Water management in PEM fuel cells has a significant impact on their efficiency as well as lifetime. Not only must a compromise be found between sufficient humidification of the membrane and the risk of flooding the cells, but the influence of humidification on the degradation mechanisms as well as their opposing effects must also be taken into account.

In the research project EIS4FCWM, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) will be used to draw conclusions about the humidity within the fuel cell stack based on in-situ measured cell impedances. Local drying or flooding phenomena within the fuel cell stack can thus be detected at an early stage during operation and countermeasures can be initiated or the system can be further optimized.

Furthermore, EIS enables conclusions to be drawn about the origin of voltage losses. This makes it possible, to determine the reduction in the active area of the catalyst layer or inhibited mass transport. The findings are used to determine the influence of operating conditions on cell aging and to increase the service life of fuel cells in the future through targeted optimization of operating parameters.


Investigation of the water balance of a PEM fuel cell using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS)

Acronym EIS4FCWM


Term 01.01.2021 – 30.09.2021