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Systems, apparatus and methods for bonding and/or sealing electrochemical cell elements and assemblies

Info

Publication number
CA2390949A1
CA2390949A1 CA 2390949 CA2390949A CA2390949A1 CA 2390949 A1 CA2390949 A1 CA 2390949A1 CA 2390949 CA2390949 CA 2390949 CA 2390949 A CA2390949 A CA 2390949A CA 2390949 A1 CA2390949 A1 CA 2390949A1
Authority
CA
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
portion
sealing
cell
groove
electrochemical
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Granted
Application number
CA 2390949
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
CA2390949C (en )
Inventor
Johann Einhart
Stefan Reiff
Rudolf F. Bindel
Hubert Ryssel
Christopher Todd Kirby
Francisco Enrique Rivera Diaz
Michael Medina
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
BDF IP Holdings Ltd
Original Assignee
Ballard Power Systems Inc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01MPROCESSES OR MEANS, e.g. BATTERIES, FOR THE DIRECT CONVERSION OF CHEMICAL INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY
    • H01M8/00Fuel cells; Manufacture thereof
    • H01M8/02Details
    • H01M8/0271Sealing or supporting means around electrodes, matrices or membranes
    • H01M8/0276Sealing means characterised by their form
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01MPROCESSES OR MEANS, e.g. BATTERIES, FOR THE DIRECT CONVERSION OF CHEMICAL INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY
    • H01M8/00Fuel cells; Manufacture thereof
    • H01M8/02Details
    • H01M8/0202Collectors; Separators, e.g. bipolar separators; Interconnectors
    • H01M8/0247Collectors; Separators, e.g. bipolar separators; Interconnectors characterised by the form
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01MPROCESSES OR MEANS, e.g. BATTERIES, FOR THE DIRECT CONVERSION OF CHEMICAL INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY
    • H01M8/00Fuel cells; Manufacture thereof
    • H01M8/02Details
    • H01M8/0202Collectors; Separators, e.g. bipolar separators; Interconnectors
    • H01M8/0258Collectors; Separators, e.g. bipolar separators; Interconnectors characterised by the configuration of channels, e.g. by the flow field of the reactant or coolant
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01MPROCESSES OR MEANS, e.g. BATTERIES, FOR THE DIRECT CONVERSION OF CHEMICAL INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY
    • H01M8/00Fuel cells; Manufacture thereof
    • H01M8/02Details
    • H01M8/0202Collectors; Separators, e.g. bipolar separators; Interconnectors
    • H01M8/0258Collectors; Separators, e.g. bipolar separators; Interconnectors characterised by the configuration of channels, e.g. by the flow field of the reactant or coolant
    • H01M8/026Collectors; Separators, e.g. bipolar separators; Interconnectors characterised by the configuration of channels, e.g. by the flow field of the reactant or coolant characterised by grooves, e.g. their pitch or depth
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01MPROCESSES OR MEANS, e.g. BATTERIES, FOR THE DIRECT CONVERSION OF CHEMICAL INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY
    • H01M8/00Fuel cells; Manufacture thereof
    • H01M8/02Details
    • H01M8/0202Collectors; Separators, e.g. bipolar separators; Interconnectors
    • H01M8/0267Collectors; Separators, e.g. bipolar separators; Interconnectors having heating or cooling means, e.g. heaters or coolant flow channels
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01MPROCESSES OR MEANS, e.g. BATTERIES, FOR THE DIRECT CONVERSION OF CHEMICAL INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY
    • H01M8/00Fuel cells; Manufacture thereof
    • H01M8/02Details
    • H01M8/0271Sealing or supporting means around electrodes, matrices or membranes
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01MPROCESSES OR MEANS, e.g. BATTERIES, FOR THE DIRECT CONVERSION OF CHEMICAL INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY
    • H01M8/00Fuel cells; Manufacture thereof
    • H01M8/02Details
    • H01M8/0297Arrangements for joining electrodes, reservoir layers, heat exchange units or bipolar separators to each other
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01MPROCESSES OR MEANS, e.g. BATTERIES, FOR THE DIRECT CONVERSION OF CHEMICAL INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY
    • H01M2300/00Electrolytes
    • H01M2300/0017Non-aqueous electrolytes
    • H01M2300/0065Solid electrolytes
    • H01M2300/0082Organic polymers
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01MPROCESSES OR MEANS, e.g. BATTERIES, FOR THE DIRECT CONVERSION OF CHEMICAL INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY
    • H01M8/00Fuel cells; Manufacture thereof
    • H01M8/02Details
    • H01M8/0202Collectors; Separators, e.g. bipolar separators; Interconnectors
    • H01M8/0204Non-porous and characterised by the material
    • H01M8/0223Composites
    • H01M8/0228Composites in the form of layered or coated products
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T29/00Metal working
    • Y10T29/49Method of mechanical manufacture
    • Y10T29/49002Electrical device making
    • Y10T29/49108Electric battery cell making
    • Y10T29/4911Electric battery cell making including sealing
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T29/00Metal working
    • Y10T29/49Method of mechanical manufacture
    • Y10T29/49002Electrical device making
    • Y10T29/49108Electric battery cell making
    • Y10T29/49114Electric battery cell making including adhesively bonding

Abstract

Apparatus, systems, and methods for bonding one element of an electrochemical cell or cell stack to another wherein a sealing grove with a complex cross-sectional shape receives and retains a bead of adhesive prior to being assembled.
The complex cross-sectional shape has a raised portion sized to receive and retain the bead of adhesive, and at least one depressed portion to receive adhesive displaced from the raised portion during assembly. Embodiments of the invention incorporate raised portions with straight, beveled, curved, and rough surfaces to increase the strength of the bond between the respective elements.

Claims (36)

1. A method for bonding a first element of an electrochemical cell stack to a second element of the cell stack, the method comprising:
providing at least one complex groove in a first sealing surface of the first element of the electrochemical cell stack, the complex groove having at least one raised portion and at least one depressed portion, the at least one raised portion being located above the depressed portion, the at least one raised portion being configured to receive and retain a bead of adhesive;
depositing the bead of adhesive on the at least one raised portion of the at least one complex groove;
abutting a second sealing surface of the second element of the electrochemical cell stack against the first sealing surface of the first element of the electrochemical cell stack such that the second sealing surface displaces at least a portion of the bead of adhesive from the at least one raised portion of the complex groove; and receiving the portion of the bead of adhesive in the at least one depressed portion of the groove.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein the first and second elements are cell separator plates.
3. The method of claim 2 wherein the sealing surfaces of the separator plates cooperate to form coolant channels.
4. The method of claim 1 wherein the first element is a cell separator plate and the second element is an electrode.
5. The method of claim 1 wherein providing at least one complex groove comprises providing a complex groove having one raised portion and two depressed portions, the raised portion being positioned between the depressed portions.
6. The method of claim 1 wherein providing at least one complex groove comprises providing a complex groove having one raised portion and two depressed portions, the raised portion having a convex cross-section and being positioned between the depressed portions.
7. The method of claim 1 wherein depositing the bead of adhesive comprises screen printing the bead of adhesive onto the raised portion of the complex groove.
8. The method of claim 1 wherein depositing the bead of adhesive comprises screen printing the bead of adhesive onto the second sealing surface of the second element, and abutting the second sealing surface of the second element against the first sealing surface of the first element.
9. An electrochemical cell comprising:
a membrane electrode assembly having an ion exchange membrane interposed between first and second electrode layers;
a first body positioned on the first side of the membrane electrode assembly, the first body being configured to direct at least one of a fuel and an oxidant to at least a portion of the first electrode layer; and a second body positioned on the second side of the membrane electrode assembly, the second body being configured to direct the other of the fuel and the oxidant to at least a portion of the second electrode layer, a sealing surface of the second body having at least one sealing groove with a complex cross-sectional shape, a shallow portion of the cross-sectional shape being sufficiently wide to receive and retain a volume of adhesive prior to assembly of the electrochemical cell, and a deep portion of the cross-sectional shape being configured to receive a portion of the volume of adhesive that is displaced from the shallow portion during assembly of the electrochemical cell, the deep portion being immediately adjacent the shallow portion.
10 10. The electrochemical cell of claim 9 wherein the at least one sealing groove is positioned on a surface of the second body facing away from the membrane electrode assembly.
11. The electrochemical cell of claim 9 wherein the at least one sealing groove comprises a plurality of sealing grooves.
12. The electrochemical cell of claim 9 wherein the shallow portion of the at least one sealing groove comprises a flat portion.
13. The electrochemical cell of claim 9 wherein the shallow portion of the at least one sealing groove comprises a surface that is rougher than the surrounding surfaces.
14. The electrochemical cell of claim 9 wherein the shallow portion of the at least one sealing groove comprises a flat portion oriented to be substantially aligned with a plane of the membrane electrode assembly.
15. The electrochemical cell of claim 9 wherein the shallow portion of the at least one sealing groove comprises a curved portion.
16. The electrochemical cell of claim 9 wherein the shallow portion of the at least one sealing groove comprises a convex curved portion.
17. The electrochemical cell of claim 9 wherein the shallow portion of the at least one sealing groove comprises a concave curved portion.
18. The electrochemical cell of claim 9 wherein the deep portion is a first deep portion, and further comprising a second deep portion.
19. The electrochemical cell of claim 9 wherein the deep portion is a first deep portion, and further comprising a second deep portion positioned on a side of the shallow portion opposite the first deep portion, the second deep portion being configured to receive a portion of the volume of adhesive that is displaced from the shallow portion of the at least one sealing groove during assembly of the electrochemical cell.
20. The electrochemical cell of claim 9 wherein the at least one sealing groove has a width measuring approximately 1.0-2.0 mm.
21. The electrochemical cell of claim 9 wherein the at least one sealing groove has a width measuring approximately 1.5 mm.
22. The electrochemical cell of claim 9 wherein the shallow portion of the at least one sealing groove has a width measuring approximately 0.3-1.3 mm.
23. The electrochemical cell of claim 9 wherein the shallow portion of the at least one sealing groove has a width measuring approximately 1.0 mm.
24. The electrochemical cell of claim 9 wherein the shallow portion of the at least one sealing groove has a depth below the sealing surface measuring approximately 25-130 µm.
25. The electrochemical cell of claim 9 wherein the shallow portion of the at least one sealing groove has a depth below the sealing surface measuring approximately 50 µm.
26. The electrochemical cell of claim 9 wherein the deep portion of the at least one sealing groove has a depth below the sealing surface measuring approximately 130-630 µm.
27. The electrochemical cell of claim 9 wherein the deep portion of the at least one sealing groove has a depth below the sealing surface measuring approximately 200 µm.
28. An electrochemical cell for use in combination with other electrochemical cells to form a cell stack, the electrochemical cell comprising:
a membrane electrode assembly having a membrane interposed between first and second electrode layers;
a first body positioned on the first side of the membrane electrode assembly, an inner surface of the first body abutting the membrane electrode assembly and being configured to direct at least one of a fuel and an oxidant to at least a portion of the first electrode; and a second body positioned on the second side of the membrane electrode assembly, an inner surface of the second body abutting the membrane electrode assembly and being configured to direct the other of the fuel and the oxidant to at least a portion of the second electrode, an outer surface of the second body having at least one sealing groove with a complex cross-sectional shape, a first portion of the at least one sealing groove being sufficiently wide to receive and retain a volume of adhesive prior to assembly of the cell stack, and a second portion of the at least one sealing groove being configured to receive a portion of the volume of adhesive that is displaced from the first portion of the at least one sealing groove during assembly of the cell stack, at least a portion of the second portion of the at least one sealing groove being spaced further from a plane of the outer surface of the second body than the first portion of the at least one sealing groove.
29. The electrochemical cell of claim 28 wherein an outer surface of the first body comprises a sealing portion positioned to align with the at least one sealing groove on a body of an adjacent electrochemical cell in the cell stack, the sealing portion being adapted to facilitate engagement with the adhesive.
30. The electrochemical cell of claim 28 wherein an outer surface of the first body comprises a sealing portion positioned to align with the at least one sealing groove on a body of an adjacent electrochemical cell in the cell stack, the sealing portion being substantially flat.
31. The electrochemical cell of claim 28 wherein an outer surface of the first body comprises a sealing portion positioned to align with the at least one sealing groove on a body of an adjacent electrochemical cell in the cell stack, the sealing portion being rougher than the surrounding surfaces.
32. The electrochemical cell of claim 28 wherein the first body further comprises a plurality of coolant channels.
33. The electrochemical cell of claim 28 wherein an outer surface of the first body further comprises a plurality of coolant grooves configured to abut the outer surface of a body of an adjacent electrochemical cell in the cell stack to form coolant channels therebetween, the at least one sealing groove being positioned to encircle the coolant grooves to retain a coolant fluid within the coolant channels during operation.
34. A plate for use in an electrochemical cell, comprising:
a sealing groove with a complex cross-sectional shape, a first portion of the sealing groove being sized and shaped to receive and retain a volume of adhesive prior to assembly of the electrochemical cell, and a second portion of the sealing groove being configured to receive a portion of the volume of adhesive that is displaced from the first portion of the sealing groove during assembly of the electrochemical cell.
35. The plate of claim 34 wherein the second portion of the sealing groove is deeper than the first portion of the sealing groove.
36. The plate of claim 34, further comprising a third portion of the sealing groove, the third portion being located opposite the first portion from the second portion, the third portion being configured to receive a portion of the volume of adhesive that is displaced from the first portion of the sealing groove during assembly of the electrochemical cell.
CA 2390949 2001-06-22 2002-06-19 Systems, apparatus and methods for bonding and/or sealing electrochemical cell elements and assemblies Active CA2390949C (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US09/888,074 2001-06-22
US09888074 US6777127B2 (en) 2001-06-22 2001-06-22 Systems, apparatus and methods for bonding and/or sealing electrochemical cell elements and assemblies

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
CA2390949A1 true true CA2390949A1 (en) 2002-12-22
CA2390949C CA2390949C (en) 2011-06-07

Family

ID=25392470

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
CA 2390949 Active CA2390949C (en) 2001-06-22 2002-06-19 Systems, apparatus and methods for bonding and/or sealing electrochemical cell elements and assemblies

Country Status (3)

Country Link
US (1) US6777127B2 (en)
CA (1) CA2390949C (en)
EP (1) EP1271678B1 (en)

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Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
US20020197519A1 (en) 2002-12-26 application
EP1271678B1 (en) 2012-12-05 grant
CA2390949C (en) 2011-06-07 grant
EP1271678A3 (en) 2007-03-07 application
US6777127B2 (en) 2004-08-17 grant
EP1271678A2 (en) 2003-01-02 application

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