화학공학소재연구정보센터
Journal of Power Sources, Vol.424, 138-149, 2019
Operando flow regime diagnosis using acoustic emission in a polymer electrolyte membrane water electrolyser
Polymer electrolyte membrane water electrolysers (PEMWE) are a key technology for producing clean ('green') hydrogen for decarbonisation of the transport sector and grid stabilisation utilising increasing levels of renewable energy. In this work, acoustic emission analysis is used as a non-destructive, operando diagnostic tool to provide information about the relative number and size of gas bubbles generated locally within a PEMWE, providing effective characterisation of the local flow conditions. An optically transparent single-channel PEMWE is used to investigate the relationship between the acoustic signals obtained and the two-phase flow conditions inside the cell. The number of acoustic hits, their frequency, and average peak amplitude is reported for several flow rates and current densities. Using high-speed imaging, the average bubble number and size in the flow cannels is compared to the acoustic signal. Results show good correlation between the number of acoustic 'hits' and the number of bubbles passing through the flow channel. The size of bubbles is also shown to affect the average frequency of the hits. Consequently, the transition between bubbly and slug flow regime can be identified by acoustic emission analysis, paving the way for a simple, low-cost, non-destructive means of mapping flow inside commercial-scale PEMWEs.