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Fuel Cell Short Course

Presented by the Florida Solar Energy Center/University of Central Florida
Co-sponsored by Scribner Associates, Inc., and the Electrochemical Society

This short course covers both basic and applied aspects of fuel cell technology through integrated lecture and laboratory sessions. The focus is on polymer electrolyte and direct methanol fuel cells. Lectures present the theory of fuel cell operation and outline the principles behind state-of-the-art diagnostic techniques. Complementary laboratory sessions provide hands-on training of fuel cell testing and performance evaluation for all participants.

Who Should Attend

This course is suitable for scientists and engineers working in or entering the fuel cell industry; employees of industries that have recently invested or plan to invest in fuel cell technology, and science and engineering graduate students desiring an understanding of fuel cell technology. It is also aimed at science and engineering faculty whose expertise lie in other fields and are looking to enter the field of fuel cells. The course will be valuable to people who wish to acquire a quick working knowledge of fuel cells and utilize this information in their work. The course is structured to ensure that no prior knowledge of electrochemistry or fuel cell technology is required for participation. A B.S. degree in a science or engineering discipline is desirable but not required.

Program Agenda

Lecture topics include:

  • Thermodynamics of fuel cells
  • Electrochemistry fundamentals and electrode kinetics
  • Transport phenomena in fuel cells
  • Fuel cell components, cell fabrication and single cell testing
  • Diagnostic methods and performance evaluation
  • Data analyses
  • Present bottlenecks and suggested research/development directions
  • Direct methanol fuel cell operation

Laboratory sessions will be conducted to reinforce important concepts covered during the presentations. The instructors will select a number of laboratory modules for the course from among the following topics. While not all laboratory topics can be covered in this three-day course, students are encouraged to ask questions about other subjects as well:

  • Membrane-electrode assembly fabrication, single cell construction, test system setup and safety
  • Single cell testing:
    • In-situ fuel crossover and electronic short measurement by linear sweep voltammetry
    • In-situ electrochemically active catalyst area determination by cyclic voltammetry
    • Performance curve testing – voltage vs. current and polarization
    • Effect of operating conditions (temperature, humidity, etc.) on cell performance
    • Effect of fuel stream impurities on cell performance
    • Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
  • Membrane resistance and conductivity testing


James M. Fenton, Florida Solar Energy Center/University of Central Florida. Dr. Fenton is director of the Florida Solar Energy Center and a professor in the Mechanical, Materials & Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of Central Florida. He formerly served as Associate Director of the Environmental Research Institute at the University of Connecticut. He has a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from UCLA and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois.

H. Russell Kunz, University of Connecticut. Dr. Kunz is a Professor-in-Residence in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Connecticut. He has taught Electrochemical Engineering, directed graduate students working in the Fuel Cell Laboratory and helped other faculty members expand their research capabilities in fuel cells. He previously directed a research group at International Fuel Cells (currently UTC Fuel Cells). He holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree, a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree and a Ph.D. in heat transfer, all from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Vijay Ramani, Illinois Institute of Technology. Dr. Ramani is an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. His research interests include developing functional materials for polymer electrolyte fuel cells and developing strategies to mitigate materials degradation and enhance device durability. He received a B.E. degree from Annamalai University, India, and a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut, both in Chemical Engineering.

Kevin R. Cooper, Scribner Associates, Inc. His interests include fuel cell education and diagnostic techniques in electrochemistry and electrochemical systems. He is also active in research and development of electrochemical sensors and sensor array systems as well as corrosion science and engineering. Dr. Cooper was formerly a research scientist with Luna Innovations, Inc. where he was responsible for research and development programs in the fields of asset health monitoring, fiber optic sensors, corrosion testing, and the development of environmentally-acceptable organic coatings. He holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Metals and Materials Engineering from the University of British Columbia and a Master's of Science degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.


Florida Solar Energy Center is the largest and most active state-supported alternative energy research institute in the United States. Current research programs focus on hydrogen, fuel cells, photovoltaics, building energy efficiency, solar water heating and advanced technologies. FSEC is a research institute of the University of Central Florida, and works closely with industry and government agencies such as NASA to develop new technologies.

Scribner Associates, Inc. specializes in designing and manufacturing tools for electrochemical research and development. Their internationally recognized software and instruments are designed specifically for the scientist and engineer requiring powerful measurement, control and analysis of electrochemical processes in the laboratory. Core competencies include analytical instrumentation and software for fuel cell, battery, corrosion, and sensor industries. Scribner Associates' software products — FuelCell ®, ZPlot/ZView ® and CorrWare/CView ® — are the benchmarks for the electrochemical research community.

The Electrochemical Society (ECS) was founded in 1902 and has become the leading society for solid-state and electrochemical science and technology. ECS has 8,000 scientists and engineers in over 75 countries worldwide who hold individual membership, as well as approximately 100 corporations and laboratories who hold corporate membership.


Date/Event Time Location
  Reception and Overview 5:00 - 8:00 PM  

All sessions will be held at FSEC.

Monday   FSEC
  Registration 7:30 - 8:00 AM  
  Lectures 8:00 - 11:30 AM  
  Lunch 11:30 - 1:00 PM  
  Laboratory Session 1:00 - 5:00 PM  
  Discussion Session 5:00 - 6:00 PM  
  Lectures 8:00 - 11:30 AM  
  Lunch 11:30 - 1:00 PM  
  Laboratory Session 1:00 - 5:00 PM  
  Discussion Session 5:00 - 6:00 PM  
  Lectures 8:00 - 11:30 AM  
  Lunch 11:30 - 1:00 PM  
Lecture 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM  
  Laboratory Session 2:00 - 5:00 PM  
  Discussion Session 5:00 - 6:00 PM  

Optional Workshop —
Data Analysis of Laboratory Experiments; Membrane Resistance and Conductivity Workshop

8:00 AM - 2:00 PM  
** Optional


Registration Information

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Date Location Price  

There are no upcoming offerings of this course.

There is an "Early Bird" savings of $150 if you register by Decemer 17, 2010.
Regular Registration: $1,245
*ECS Members: $1,045 -- coupon code "ecs"
*^Graduate Students: $800

*Proof required
^Contact JoAnn Stirling at 321-638-1014 or e-mail.


Hotel Information

Local hotels in Cocoa Beach, Cocoa and Merritt Island may be found here.



Information regarding shuttles, taxis or rental cars can be found at the Orlando Airports' Web site:


For More Information

Click here to contact JoAnn Stirling or 321-638-1014.