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Non-Woven Humidifier Core

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000250020D
Publication Date: 2017-May-17
Document File: 6 page(s) / 504K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

This invention is a fuel cell humidifier core using a combination of two nonwoven media to create a humidifier core element. The two nonwoven media consists of a thin dense layer acting as a water vapor transfer media and a thick porous layer acting as a support layer between the layers of transfer media. The two media are produced in seperate rolls and then combined using a production method that utilizes multiple hot knifes to cut and melt the support layer. This melting process forms a thin solid non porous layer or film which adheres the two layers of media to one another while sealing the edges of the now multilayer media. The strips of media produced from this process are now cut into multiple square or rectangular sheets for post processing. These sheets are then stacked rotating each sheet 90 degrees from the previously stacked sheet and held together and sealed with the application of 2 glue beads in the same direction and location as the melted sealed edges. The distinguishing features of this invention is that it utilizes a permeable hydrophilic nonwoven membrane for the transfer of water vapor across the alternating flow channels and thick porous hydrophobic layer to create the alternating flow channels. This humidifier element utilizing a series of stacked sheets with glue inbetween to form the core element of a nonwoven humidifier. The permeable nonwoven transfer membrane seals once saturated with liquid allowing for the water vapor to be transferred from channel to channel via small pores in the media. This creates a core humidifier element made entirely from nonwoven media.

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Non-Woven Humidifier Core

Known Prior Art

Humidifiers for fuel cells are known which have a plurality of superimposed membranes which separate flow channels for the feed-through of moist and dry air. Water molecules penetrate the membranes from the moist to the dry air stream which is thus enriched with moisture. The exhaust gas of the fuel cell can be used as moist incoming air stream; the moisture of which exhaust gas is transferred through the membrane into a fresh-air stream which is then fed to the inlet of the fuel cell system in order to generate current in an electrochemical reaction.

In DE 10 2009 034 095 A1 and EP 1 261 992 B1, humidifiers for fuel cells are described which have a plurality of superimposed membranes which separate flow channels for the feed-through of moist and dry air. Water molecules penetrate the membranes from the moist to the dry air stream which is thus enriched with moisture. The exhaust gas of the fuel cell can be used as moist incoming air stream; the moisture of which exhaust gas is transferred through the membrane into a fresh-air stream which is then fed to the inlet of the fuel cell system in order to generate current in an electrochemical reaction.

Description of the Invention

This invention is a fuel cell humidifier core using a combination of two non woven media to create a humidifier core element. The two nonwoven media consists of a thin dense layer acting as a water vapor transfer media and a thick porous layer acting as a support layer between the layers of transfer media. The two media are produced in seperate rolls and then combined using a production method that utilizes multiple hot knifes to cut and melt the support layer. This melting process forms a thin solid non porous layer or film which adheres the two layers of media to one another while sealing the edges of the now multilayer media.

The strips of media produced from this process are now cut into multiple square or rectangular sheets for post processing. These sheets are then stacked rotating each sheet 90 degrees from the previously stacked sheet and held together and sealed with the application of 2 glue beads in the same direction and location as the melted sealed edges. (See the drawings for more details). This manufacturing and assembly technique creates a humidifier core that has alternating flow channels of wet and dry air in adjacent flow paths to one another. This allows for the transfer of water vapor from the dry side to the wet side through the water vapor transfer media while air flows through the alternating channels through the porous nonwoven support layer.

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The distinguishing features of this invention is that it utilizes a permeable hydro...