PhD Thesis Defense S. Rigal – Ageing study and modelling of a HT-PEM Fuel Cell

Event information

Start date :10/12/2020

End date :10/12/2020

Time :10:00

Location : to be confirmed: salle des thèses (C002) de l'ENSEEIHT - 2 rue Charles Camichel, 31000, Toulouse

PhD Thesis Title: « Ageing study and modelling of a HT-PEM Fuel Cell »
By Sylvain Rigal

Doctoral School: GEET

Thesis of INP Toulouse, prepared at LAPLACE laboratory and IRT Saint Exupéry.


In the context where anthropic impacts have never been as oppressive for our planet, the “renewables energies” could allow for impact reduction of the humanity energetic needs. That is why hydrogen it is very hopeful as an “energetic vector” which allows for electrical energy storage coming from intermittent “renewable energies”. Fuel Cell (FC) appears then as a key element of this “hydrogen economy”.
Among the different fuel cell technologies, the one called as Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) seems to feed the most research effort. This technology could be divided in two “sub-technologies”, one working around 80°C, called the Low Temperature PEMFC (LT-PEMFC) and a second working around 160°C, called the High Temperature PEMFC (HT-PEMFC). The LT-PEMFC as recently reached the automotive market. However, the HT-PEMFC is a more recent technology which is not as well-known as the low temperature one.
This thesis focus only on the HT-PEMFC technology. In order to learn more about the behavior of this Fuel Cell, a performances cartography under various operating conditions has been performed using a sensibility study.
A fuel cell voltage model has been developed in order to estimate the performances of the cell in the various conditions tested. A fuel cell working at a current level three times higher than the nominal current for this technology, shows the least performance decrease among all the test.
The last aspect of this technology, studied in this work, is the performance in long term testing at constant current at single cell and stack level.