Development of high performance high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack integrated with a heat-driven cooling system for commercial application

Project Details


The project team aims to develop the core components of high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack (HT-PEMFC) and a heat-driven cooling technology using the high temperature waste heat with a goal to produce a portable power generator with methanol reforming technology by linking the individual strength of the team members with an industrial manufacturer. The major goals include developing a HT-PEMFC stack using metallic gas distribution plates, enhancing the performance of membrane electrode assembly (MEA), exploring for novel catalyst materials, developing a heat-driven cooling technology and micro reformer to generate hydrogen from methanol for the portable fuel cell power unit, which aims to weigh less than 10 kg and smaller than 10 L. The device thus offers high value and can be applied in a remote location to provide stable and long lasting power for emergency power, remote environment monitoring and telecommunication, etc. To increase the energy efficiency, the project also aims to recycle the by-product heat (180 °C), using a small Stirling heat-driven cooler technology with a combined cold, heat and power, CCHP. Therefore, the strength of fuel cell as a distributed power can be leveraged.The anticipated targets of the project include: 1) completing the assembly of a 300 W metallic HT-PEMFC stack and its cell performance characterization, 2) developing characterization techniques for assessing the durability and reliability of the HT-PEMFC MEA and to finish a 1000 hour run-test of the in-house developed MEA, 3) developing high efficiency and stable carbon-supported Pt/oxides novel catalysts and the scale-up production process, and to analyze its reliability after 100 hours of use by characterizing the electrochemical and microstructure parameters, 4) designing and prototyping a liquid piston type Stirling heat-driven cooler that can give 200 W of cooling capacity with coefficient of performance 0.5, and 5) developing a micro methanol steam reforming hydrogen generator with hydrogen gas production rate 6 LPM for the HT-PEMFC system.
Effective start/end date1/11/2031/10/21

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy


  • high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack
  • membrane electrode assembly
  • catalyst
  • methanol reforming
  • heat-driven cooling technology


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