs configured under different clamping torques and gasket thicknesses are analysed. The combination of 0.3 mm gasket and 0.3 mm GDL under 3 Nm and 5 Nm clamping forces offers 480 mΩ cm2 and 148 mΩ cm2 contact resistances, respectively. The configurations under 3 Nm and 5 Nm clamping torques with 0.2 mm thick gasket offer contact resistances as low as 23 mΩ cm2 and 11 mΩ cm2, respectively. The polarisation behaviour obtained from the experiment of such configurations is found to be in good agreement with the modelling results.