Experimental Analysis on the Influence of Operating Profiles on High Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

Tancredi Chinese, Federico Ustolin, Benedetta Marmiroli, Heinz Amenitsch, Rodolfo Taccani*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Energy System lab at the University of Trieste has carried out a study to investigate the reduction in performance of high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane (HTPEM) fuel cell membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) when subjected to different ageing tests. In this study, start and stop cycles, load cycles, open circuit voltage (OCV) permanence and constant load profile were considered. Polarization curves (PC) together with electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and cyclic voltammetry (CV) data were recorded during the ageing tests to assess the fuel cell per-formance. In this paper, experimental data are presented to confirm the test methodology previ-ously proposed by the authors and to quantitatively correlate the performance degradation to the operational profiles. It was demonstrated that OCV condition, start and stop and load cycling in-crease degradation of the MEAs with respect to constant load operation. As expected, the OCV is the operational condition that influences performance degradation the most. Finally, the MEAs were analyzed with synchrotron small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) technique at the Austrian SAXS beamline at Elettra-Sincrotrone Trieste to analyze the nano-morphological catalyst evolution. As for the catalyst morphology evolution, the ex situ SAXS methodology proposed by the authors is confirmed in its ability to assess the catalyst nanoparticles aggregation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6737
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages14
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021


  • Fuel Cells
  • SAXS
  • membrane electrode assemblies
  • Electrochemical surface area
  • SAXS analysis
  • High temperature polymer electrolyte membrane
  • Hydrogen
  • Membrane electrode assembly
  • Operating profiles
  • Performance degradation
  • Fuel cell
  • Polarization curve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Optimization
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

Fields of Expertise

  • Sustainable Systems
  • Advanced Materials Science


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