University of Hertfordshire

Experimental investigation into a novel Modular PEMFC fuel cell stack

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-321
Number of pages23
JournalFuel Cells
Early online date11 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2015


The polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), despite being regarded as an ideal replacement to the internal combustion engine, is still not an economically attractive prime-mover due to a number of key challenges that have yet to be fully resolved; such as degradation to cell components resulting in inadequate lifetimes, specialized manufacturing processes, and poor gravimetric/volumetric energy densities. This paper presents a stack concept which replaces the conventional bipolar plate (BPP), a component that is responsible for a large proportion of stack cost and volume in traditional fuel cell stack designs. The stack architecture compromises of active and passive components which are suited to mass manufacture and maintain functionality that the BPP fulfilled. Furthermore, the design allows the implementation of a fault tolerant system (FTS) which can bypass faulty cells while still ensuring electrical output. The stack architecture is presented and characterized over a number of operating scenarios. The experimental studies suggest that the performance of the new design is similar to that of traditional stacks over a number of operating conditions despite the removal of the BPP and the FTS continued to operate at a desired operating criterion despite the loss of a cell within the stack


This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: P. Scott, Y. Chen, R. Calay, and F. Bhinder, ‘Experimental Investigation into a Novel Modular PEMFC Fuel Cell Stack’, Fuel Cells, Vol. 15 (2): 306-321, April 2015, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

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