Optimisation of air cooled, open-cathode fuel cells: Current of lowest resistance and electro-thermal performance mapping

Quentin Meyer, Krisztian Ronaszegi, Gan Pei-June, Oliver Curnick, Sean Ashton, Tobias Reisch, Paul Adcock, Paul R. Shearing, Daniel J.L. Brett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)
78 Downloads (Pure)


Selecting the ideal operating point for a fuel cell depends on the application and consequent trade-off between efficiency, power density and various operating considerations. A systematic methodology for determining the optimal operating point for fuel cells is lacking; there is also the need for a single-value metric to describe and compare fuel cell performance. This work shows how the 'current of lowest resistance' can be accurately measured using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and used as a useful metric of fuel cell performance. This, along with other measures, is then used to generate an 'electro-thermal performance map' of fuel cell operation. A commercial air-cooled open-cathode fuel cell is used to demonstrate how the approach can be used; in this case leading to the identification of the optimum operating temperature of ∼45 °C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-269
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Early online date19 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


  • Air-cooled open-cathode polymer electrolyte fuel cell
  • Current of lowest resistance
  • Electro-thermal performance mapping
  • Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
  • Forced convection
  • Optimum operating temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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