Korea Institute of Advance Science and Technology

Mechanical design lab. with advanced materials

Power sources for the transport will be changed from gasoline/diesel to Li-ion batteries and fuel cells due to the shortage of fossil fuels and carbon dioxide generation. Therefore, in order for KAIST to be the pioneer in the fuel cell research and to make Korea as the leading supplier of world fuel cell market, the research on the fuel cell stack component with high efficiency, durability, and low cost for commercialization of the PEM fuel cell is inevitable.

The research team developed the continuous carbon fiber composite bipolar plate with conductive particles and graphite-foil embedded to not only increases the durability but also the competitive advantages of PEMFC over other power sources. The continuous carbon fiber composite has been used as an alternative to graphite, stainless steel and other short carbon fiber composite materials for the bipolar plate of PEM fuel cell because it offers the advantages of low cost, low weight and ease of manufacture over the conventional materials for PEMFC. Most of all, it is possible to increase the electrical conductivity of the continuous carbon fiber composite by increasing carbon fiber volume fraction (up to 76%) and adequate surface treatments. Also the weight reduction and compact size of the PEMFC stack are possible with the continuous carbon composite.

MecLab-fig1
Carbon composite bipolar plate, KAIST, Korea

Also, the research team is developing a light weight and high power 200 W PEMFC stack to apply to the propulsion system of UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) based on environmental-friendly characteristics with low noise, high efficiency high energy density which is 10 times larger than that of battery or engine systems. Since the plat form types of the UAVs are limited to only ‘blended wing-body’ plat form because of the weight of the PEMFC weight and low power density, light weight composite bipolar plates and sandwich endplates are applied to minimize the weight and volume of the PEMFC system.

MechLab-fig2
200 W PEMFC stack. KAIST, Korea

Fuel cells have already been developed and demonstrated in the following applications; automobiles, distributed power generation, backup power, portable power. However, the fuel cell technology is still in the early stage of commercialization. Since fundamental technologies about the fuel cell such as material selection, component design, manufacturing process are still in developing stage, the technology of KAIST, which is the first attempt in the world, will create a new paradigm of the fuel cell field. The research team has already filed many international and domestic patents (58 patents), international journal papers (SCI, 34 papers), and international and domestic conference papers (43 papers). To achieve the commercialization of fuel cell, the research should be further enhanced with more researchers with financial foothold. Once the mass production of composite bipolar plates has been realized, it will be possible to commercialize low cost PEMFC for vehicles and residential power plant while leading the eco-friendly transportation and power plant market.

Contact

Professor Dai Gil Lee
Mechanical design lab. with advanced materials
pp 202, Department of Mechanical Engineering,
291 Daehak-ro (373-1 Guseong-dong), Yuseong- gu,
Daejeon 305-701, Republic of Korea

Phone: (+82)-42 350 3261, 5202
Fax: (+82) 42 350 5221
E-mail: dglee@kaist.ac.kr
Web: scs.kaist.ac.kr

Post Doctoral Fellow Jun Woo Lim
Mechanical design lab. with advanced materials
pp 202, Department of Mechanical Engineering,
291 Daehak-ro (373-1 Guseong-dong), Yuseong- gu,
Daejeon 305-701, Republic of Korea

Phone: (+82) 42 350 3261, 5202
Fax: (+82) 42 350 5221
E-mail: jul170@kaist.ac.kr
Web: scs.kaist.ac.kr

http://www.kdfuelcell.net/kdfuelcell/participants/kaist-mech
21 NOVEMBER 2019