(19)
(11)EP 3 276 722 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
16.10.2019 Bulletin 2019/42

(21)Application number: 17183337.9

(22)Date of filing:  26.07.2017
(51)Int. Cl.: 
H01M 8/0258  (2016.01)
H01M 8/04119  (2016.01)
H01M 8/0206  (2016.01)
H01M 8/0254  (2016.01)
H01M 8/1018  (2016.01)

(54)

GAS FLOW PASSAGE-FORMING MEMBER AND CELL FOR FUEL CELL

GASSTROMPASSAGENBILDUNGSELEMENT UND ZELLE FÜR EINE BRENNSTOFFZELLE

ÉLÉMENT DE FORMATION D'UN CONDUIT D'ÉCOULEMENT GAZEUX ET CELLULE DE PILE À COMBUSTIBLE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 28.07.2016 JP 2016148922
05.07.2017 JP 2017131797

(43)Date of publication of application:
31.01.2018 Bulletin 2018/05

(73)Proprietors:
  • TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Toyota-shi, Aichi-ken, 471-8571 (JP)
  • TOYOTA SHATAI KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Kariya-shi, Aichi-ken, 448-8666 (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • SHIBATA, Kazunori
    Toyota-shi, Aichi-ken, 471-8571 (JP)
  • NAKAJI, Hiroya
    Toyota-shi, Aichi-ken, 471-8571 (JP)
  • OKABE, Hiroki
    Toyota-shi, Aichi-ken, 471-8571 (JP)
  • SHINOZAKI, Yoshinori
    Kariya-shi, Aichi-ken, 448-8666 (JP)
  • KAWAJIRI, Kousuke
    Kariya-shi, Aichi-ken, 448-8666 (JP)
  • FUTAMI, Satoshi
    Kariya-shi, Aichi-ken, 448-8666 (JP)
  • KANIE, Takamasa
    Kariya-shi, Aichi-ken, 448-8666 (JP)

(74)Representative: Kuhnen & Wacker Patent- und Rechtsanwaltsbüro PartG mbB 
Prinz-Ludwig-Straße 40A
85354 Freising
85354 Freising (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 3 133 685
US-A1- 2015 236 368
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION


    1. Field of the Invention



    [0001] The invention relates to a gas flow passage-forming member, and relates also to a cell for a fuel cell.

    2. Description of Related Art



    [0002] As a cell for a fuel cell, there is a known cell including a membrane electrode and gas diffusion layer assembly (hereinafter, referred to as "MEGA" where appropriate), separators, and gas flow passage-forming members disposed between the MEGA and the separators (refer to, for example, Japanese Patent Application JP 2011-44399 A). A gas passage forming body for a fuel battery which includes gas passages and water guide passages is known from US 2015/236368 A1. There, a communication passage is arranged between one of the water guide passages and a gas passage that is adjacent to the water guide passage and is in communication with the adjacent gas passage and water guide passage to permit water to move therethrough, and an aid portion is arranged at water drainage ends of two adjacent ones of the water guide passages and aids bonding of water drained from the water drainage ends of the two adjacent ones of the water guide passages. Another gas channel forming plate including protrusions, which extend parallel with each other, gas channels that are respectively located between each adjacent pair of the protrusions, and water channels, which are respectively formed on the back surface of each protrusion is provided by EP 3 133 685 A1 which is prior art under Art. 54(3) EPC. Each protrusion includes first communication portions and second communication portions. Each first communication portion includes a first opening. Each second communication portion includes a second opening. The second communication portions of each protrusion constitute an expanding region, in which the opening area of the second opening in each second communication portion is greater than the opening area of the first opening of each first communication portion, to limit introduction of water to the water channel on the back side of the protrusion using capillary action by the second communication portions

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0003] In the cell including the gas flow passage-forming members, generated water generated in the MEGA can be appropriately drained. However, during a high-temperature operation of the fuel cell, the generated water is excessively drained and thus the MEGA easily dries up.

    [0004] In view of this, in the cell having the above-described configuration, a flat plate portion provided in the gas flow passage-forming member is brought into close contact with the MEGA, on the upstream side in the airflow direction, where the MEGA easily dries up. However, when the flat plate portion is brought into close contact with the MEGA as described above, the power generation efficiency at a region, where the flat plate portion is in close contact with the MEGA, decreases and thus the amount of electric power generated by the cell decreases.

    [0005] The invention provides a gas flow passage-forming member and a cell for a fuel cell, the gas flow passage-forming member and the cell being configured to suppress drying-up of an MEGA without decreasing the power generation efficiency, and configured to ensure appropriate drainage performance.

    [0006] A first aspect of the invention relates to a gas flow passage-forming member according to claim 1 for being disposed between a membrane electrode and gas diffusion layer assembly (MEGA) and a separator that constitute a cell for a fuel cell, and that is configured to form a gas flow passage. The gas flow passage-forming member has a corrugated shape such that recessed portions and protruding portions are provided on each of a front side and a back side of the gas flow passage-forming member. The recessed portions on the front side each serve as the gas flow passage. The gas flow passage-forming member has a communication hole providing communication between the front side of the gas flow passage-forming member and the back side of the gas flow passage-forming member, and the communication hole is provided in a region downstream of an upstream region in a gas flow direction, the region including a midstream region and a downstream region. The upstream region is a non-communication region with no communication hole.

    [0007] In the gas flow passage-forming member, the communication hole is provided in the midstream region and the further downstream region in the gas flow direction, and the upstream region is a non-communication region. Thus, the flow of generated water generated in the MEGA during power generation can be controlled in a manner that differs between the upstream region, and the midstream region and the further downstream region. Thus, in the upstream region that is the non-communication region with no communication hole, it is possible to suppress drying-up of the MEGA without hindering the flow of the gas. In the midstream region and the further downstream region, it is possible to ensure appropriate generated-water drainage performance. As a result, it is possible to ensure appropriate power generation efficiency throughout the entire region of the MEGA, thereby increasing the power generation amount.

    [0008] With the gas flow passage-forming member according to the first aspect of the invention, it is possible to suppress drying-up of the MEGA without decreasing the power generation efficiency, and to ensure appropriate drainage performance.

    [0009] A second aspect of the invention relates to a cell for a fuel cell including an MEGA, a separator, and the gas flow passage-forming member according to the first aspect, which is disposed between the MEGA and the separator.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0010] Features, advantages, and technical and industrial significance of exemplary embodiments of the invention will be described below with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which like numerals denote like elements, and wherein:

    FIG. 1 is a sectional view schematically illustrating a cell for a fuel cell stack;

    FIG. 2A is a front view schematically illustrating a gas flow passage-forming member according to an example embodiment;

    FIG. 2B is a graph indicating an oxygen partial pressure (air partial pressure) in each of regions of the gas flow passage-forming member;

    FIG. 2C is a graph indicating a moisture amount in each of the regions of the gas flow passage-forming member;

    FIG. 3A is a view illustrating the shape of an upstream region of the gas flow passage-forming member;

    FIG. 3B is a view illustrating the shape of a midstream region of the gas flow passage-forming member;

    FIG. 3C is a view illustrating the shape of a downstream region of the gas flow passage-forming member;

    FIG. 4 is a perspective view illustrating a region of the gas flow passage-forming member, where communication holes are provided;

    FIG. 5 is a view schematically illustrating the region of the gas flow passage-forming member, where the communication holes are provided, FIG. 5 being a sectional view taken in the width direction of a cell;

    FIG. 6A is a view schematically illustrating a method for adjusting the capillary attraction in the communication holes, FIG. 6A being a sectional view taken in the gas flow direction;

    FIG. 6B is a view schematically illustrating a method for adjusting the capillary attraction in the communication holes, FIG. 6B being a sectional view taken in the gas flow direction; and

    FIG. 6C is a view schematically illustrating a method for adjusting the capillary attraction in the communication holes, FIG. 6C being a sectional view taken in the gas flow direction.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS



    [0011] Hereinafter, a gas flow passage-forming member according to an embodiment of the invention will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings. FIG. 1 is a sectional view schematically illustrating a cell for a fuel cell stack.

    [0012] As illustrated in FIG. 1, gas flow passage-forming members 10 according to the present embodiment are provided in a cell 11 for a fuel cell stack. The cell 11 includes a membrane electrode and gas diffusion layer assembly (hereinafter, referred to as "MEGA") 12 and separators 13. One of the separators 13 is provided on one side of the MEGA 12, and the other one of the separators 13 is provided on the other side of the MEGA 12. In the MEGA 12, a catalyst layer and a diffusion layer are provided on each of two sides of a membrane electrode assembly (MEA). The gas flow passage-forming member 10 is a member for forming a three-dimensional fine mesh flow passage (referred also to as "3D fine mesh flow passage"). The gas flow passage-forming member 10 is disposed between the MEGA 12 and each separator 13. The gas flow passage-forming member 10 is made of, for example, ferritic stainless steel (SUS), a titanium alloy, carbon, a gold-plated titanium alloy, or a gold alloy. The gas flow passage-forming member 10 may be made of a porous material.

    [0013] In the cell 11, one of the gas flow passage-forming members 10 forms an air electrode A on one side of the MEGA 12, the other one of the gas flow passage-forming members 10 forms a fuel electrode B on the other side of the MEGA 12. A pair of the separators 13 is provided such that the air electrode A and the fuel electrode B are sandwiched by the separators 13. Air serving as oxidation gas is supplied to the air electrode A of the cell 11, and hydrogen gas serving as fuel gas is supplied to the fuel electrode B of the cell 11. Then, an electrochemical reaction between air and hydrogen occurs in the MEGA 12 of the cell 11, whereby electric power is generated.

    [0014] FIG. 2A is a front view schematically illustrating the gas flow passage-forming member 10 according to the present embodiment. FIG. 2B is a graph indicating an oxygen partial pressure (air partial pressure) in each of regions of the gas flow passage-forming member 10. FIG. 2C is a graph indicating a moisture amount in each of the regions of the gas flow passage-forming member 10.

    [0015] As illustrated in FIG. 2A, the cell 11 has a manifold 21A at one end, and a manifold 21B at the other end. Air is supplied to the air electrode A of the cell 11 through an air inlet 22A of the manifold 21A, and is discharged through an air outlet 22B of the manifold 21B. Thus, in the air electrode A, the air flows from the manifold 21A toward the manifold 21B (in the direction of an arrow X in FIG. 2A). The gas flow passage-forming member 10 provided at the air electrode A is divided into a plurality of regions in the airflow direction. Specifically, an upstream portion of the gas flow passage-forming member 10 in the airflow direction is an upstream region 30A, a midstream portion thereof in the airflow direction is a midstream region 30B, and a downstream portion thereof in the airflow direction is a downstream region 30C.

    [0016] FIG. 3A is a view illustrating the shape of the upstream region 30A of the gas flow passage-forming member 10. FIG. 3B is a view illustrating the shape of the midstream region 30B of the gas flow passage-forming member 10. FIG. 3C is a view illustrating the shape of the downstream region 30C of the gas flow passage-forming member 10.

    [0017] As illustrated in FIG. 3A to FIG. 3C, the gas flow passage-forming member 10 has a plurality of groove portions (recessed portions) 31 extending in the airflow direction and arranged parallel to one another. The groove portions 31 are provided on a surface of the gas flow passage-forming member 10, which faces the MEGA 12. Ridge portions (protruding portions) 32 protruding toward the MEGA 12 are provided between the groove portions 31. In the gas flow passage-forming member 10, the back side of each ridge portion 32 is a groove portion (recessed portion) 33, and the back side of each groove portion 31 is a ridge portion (protruding portion) 34 protruding toward the separator 13. The ridge portions 32 of the gas flow passage-forming member 10 are brought into contact with the MEGA 12, and the ridge portions 34 of the gas flow passage-forming member 10 are brought into contact with the separator 13. Thus, the cell 11 is provided with gas flow passages Ar, through which the air flows, and drainage passages Wr. The gas flow passages Ar are formed on a surface of the MEGA 12 by the groove portions 31 of the gas flow passage-forming member 10, which are provided on the MEGA 12-side. The drainage passages Wr are formed on a surface of the separator 13 by the groove portions 33 of the gas flow passage-forming member 10, which are provided on the separator 13-side.

    [0018] As illustrated in FIG. 3B and FIG. 3C, the gas flow passage-forming member 10 is provided with communication holes 41 that provide communication between the front side and the back side of the gas flow passage-forming member 10. The communication holes 41 are provided in the midstream region 30B and a further downstream region of the gas flow passage-forming member 10, excluding the upstream region 30A. In other words, the communication holes 41 are provided in the midstream region 30B and the downstream region 30C. The communication holes 41 are provided in pairs. A distance Gc between a pair of the communication holes 41 and an adjacent pair of the communication holes 41 in the downstream region 30C is shorter than a distance Gb between a pair of the communication holes 41 and an adjacent pair of the communication holes 41 in the midstream region 30B. Thus, the number of the communication holes 41 per unit area is larger in the downstream region 30C than in the midstream region 30B.

    [0019] FIG. 4 is a perspective view illustrating a region of the gas flow passage-forming member 10, where the communication holes 41 are provided. FIG. 5 is a view schematically illustrating the region of the gas flow passage-forming member 10, where the communication holes 41 are provided. FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken in the width direction of the cell 11.

    [0020] As illustrated in FIG. 4 and FIG. 5, in the midstream region 30B and the downstream region 30C of the gas flow passage-forming member 10, recesses 42 are formed in the ridge portions 32 provided between the groove portions 31 and protruding toward the MEGA 12. Thus, the communication holes 41 in the form of a slit are provided between bottom portions of the recesses 42 and bottom portions of the groove portions 33 that are provided on the separator 13-side.

    [0021] In the gas flow passage-forming member 10 having the communication holes 41, generated water SW generated in the MEGA 12 during power generation is drawn up by capillary action in the communication holes 41 in the form of a silt, is then introduced into the drainage passages Wr formed by the groove portions 33 provided on the separator 13-side, and is finally drained.

    [0022] In the gas flow passage-forming member 10 having the above-described configuration, the upstream region 30A is a non-communication region with no communication holes 41. Thus, in the air electrode A of the cell 11, a space on the MEGA 12-side and a space on the separator 13-side are separated from each other by the gas flow passage-forming member 10 in the upstream region 30A with no communication holes 41. Thus, in the upstream region 30A, the air is supplied to only the MEGA 12-side, and the carried-away amount of vapor of the generated water generated in the MEGA 12 is limited, whereby the moisture amount increases toward a downstream-side end portion of the upstream region 30A and the saturated water vapor pressure is reached (refer to the graph of the moisture amount in FIG. 2C). The range of the upstream region 30A is set to a range in which the oxygen partial pressure (air partial pressure) at the downstream-side end portion of the upstream region 30A does not fall below the oxygen partial pressure (air partial pressure) P at a downstream-side outlet of the gas flow passage-forming member 10 (refer to the graph of the oxygen partial pressure (air partial pressure) in FIG. 2B).

    [0023] In the midstream region 30B and the further downstream region that have the communication holes 41, due to the drainage function of the communication holes 41, the oxygen partial pressure (air partial pressure) temporarily increases and then gradually decreases (refer to the graph of the oxygen partial pressure (air partial pressure) in FIG. 2B), and the moisture amount in the air temporarily decreases and then gradually increases (refer to the graph of the moisture amount in FIG. 2C).

    [0024] In the downstream region 30C, the number of the communication holes 41 is larger than that in the midstream region 30B, and thus migration of the generated water generated on the MEGA 12-side to the separator 13-side is promoted. The range of the downstream region 30C is set to a range downstream of a position at which liquid water is generated in the vapor of the generated water in the midstream region 30B and the further downstream region (refer to the graph of the moisture amount in FIG. 2C).

    [0025] If a gas flow passage-forming member having the communication holes 41 that are evenly provided throughout the entire region from the upstream region 30A to the downstream region 30C is used as the gas flow passage-forming member 10, the in-plane moisture state of the MEGA 12 significantly varies from an upstream-side region to a downstream-side region. This is one of the factors in the performance deterioration. That is, in the upstream-side region of the MEGA 12, the amount of generated water is small, and thus the MEGA 12 is excessively dried due to the drainage performance of the gas flow passage-forming member 10 and the MEGA 12 easily dries up. On the other hand, in the downstream-side region of the MEGA 12, the generated water is not appropriately drained, and the power generation efficiency decreases due to the generated water adhering to the surface of the MEGA 12.

    [0026] In contrast to this, according to the present embodiment, the communication holes 41 are provided in the midstream region 30B and the further downstream region in the airflow direction, and the upstream region 30A is a non-communication region. Thus, the flow of generated water generated in the MEGA 12 during power generation can be controlled in a manner that differs between the upstream region 30A, and the midstream region 30B and the further downstream region. Thus, in the upstream region 30A, it is possible to suppress drying-up of the MEGA 12 without hindering the flow of the air. In the midstream region 30B and the further downstream region, it is possible to ensure appropriate generated-water drainage performance. As a result, it is possible to ensure appropriate power generation efficiency throughout the entire region of the MEGA 12, thereby increasing the power generation amount.

    [0027] More specifically, a plurality of the communication holes 41 is provided in the midstream region 30B and the downstream region 30C in the airflow direction, and the distance Gc between a pair of the communication holes 41 and an adjacent pair of the communication holes 41 in the downstream region 30C is shorter than the distance Gb between a pair of the communication holes 41 and an adjacent pair of the communication holes 41 in the midstream region 30B. Thus, in the midstream region 30B and the downstream region 30C in which flooding is likely to occur, appropriate generated-water drainage performance is ensured by the communication holes 41. Further, the drainage performance in the downstream region 30C is higher than that in the midstream region 30B. As a result, it is possible to further suppress the variations in the moisture amount in the entire region of the MEGA 12, thereby improving the power generation performance.

    [0028] As described above, when the gas flow passage-forming member 10 according to the present embodiment is used, it is possible to control the state of moisture facing the MEGA 12, thereby maintaining the appropriate moisture retaining state and the appropriate oxygen partial pressure (air partial pressure). Thus, it is possible to appropriately maintain the output from the cell 11 and temperature of the cell 11, while suppressing, for example, drying-up of the MEGA 12 during high-temperature operation.

    [0029] Note that, the manner for controlling the drainage performance in the communication holes 41 of the gas flow passage-forming member 10 is not limited to adjustment of the number of the communication holes 41.

    [0030] The drainage performance may be controlled by adjusting the capillary attraction in the communication holes 41, for example, as illustrated in FIG. 6A and FIG. 6B. As illustrated in FIG. 6A, the drainage performance may be controlled by increasing or decreasing a height H of the recesses 42 for forming the communication holes 41. As illustrated in FIG. 6B, the drainage performance may be controlled by increasing or decreasing a width W of the recesses 42 for forming the communication holes 41. For example, the width W of the communication hole 41 in the downstream region 30C is set to be smaller than the width W of the communication hole 41 in the midstream region 30B. As illustrated in FIG. 6C, for example, in the midstream region 30B and the downstream region 30C, preferably, the capillary action is suppressed by increasing a distance G between the communication holes 41 in a region where the MEGA 12 is easily dried and the capillary action is improved by decreasing the distance G between the communication holes 41 in a region where the MEGA 12 is not easily dried.

    [0031] In the foregoing embodiment, the air electrode A in which the air flows has been described. However, it is needless to say that the invention is applicable to the fuel electrode B in which hydrogen flows.

    [0032] The description of the foregoing embodiment will be summarized as follows. The gas flow passage-forming member is a gas flow passage-forming member disposed between an MEGA and a separator that constitute a cell for a fuel cell and used to form a gas flow passage. The gas flow passage-forming member has a corrugated shape, that is, the gas flow passage-forming member has recessed portions and protruding portions on the front side and the back side. The recessed portions serve as gas flow passages. The gas flow passage-forming member has communication holes, which provide communication between the front side and the back side of the gas flow passage-forming member. The communication holes are provided in a region including a midstream region and a downstream region, that is, a region downstream of an upstream region in the gas flow direction. The upstream region is a non-communication region with no communication holes.

    [0033] The distance between the communication holes provided in the downstream region which is continuous with the midstream region may be shorter than the distance between the communication holes in the midstream region.

    [0034] With this configuration, the drainage performance in the downstream region is higher than that in the midstream region. As a result, it is possible to suppress the variations in the moisture amount in the entire region, thereby improving the power generation performance.

    [0035] The gas flow passage-forming member may have a plurality of communication passages having different heights from the MEGA.

    [0036] With this configuration, in the midstream region and the downstream region, it is possible to control the drainage performance by adjusting the capillary action.

    [0037] The gas flow passage-forming member may have a plurality of communication passages having different widths.

    [0038] With this configuration, in the midstream region and the downstream region, it is possible to control the drainage performance by adjusting the capillary action.

    [0039] A cell for a fuel cell provided with a gas flow passage-forming member includes a separator, an MEGA, and the gas flow passage-forming member provided between the separator and the MEGA. The gas flow passage-forming member has protruding portions protruding toward the MEGA and brought into contact with the MEGA, and recessed portions provided continuously with the protruding portions. The gas flow passage-forming member forms first flow passages, which are clearances between the recessed portions and the MEGA, and second passages, which are clearances between the protruding portions and the separator. In the cell for a fuel cell, the gas supplied from an inlet flows through the first flow passages and is discharged through an outlet, whereby electric power is generated. In the gas flow passage-forming member, in order to decrease the moisture amount which increases toward the downstream side in the upstream region of the first flow passages, a plurality of holes providing communication between the first flow passages and the second flow passages is provided in a region downstream of the upstream region.

    [0040] With the cell for a fuel cell, the moisture in the first flow passages can migrate to the second flow passages with the use of the hole. Thus, it is possible to appropriately discharge the generated water generated in the MEGA, thereby suppressing deterioration of the power generation efficiency.

    [0041] The holes may be provided so as to increase the partial pressure of the gas which decreases toward the downstream side in the upstream region.

    [0042] Thus, the partial pressure of the gas which decreases in the upstream region is increased in the midstream region. Thus, it is possible to suppress deterioration of the power generation efficiency.

    [0043] The holes may be provided such that the partial pressure of the gas at a downstream-side end portion of the upstream region does not fall below the partial pressure of the gas at the outlet.

    [0044] Thus, even at the downstream-side end portion of the upstream region, the partial pressure of the gas which has decreased in the upstream region does not fall below the partial pressure of the gas at the outlet. Thus, it is possible to suppress deterioration of the power generation efficiency.

    [0045] In the downstream region which is continuous with the midstream region, a plurality of holes providing communication between the first flow passages and the second flow passages may be provided, and the distance between the holes may be set to be shorter than that in the midstream region.

    [0046] Thus, the drainage efficiency improves. Thus, it is possible to suppress deterioration of the power generation efficiency even when the saturation water vapor pressure is reached and liquid water is generated in the downstream region.


    Claims

    1. A gas flow passage-forming member (10) for being disposed between a membrane electrode and gas diffusion layer assembly (12) and a separator (13) that constitute a cell (11) for a fuel cell, the gas flow passage-forming member (10) being configured to form a gas flow passage,

    wherein the gas flow passage-forming member (10) has a corrugated shape such that recessed portions and protruding portions are provided on each of a front side and a back side of the gas flow passage-forming member (10),

    wherein the recessed portions (31) on the front side each serve as the gas flow passage,

    wherein the gas flow passage-forming member (10) has a plurality of communication holes (41) providing communication between the front side of the gas flow passage-forming member (10) and the back side of the gas flow passage-forming member (10), and the communication holes (41) are provided in a region downstream of an upstream region (30A) in a gas flow direction, the region including a midstream region (30B) and a downstream region (30C), and

    wherein the upstream region (30A) is a non-communication region with no communication holes (41),

    characterized in that

    a plurality of the communication holes (41) is provided in each of the midstream region (30B) and the downstream region (30C), and

    a distance (Gc) between the communication holes (41) adjacent to each other in the downstream region (30C) is shorter than a distance (Gb) between the communication holes (41) adjacent to each other in the midstream region (30B).


     
    2. The gas flow passage-forming member according to claim 1, wherein a width of each of the communication holes (41) in the downstream region (30C) is smaller than a width of each of the communication holes (41) in the midstream region (30B).
     
    3. A cell for a fuel cell, the cell comprising:

    a membrane electrode and gas diffusion layer assembly (12);

    a separator (13); and

    the gas flow passage-forming member according to claim 1 or 2, the gas flow passage-forming member being provided between the membrane electrode and gas diffusion layer assembly (12) and the separator (13).


     


    Ansprüche

    1. Gasstromleitungs-Bildungselement (10) zum Anordnen zwischen einer Membranelektroden- und Gasdiffusionsschicht-Anordnung (12) und einem Separator (13), die eine Zelle (11) für eine Brennstoffzelle bilden, wobei das Gasstromleitungs-Bildungselement (10) so konfiguriert ist, dass es eine Gasstromleitung bildet,
    wobei das Gasstromleitungs-Bildungselement (10) eine gewellte Form aufweist, so dass ausgesparte Bereiche und vorstehende Bereiche auf jeweils einer Vorderseite und einer Rückseite des Gasstromleitungs-Bildungselements (10) angeordnet sind,
    wobei die ausgesparten Bereiche (31) auf der Vorderseite jeweils als die Gasstromleitung dienen,
    wobei das Gasstromleitungs-Bildungselement (10) eine Mehrzahl von Verbindungslöchern (41) aufweist, die eine Verbindung herstellen zwischen der Vorderseite des Gasstromleitungs-Bildungselements (10) und der Rückseite des Gasstromleitungs-Bildungselements (10), und die Verbindungslöcher (41) in einem Bereich stromabwärts von einem stromaufwärtigen Bereich (30A) in einer Gasströmungsrichtung angeordnet sind, wobei der Bereich einen Mittelstrombereich (30B) und einen stromabwärtigen Bereich (30C) beinhaltet, und
    wobei der stromaufwärtige Bereich (30A) ein Nichtverbindungsbereich ohne Verbindungslöcher (41) ist,
    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass
    eine Mehrzahl der Verbindungslöcher (41) in jedem von dem Mittelstrombereich (30B) und dem stromabwärtigen Bereich (30C) angeordnet ist, und
    ein Abstand (Gc) zwischen den Verbindungslöchern (41), die benachbart zueinander in dem stromabwärtigen Bereich (30C) sind, kürzer ist als ein Abstand (Gb) zwischen den Verbindungslöchern (41), die benachbart zueinander in dem Mittelstrombereich (30B) sind.
     
    2. Gasstromleitungs-Bildungselement nach Anspruch 1, wobei eine Breite von jedem von den Verbindungslöchern (41) in dem stromabwärtigen Bereich (30C) kleiner ist als eine Breite von jedem von den Verbindungslöchern (41) in dem Mittelstrombereich (30B).
     
    3. Zelle für eine Brennstoffzelle, wobei die Zelle aufweist:

    eine Membranelektroden- und Gasdiffusionsschicht-Anordnung (12);

    einen Separator (13); und

    das Gasstromleitungs-Bildungselement nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei das Gasstromleitungs-Bildungselement zwischen der Membranelektroden- und Gasdiffusionsschicht-Anordnung (12) und dem Separator (13) angeordnet ist.


     


    Revendications

    1. Elément formant un passage d'écoulement de gaz (10) destiné à être disposé entre un assemblage d'électrode à membrane et de couche de diffusion de gaz (12) et un séparateur (13) qui constituent une cellule (11) pour une pile à combustible, l'élément formant un passage d'écoulement de gaz (10) étant configuré de manière à former un passage d'écoulement de gaz,
    lequel élément formant un passage d'écoulement de gaz (10) a une forme ondulée telle que des parties en creux et des parties saillantes sont disposées sur chacun parmi un côté avant et un côté d'envers de l'élément formant un passage d'écoulement de gaz (10),
    dans lequel chacune des parties en creux (31) du côté avant sert de passage d'écoulement de gaz,
    lequel élément formant un passage d'écoulement de gaz (10) a une pluralité de trous de communication (41) assurant une communication entre le côté avant de l'élément formant un passage d'écoulement de gaz (10) et le côté d'envers de l'élément formant un passage d'écoulement de gaz (10), et dans lequel les trous de communication (41) sont disposés dans une région en aval d'une région amont (30A) dans la direction de l'écoulement du gaz, la région comprenant une région intermédiaire (30B) et une région aval (30C), et
    dans lequel la région amont (30A) est une région de non communication sans trous de communication (41),
    caractérisé en ce que
    une pluralité des trous de communication (41) est disposée dans chacune parmi la région intermédiaire (30B) et la région aval (30C), et
    la distance (Gc) entre les trous de communication (41) mutuellement adjacents dans la région aval (30C) est plus courte que la distance (Gb) entre les trous de communication (41) mutuellement adjacents dans la région intermédiaire (30B).
     
    2. Elément formant un passage d'écoulement de gaz selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la largeur de chacun des trous de communication (41) dans la région aval (30C) est plus petite que la largeur de chacun des trous de communication (41) dans la région intermédiaire (30B).
     
    3. Cellule pour une pile à combustible, comprenant :

    un assemblage d'électrode à membrane et de couche de diffusion de gaz (12) ;

    un séparateur (13) ; et

    l'élément formant un passage d'écoulement de gaz selon la revendication 1 ou 2, l'élément formant un passage d'écoulement de gaz étant disposé entre l'assemblage d'électrode à membrane et de couche de diffusion de gaz (12) et le séparateur (13).


     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description