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MRT Fuel Cell Lab

Referent: Casalegno Andrea

The Fuel Cell Laboratory studies experimentally and theoretically polymeric electrolyte membrane fuel cells and related components, focusing on transport phenomena, aiming at:
  • understanding of critical phenomena;
  • innovative components development;
  • operation and life-time optimization.

Three research lines are active:
  • Direct methanol fuel cell (projects: PREMIUM ACT);
  • High temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cell (internal project);
  • PEFC based CHP systems (projects: REAL-FC, STAR, Microgen30);

The experimental facilities consist in:
  • 4 advanced testing stations for single DMFC, PEM and HT-PEM fuel cells;
  • 2 mass transport testing stations: water management and methanol cross-over;
  • EIS and microGC setup;
  • performance and mass transport in-situ measurement on stacks and CHP systems.

Analytical and numerical modelling activities on components, single cell and systems are also performed in strict correlation with experimental activities.
Besides research activities, measurements standardization activities are also carried out, participating to international IEC-TC105 and national workgroups CEI-CT105.

The Fuel Cell Laboratory started its activities in 2005, since its scientific production increased continuously and rapidly: 2 PhD and 10 master theses were dedicated to the major issues of PEMFC and DMFC, water management and methanol cross-over, producing several international publications. In 2007 and 2009 two projects on mass transport in DMFC and PEFC, proposed by the group, were funded by Young Researcher Grant of Department of Energy. Since 2008 the group coordinates the two-year project “Micro and nano-structured materials development for direct methanol fuel cell”, co-funded by Fondazione Cariplo.

The ongoing research projects are:
  • 2009-2013 Real-FC, funded by Regione Lombardia, the project aims to improve performance and lifetime of 2 CHP systems based on 30 kW PEM fuel cell stacks;
  • 2011-2014 Microgen30, Industria2015 funded by Italian Government, aims to develop innovative CHP systems based on PEM fuel cell stacks;
  • 2011-2014 STAR, Ricerca di Sistema funded by Italian Government, aims to develop innovative trigenerative systems based on PEM fuel cell stacks;
  • 2011-2014 PREMIUM ACT, JTI FP7 EU project, aims to study and control degradation in PEFC and DMFC.

The young and motivated staff is composed of 3 permanent researchers (1 full-time, 2 part-time), 4 PhD students.

Recent publication
  1. S. Galbiati, A. Baricci, A. Casalegno, R. Marchesi; “Experimental study of water transport in a polybenzimidazole-based high temperature PEMFC”, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, in press, 2011.
  2. Casalegno, F. Bresciani, G. Groppi, R. Marchesi; “Flooding of the diffusion layer in a polymer electrolyte fuel cell: Experimental and modelling analysis”, Journal of Power Sources, (ISSN 0378-7753), Volume 196, 2011, pag. 10632-10639, doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2011.08.094.
  3. Casalegno, S. De Antonellis, L. Colombo, F. Rinaldi; “Design of a enthalpy wheel based humidification system for polymer electrolyte fuel cell”, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Volume 36, 2011, pag 5000-5009, doi:10.1016/j.ijhydene.2011.01.012.
  4. Casalegno, C. Santoro, F. Rinaldi, R. Marchesi; “Low methanol crossover and high efficiency direct methanol fuel cell: the influence of diffusion layers”, Journal of Power Sources, (ISSN 0378-7753), Volume 196, 2011, pag. 2669–2675.
  5. Casalegno, L. Colombo, S. Galbiati, R. Marchesi; “Quantitative characterization of water transport and flooding in the diffusion layers of polymer electrolyte fuel cells”, Journal of Power Sources, Volume 195, Issue 13, 2010, pag. 4143-4148, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2010.01.032;
  6. Andrea Casalegno, Renzo Marchesi; “DMFC performance and methanol cross-over: Experimental analysis and model validation”, Journal of Power Sources, Volume 185, Issue 1, 2008, pag. 318-330, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2008.06.071;
  7. Andrea Casalegno, Renzo Marchesi, Davide Parenti; “Two-Phase 1D+1D Model of a DMFC: Development and Validation on Extensive Operating Conditions Range”, Fuel Cells, 2008 (ISSN 1615-6854), Volume 8, Issue 1, pag. 37-44, DOI: 10.1002/fuce.200700030;
  8. Andrea Casalegno, Renzo Marchesi; “DMFC anode polarization: Experimental analysis and model validation”, Journal of Power Sources, (ISSN 0378-7753) Volume 175, Issue 1, 3 Gennaio 2008, pagine 372-382, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2007.09.003;
  9. Andrea Casalegno, Renzo Marchesi, Fabio Rinaldi; “Systematic Experimental Analysis of a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell”, Journal of Fuel Cell Science and Technology, (ISSN 1550-624X) Volume 4, Issue 4, Novembre 2007, pagine 418-424, DOI: 10.1115/1.2756851;
  10. Andrea Casalegno, Paolo Grassini, Renzo Marchesi; “Experimental analysis of methanol cross-over in a direct methanol fuel cell”, Applied Thermal Engineering, (ISSN 1359-4311) Volume 27, Marzo 2007, pagine 748-754, DOI: 10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2006.10.

Dipartimento di Energia
Politecnico di Milano
Campus Bovisa
Via Lambruschini, 4
20156 Milano - ITALIA

Tel. : +39 02 2399 3840, 3912
Fax : +39 02 2399 3863

More info:
MRT Fuel Cell Lab Site