Arlt, T.; Grothausmann, R.; Manke, I.; Markötter, H.; Hilger, A.; Kardjilov, N.; Tötzke, C.; Banhart, J.; Kupsch, A.; Hentschel, M.P.; Lange, A.; Krüger, P.; Haussmann, J.; Hartnig, C.; Wippermann, K.: Tomografische Methoden für die Brennstoffzellenforschung. Materials Testing 55 (2013), p. 207-213

Tomographic methods for fuel cell research. Due to their high efficiency and versatile applicability fuel cells and fuel cell stacks are considered as promising candidates for future power supply systems. The accurate observation and characterization of transport and conversion processes in operating cells is required for a detailed understanding and successful optimization of fuel cell systems. An effective water management is a prerequisite for a long-lasting performance and reliability of hydrogen-powered fuel cells. To maintain a high long-term efficiency, the membrane must be kept in humid conditions ensuring high proton conductivity. However, extended water agglomerations in the cell can block the gas transport through the porous materials. Deterioration of individual components may seriously influence the water balance and reduce the fuel cell efficiency. Non-destructive imaging methods, such as ex-situ neutron tomography and in-situ synchrotron X-ray radiography, are applied for a detailed analysis of the water distribution. Both methods can be combined with other techniques, such as spatially resolved current density measurements. This allows for individual characterization of fuel cell components, such as the gas diffusion layers or the polymer membrane.