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PEM Fuel Cells, 2nd Edition by Frano Barbir

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Chapter Six

Stack Design

As discussed in Chapter 3, the fuel cell electrochemical reactions result in theoretical cell potential of 1.23 V, and the actual potential in operation is lower than 1 V. If a single cell were required to generate 1 kW of power, it would need to generate electrical current higher than 1,000 amperes. Such a current could be generated only with a large active area (>1000 cm2), and it would require very thick cables between the fuel cell and the load to minimize the resistive losses. A more practical solution would be to have multiple cells electrically connected in series. The cell active area and the cross-sectional area of the connecting cables would decrease with a number of cells connected in series. For example, 1 kW ...

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