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Complex Coolant Fluid for PEM Cell Systems

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-04ER83884
Agency Tracking Number: 75554B04-I
Amount: $749,947.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 32 c
Solicitation Number: DOE/SC-0072
Solicitation Year: 2004
Award Year: 2005
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
5250 West Coplay Road
Whitehall, PA 18052
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Satish Mohapatra
 (610) 262-9686
Business Contact
 Daniel Loikits
Title: Mr.
Phone: (610) 262-9686
Research Institution

75554B Fuel cells are an efficient, combustion-less, virtually pollution-free source of power. In particular, Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells are ideal for a number of applications, due to their ¿quick¿ warm-up characteristics. However, these fuel cells contain some inherent inefficiencies, which results in waste heat that must be removed rapidly via a coolant ¿ currently, either Deionized (DI) water or glycol/water solutions with a DI canister. Although these coolants are non-flammable and thermally efficient, their electrical conductivity increases rapidly unless the DI canister is replaced frequently, which significantly increases capital and maintenance costs. This problem will be addressed by developing a novel Complex Coolant Fluid (CCF), comprised of a base composition and an additive package. The base composition addresses the non-flammability, thermal efficiency, freeze point, and materials compatibility issues, whereas the additive package maintains a low electrical conductivity in the CCF. In Phase I, key ingredients of the proposed additive package were prepared and incorporated into the coolant fluid. The resultant complex coolant fluid formulations were tested in two dynamic loops, and the additives were shown to maintain the electrical conductivity of the coolant below 2.0 microSiemens/cm for more than 325 hours. In Phase II, the additive package will be optimized and a more detailed study of the coolant performance and longevity will be carried out in a dynamic test loop that simulates fuel cell conditions. Optimized coolant samples will tested and validated in actual fuel cells under various operating conditions. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The new complex coolant fluid should significantly expand the versatility of the PEM fuel cells in both mobile and stationary applications by offering the advantages of freeze protection, corrosion inhibition, and low electrical conductivity in a single aqueous-based fluid, attributes that are not available in competitive alternates. The commercial applications include, but are not limited to, automotive fuel cell engines, power generation for residential and commercial buildings, back-up power for hospitals and other emergency establishments, fuel cells used in ships and space vehicles, and mobile machinery and equipment.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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