JP5011640B2 - Stacked fuel cell - Google Patents

Stacked fuel cell Download PDF

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Publication number
JP5011640B2
JP5011640B2 JP2004352147A JP2004352147A JP5011640B2 JP 5011640 B2 JP5011640 B2 JP 5011640B2 JP 2004352147 A JP2004352147 A JP 2004352147A JP 2004352147 A JP2004352147 A JP 2004352147A JP 5011640 B2 JP5011640 B2 JP 5011640B2
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Japan
Prior art keywords
electrode assembly
membrane electrode
peripheral end
separator
fuel cell
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JP2004352147A
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JP2006164653A (en
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正樹 高橋
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富士電機株式会社
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    • 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
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02EREDUCTION OF GREENHOUSE GAS [GHG] EMISSIONS, RELATED TO ENERGY GENERATION, TRANSMISSION OR DISTRIBUTION
    • Y02E60/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02E60/50Fuel cells
    • Y02E60/52Fuel cells characterised by type or design
    • Y02E60/521Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells [PEMFC]

Description

  The present invention relates to a structure of a stacked fuel cell including a single cell formed by sandwiching a membrane electrode assembly between separators.

In a fuel cell, a single cell is formed by sandwiching a membrane electrode assembly with a separator having a reaction gas flow path. However, since the power generation voltage of one single cell is a low voltage of less than 1 V, it is practical. In a fuel cell, single cells are stacked to form a stacked fuel cell, and necessary voltage and current are obtained. FIG. 5 is an exploded perspective view showing a conventional configuration example of a single cell of this type of stacked fuel cell, in which 1 is a membrane electrode assembly that contributes to power generation reaction, 2 is a diffusion layer, 3 is It is a separator that separates the flow of reaction gas flowing through each single cell, that is, the flow of fuel gas and oxidant gas. A single cell is formed by sequentially stacking the five components shown in FIG. That is, the diffusion layer 2 is disposed opposite to both surfaces of the power generation region of the membrane electrode assembly 1 indicated by hatching in the drawing, and the reaction gas flow path portion of the separator 3 is disposed on the outer surface of these diffusion layers 2. A single cell is formed by sandwiching the membrane electrode assembly 1 between the two separators 3.

  In FIG. 5, six holes communicating the peripheral edge of the membrane electrode assembly 1 and the peripheral edge of the separator 3 are a supply manifold and a discharge manifold for fuel gas and oxidant gas used as reaction gas, and fuel. This is a communication hole that serves as a cooling water supply manifold and a discharge manifold used to control the temperature of the battery. That is, fuel gas (indicated as A in the figure) is supplied from a fuel gas supply manifold disposed on the front side of the right front side edge in the figure, and flows through the fuel gas flow path provided in the separator 3 The exhaust gas is discharged from a fuel gas discharge manifold disposed on the back side of the left rear side edge in the figure, and the oxidant gas (denoted as B in the figure) is discharged to the back side of the right front side edge part in the figure. An oxidant gas discharge manifold which is supplied from the oxidant gas supply manifold arranged and flows through the oxidant gas flow path provided in the separator 3 and is arranged on the front side of the left rear side edge in the figure. It is configured to be discharged from. Further, the cooling water (denoted as C in the figure) is supplied from a cooling water supply manifold disposed on the right back side edge in the figure, and flows through a cooling water flow path appropriately provided in the separator 3, It is configured to be discharged from a cooling water discharge manifold arranged at the left front side edge portion in the figure.

In a solid polymer electrolyte fuel cell using a membrane electrode assembly in which electrodes are closely attached to both surfaces of a solid polymer electrolyte membrane (PE membrane), the dimension of the PE membrane greatly expands as the wet state changes. Alternatively, since it contracts, depending on the configuration of the membrane electrode assembly, there is a possibility that stress is applied excessively and breakage occurs. Corresponding to this, in Patent Document 1, a membrane electrode assembly is formed by closely adhering a square electrode having a smaller outer dimension than the PE film on both sides of a square PE film. The corners of the square electrode to be adhered are formed in an arc shape, or the corners are chamfered to form a membrane electrode assembly, and the stress concentration applied to the PE film is reduced to avoid damage due to excessive stress. A fuel cell configured to do so is shown.
JP-A-6-338335

In the single cell of the stacked fuel cell configured as shown in FIG. 5, the fuel gas is passed through the gas flow path of one separator 3 of the pair of separators 3 sandwiching the membrane electrode assembly 1, and the other separator When the oxidant gas is passed through the gas flow path 3, an electrochemical reaction occurs in the membrane electrode assembly 1, and a potential difference is generated between the two electrodes. Energy will be extracted.
As can be seen from the partial cross-sectional view in the stacking direction shown in FIG. 6, the peripheral end portion of the unit cell formed by stacking the membrane electrode assembly 1 is sandwiched between a pair of separators 3 having the same end face. A pair of separators 3 electrically connected to each electrode is electrically insulated by an electrically insulating membrane electrode assembly 1.
Therefore, the two electrodes at the end of the single cell are electrically insulated by using the thickness of the membrane electrode assembly 1 as an insulation distance, but the thickness of the membrane electrode assembly 1 is very thin. If moisture or dust adheres to the end of the cell, there is a risk of insufficient electrical insulation. When a portion where the electrical insulation performance is reduced is generated in this way, current flows intensively in this portion, and the power taken out to the outside is reduced and the power generation efficiency is lowered.

  The present invention has been made in consideration of the problems of the prior art as described above, and an object of the present invention is to provide a stacked fuel cell in which a single cell is formed by sandwiching a membrane electrode assembly with a set of separators. In other words, it is an object of the present invention to provide a stacked fuel cell that can sufficiently operate with high power generation efficiency while ensuring sufficient electrical insulation between separators at the peripheral edge of each single cell, avoiding deterioration in characteristics due to leakage current.

In order to achieve the above object, in the present invention,
In a stacked fuel cell configured by laminating a single cell composed of a membrane electrode assembly in which diffusion layers are arranged on both sides and a separator having a reaction gas flow path,
(1) The peripheral end portion of the membrane electrode assembly protrudes in the peripheral end direction from the peripheral end portion of the separator facing the membrane electrode assembly, and
(2) A chamfered portion is provided at a peripheral end portion of the surface of the separator facing the membrane electrode assembly.

In a stacked fuel cell in which a single cell is formed by laminating a membrane electrode assembly in which diffusion layers are disposed on both sides and a separator having a reaction gas flow path, as described in (1) above, the membrane electrode assembly If the peripheral end portion of the separator is formed so as to protrude in the peripheral end direction from the peripheral end portion of the separator, the insulating distance between the opposing separators is a length corresponding to the protruding portion of the membrane electrode assembly compared to the conventional insulating distance. Therefore, the insulation performance is improved correspondingly, and the risk of characteristic deterioration is reduced.
Further, as described in (2) above, if a chamfered portion is provided at the peripheral end of the separator facing the membrane electrode assembly, the insulation distance between the separators is the thickness of the membrane electrode assembly. In addition, the distance of the chamfered portion of the peripheral end of the separator is a distance that is significantly longer than the conventional insulation distance, so that the insulation performance is improved and the risk of characteristic deterioration is reduced.

  BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION The best mode of the present invention is to provide a membrane electrode assembly in which a single cell is formed by laminating a membrane electrode assembly in which diffusion layers are arranged on both sides and a separator having a reaction gas flow path. The peripheral end portion of the separator is formed so as to protrude in the peripheral end direction from the peripheral end portion of the separator facing each other with the membrane electrode assembly interposed therebetween. It is good also as a form provided with the chamfering part in the peripheral edge part of the separator.

Reference example 1

  FIG. 1 is a partial cross-sectional view in the stacking direction schematically showing a configuration of a peripheral end portion of a single cell of a first reference example of the stacked fuel cell. This figure shows a first reference example as compared with FIG. 6 showing the conventional example. Like FIG. 6, 1 is a membrane electrode assembly, and 3 is a separator for sandwiching the membrane electrode assembly 1. It is. A feature of the first reference example is that a single cell is configured by providing a chamfered portion at the peripheral end portion of the separator 3 facing each other with the membrane electrode assembly 1 interposed therebetween. Since the thickness of the separator 3 is usually 2 to 3 mm, it is appropriate that the chamfer dimension is about 0.5 to 1 mm. In this configuration, the insulation distance of the peripheral end portion between the separators 3 facing each other is equivalent to the depth of the chamfered portion (0.5 to 1 mm 2) compared to the thickness equivalent to the conventional membrane electrode assembly 1. Therefore, the insulation performance is dramatically increased, and the risk of characteristic deterioration due to the occurrence of leakage current is avoided.

  FIG. 2 is a partial cross-sectional view in the stacking direction schematically showing the configuration of the peripheral end portion of the single cell of the embodiment of the stacked fuel cell of the present invention. The first feature of the present embodiment is that the peripheral end portion of the membrane electrode assembly 1 is protruded by a distance δ in the peripheral end direction from the peripheral end portion of the separator 3 opposed to the membrane electrode assembly 1. As in the first reference example, the second feature is that chamfered portions are provided at the peripheral end portions of the separator 3 facing each other across the membrane electrode assembly 1. Accordingly, in this configuration, the insulation distance is increased by incorporating the membrane electrode assembly 1 so as to protrude from the separator 3 in the circumferential direction, and further, the insulation distance is increased by providing a chamfered portion at the circumferential end of the separator 3. Therefore, characteristic deterioration due to leakage current can be avoided more reliably. In the case of a normal separator 3 having a thickness of 2 to 3 mm as in the first reference example, the protrusion distance δ in the peripheral direction of the peripheral end portion of the membrane electrode assembly 1 is 1 to 1 mm. A value of about 1.5 mm is appropriate. In this embodiment, the peripheral end portion of the membrane electrode assembly 1 is protruded and a chamfered portion is provided at the peripheral end portion of the separator 3 at the same time. However, only the peripheral end portion of the membrane electrode assembly 1 is protruded. Since the insulation distance increases, it is clear that it is effective in avoiding the characteristic deterioration due to the leakage current, without needing to give another example.

Reference example 2

  FIG. 3 is a partial cross-sectional view in the stacking direction schematically showing the configuration of the peripheral end portion of the single cell of the second reference example of the stacked fuel cell. The feature of this reference example is that, as in the first reference example shown in FIG. 1, a chamfered portion is provided at the peripheral end portion of the separator 3 facing each other across the membrane electrode assembly 1, and the insulating resin 4 is further provided at the chamfered portion. In that a single cell is formed. In this configuration, as in the first reference example, the insulation distance between the opposing separators 3 is increased by the formation of the chamfered portion, and is ensured by filling with the insulating resin 4, so that the generation of leakage current is particularly effective. Therefore, deterioration of the characteristics of the fuel cell is avoided. If a sealing agent such as a silicone resin for sealing is used as the insulating resin 4 filled in the chamfered portion, the construction is easy and can be manufactured at low cost. Further, the construction can be facilitated even if the insulating resin 4 made of, for example, a fluororesin or the like is used by being fitted in a frame shape.

Reference example 3

  FIG. 4 is a partial cross-sectional view in the stacking direction schematically showing the configuration of the peripheral end of the single cell of the third reference example of the stacked fuel cell. As in the second reference example, this reference example is characterized in that a chamfered portion is provided at the peripheral end of the separator, and the insulating distance is increased by filling the chamfered portion with an insulating resin. The difference from the second reference example is the shape of the insulating resin filled in the peripheral end portion and the chamfered portion of the membrane electrode assembly 1. That is, in the configuration of the second reference example, the peripheral end portion of the membrane electrode assembly 1 has the same dimensions as the peripheral end portion of the separator, whereas in the configuration of this reference example, the peripheral end portion of the membrane electrode assembly 1 is the same. The end portion is smaller than the peripheral end portion of the separator and is formed to have the same size as the chamfered portion. Correspondingly, a single insulating resin 4A is incorporated instead of the pair of insulating resins 4 incorporated in the peripheral ends of both surfaces of the membrane electrode assembly 1 in the second reference example. Yes. Therefore, in this configuration, the insulation distance is increased and the deterioration of the characteristics of the fuel cell due to the generation of leakage current is prevented, and the required number of insulation members necessary for the increase of the insulation distance is reduced, so that the manufacturing cost is low. It becomes.

  As described above, if the stacked fuel cell is configured as in the present invention, the electrical insulation distance between the separators at the peripheral edge of each single cell constituting the stacked fuel cell is greatly increased. Therefore, the present invention is expected to be widely applied to this type of stacked fuel cell because the electrical insulation is sufficiently secured, the characteristic deterioration due to the leakage current is avoided, and the operation with high power generation efficiency is possible. The

Partial sectional view in the stacking direction schematically showing the configuration of the peripheral end of the single cell of the first reference example The partial cross section figure of the lamination direction which shows typically the structure of the peripheral edge part of the single cell of the Example of this invention Partial sectional view in the stacking direction schematically showing the configuration of the peripheral end of the unit cell of the second reference example Partial sectional view in the stacking direction schematically showing the configuration of the peripheral end of the unit cell of the third reference example An exploded perspective view showing a conventional configuration example of a single cell of this type of stacked fuel cell Partial sectional view in the stacking direction schematically showing the configuration of the peripheral end of the conventional single cell shown in FIG.

1 Membrane electrode assembly
2 Diffusion layer
3 Separator
4,4A insulating resin

Claims (1)

  1. In a stacked fuel cell configured by laminating a single cell composed of a membrane electrode assembly in which diffusion layers are arranged on both sides and a separator having a reaction gas flow path,
    The peripheral end of the membrane electrode assembly protrudes in the peripheral direction from the peripheral end of the separator facing the membrane electrode assembly ,
    A stacked fuel cell comprising a chamfered portion at a peripheral end of a surface of the separator facing the membrane electrode assembly.
JP2004352147A 2004-12-06 2004-12-06 Stacked fuel cell Expired - Fee Related JP5011640B2 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

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JP2004352147A JP5011640B2 (en) 2004-12-06 2004-12-06 Stacked fuel cell

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JP5011640B2 true JP5011640B2 (en) 2012-08-29

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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JP4822581B2 (en) * 2000-12-01 2011-11-24 三菱重工業株式会社 fuel cell
JP4000790B2 (en) * 2001-06-08 2007-10-31 トヨタ自動車株式会社 Fuel cell having seal structure
JP2003068348A (en) * 2001-08-29 2003-03-07 Toyota Motor Corp Fuel cell consisting of sub-cells

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