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Energies 2014, 7(5), 3136-3147; doi:10.3390/en7053136
Article

Development of a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell with Lightweight Disc Type Current Collectors

1,* , 2
 and 3
1 Department of Refrigeration, Air-Conditioning and Energy Engineering, National Chin-Yi University of Technology, No. 35, Lane 215, Section 1, Chung-Shan Road, Taiping Dist., Taichung 41111, Taiwan 2 Department of Aerospace Engineering, Tamkang University, No. 151, Ying-chuan Road, Tamsui Dist., New Taipei 25137, Taiwan 3 Kenda Tires, Kenda Rubber Ind. Co., Ltd. 146, Sec. 1, Chung Shan Rd., Yuan-Lin 51099, Taiwan
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 February 2014 / Revised: 29 April 2014 / Accepted: 4 May 2014 / Published: 12 May 2014
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Abstract

The direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) adopts methanol solution as a fuel suitable for low power portable applications. A miniature, lightweight, passive air-breathing design is therefore desired. This paper presents a novel planar disc-type DMFC with multiple cells containing a novel developed lightweight current collector at both the anode and cathode sides. The present lightweight current collector adopts FR4 Glass/Epoxy as the substrate with the current collecting areas located at the corresponding membrane electrolyte assembly (MEA) areas. The current collecting areas are fabricated by sequentially coating a corrosion resistant layer and electrical conduction layer via the thermal evaporation technique. The anode current collector has carved flow channels for fuel transport and production. The cathode current collector has drilled holes for passive air breathing. In order to ensure feasibility in the present concept a 3-cell prototype DMFC module with lightweight disc type current collectors is designed and constructed. Experiments were conducted to measure the cell performance. The results show that the highest cell power output is 54.88 mW·cm−2 and successfully demonstrate the feasibility of this novel design.
Keywords: direct methanol fuel cell; disc-type current collector; microelectromechanical system; thermal evaporation direct methanol fuel cell; disc-type current collector; microelectromechanical system; thermal evaporation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kuan, Y.-D.; Lee, S.-M.; Sung, M.-F. Development of a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell with Lightweight Disc Type Current Collectors. Energies 2014, 7, 3136-3147.

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