Design and Characterization of Portable DMFC Power Supply System

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University of Delaware
The goal of this thesis is to provide an understanding of a practical portable direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) stack system as well as produce a fuel cell stack that can be used for testing and demonstration purposes. DMFCs are relevant because of the high energy density that the fuel (methanol) affords. However, there are several key limitations — DMFCs suffer from greater activation, ohmic, and crossover losses than a standard Hydrogen Fuel Cell, as well as having a larger restriction on maximum current draw. This combination of advantages and disadvantages makes DMFCs very practical for the portable electronics industry. An attempt has been made therefore, to design and fabricate a DMFC stack that can be used in the Laboratory for testing purposes as well as attempt some innovative design modification with the hope of making either performance or size gains while keeping the stack practical and usable.