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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Method - Practices and Pitfalls in Voltage Breakdown Analysis of Electrochemical Energy-Conversion Systems

  • Author(s): Gerhardt, MR;
  • Pant, LM;
  • Bui, JC;
  • Crothers, AR;
  • Ehlinger, VM;
  • Fornaciari, JC;
  • Liu, J;
  • Weber, AZ
  • et al.

Many electrochemical energy-conversion systems are evaluated by polarization curves, which report the cell voltage across a range of current densities and are a global measure of operation and state of health. Mathematical models can be used to deconstruct the measured overall voltage and identify and quantify the voltage-loss sources, such as kinetic, ohmic, and mass-transport effects. These results elucidate the best pathways for improved performance. In this work, we discuss several voltage-breakdown methods and provide examples across different low-temperature, membrane-based electrochemical systems including electrolyzers, fuel cells, and related electrochemical energy-conversion devices. We present best practices to guide experimentalists and theorists in polarization-curve breakdown analysis.

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