Importance of operation modes on the degradation behavior on AEM water electrolyzers
In-order to combine anion exchange membrane-alkaline water electrolysis (AEMWE) with renewable energy sources such as solar energy systems and wind power plants, it needs to be effectively coupled with the periodic and intermittent nature of these renewables. In lieu of that researchers from Republic of Korea investigated the effects of different operation modes on electrolysis process and published their findings in the Journal of Power Sources.
They tested AEMWEs tested for ~1000 h under two different potentiostatic (1.95 V) conditions (short periodic and long periodic modes) using Dioxide Materials cell hardware and a Sustainion X37 membrane. Their degradation behaviors were compared. Whilst recording changes in ohmic and non-ohmic resistance via impedance spectroscopy. The long periodic operation mode resulted in better stability with the ohmic and non-ohmic resistance value remaining almost constant during the test.
The short periodic operation mode resulted in performance degradation due to the ohmic resistance. However, a recent paper using Dioxide Materials grade T supported membrane showed exceptional performance even with accelerated voltage shock tests to simulate daily on/off cycling.
These studies indicates that even a small operating factor such as the frequency of the rest time can have a significant impact on the stability of cell. Thus, various possible operation modes with respect to the rest time should be taken into account for preventing an increase in the degradation rate of AEMWEs.
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