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IV characterization – Fuel-Cell- Application Note 31

Latest updated: May 6, 2020


A Fuel cell is an electrochemical energy conversion device converting chemical energy (fuel) into electrical energy. The overall performance of this device can be characterized by a fuel cell tester.

In this note, a single Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) was characterized using FCT-150 Fuel cell tester. Electrochemical tests, gas (H2 and O2), water management, and heating on the anodic and the cathodic side of the fuel cell were performed using FC-Lab software.

The characterization of the electrochemical performance of a commercial polymer membrane was done using linear polarization and current pulse techniques.



The fuel cell is defined as a device which produces electricity from fuel and oxidant. Fuel is provided at the anode and oxidant at the cathode. Unlike batteries, fuel cell can work continuously as long as it is provided with fuel and oxidant (no electrical charge is required after discharge). There are several types of fuel cell such as alkaline fuel cell, direct methanol fuel cell, phosphoric acid fuel cell, and proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) [1,2]. PEMFC exhibits better performance at low temperature than the others, so lots of research are carried out on this kind of fuel cell. PEMFC is constituted as follows:
• anode (hydrogen oxidation, Fig. 1 eq 1),
• cathode (oxygen reduction, Fig. 1 eq 2),
• membrane allowing proton exchange between both sides.


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