Low-Cost FC Stack Concept with Increased Power Density and Simplified Configuration Utilizing an Advanced MEA
In 2006, Nissan began limited leasing of the X-TRAIL FCV equipped with their in-house developed Fuel Cell (FC) stack. Since then, the FC stack has been improved in cost, size, durability and cold start-up capability with the aim of promoting full-scale commercialization of FCVs. However, reduction of cost and size has remained a significant challenge because limited mass transport through the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) has made it difficult to increase the rated current density of the FC. Furthermore, it has been difficult to reduce the variety of FC stack components due to the complex stack configuration. In this study, improvements have been achieved mainly by adopting an advanced MEA to overcome these difficulties. First, the adoption of a new MEA and separators has improved mass transport through the MEA for increased rated current density. Second, an integrated molded frame (IMF) has been adopted as the MEA support.