RESEARCH ON COMPACT FUEL CELL POWER SUPPLIES.
Summary rept. no. 7, 3 Oct 60-2 Oct 61,
GENERAL ELECTRIC CO WEST LYNN MASS AIRCRAFT ACCESSORY TURBINE DEPT
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A reliable method of investigating internal resistance in ion-exchange fuel cells was developed so that they may be improved greatly in power density by reducing resistance. Using these methods on other development projects has furnished guidance in reducing internal resistance to the point where power output of new cells at the same fuel efficiency has been more than doubled. Developments in cell structure reduced the need for reinforcing in membranes. A small laboratory hydrogen generator was built which operates successfully on calcium hydride and water. This system has about a two to one cost advantage per lb. of hydrogen generated over sodium borohydride. Initial work on carbon electrodes pressed directly to the membrane fuel cell shows that high polarization, highly catalytic electrode resistances, and high contact resistances occur. One type of carbon electrode, however, showed fairly good polarization characteristics. It was concluded that the design of a small high pressure electrolytic generator is entirely possible provided a suitable method of pressure equalization can be devised. An experimental cell as operated at a current density of 1,200 macm without difficulty.
- Electric Power Production and Distribution