A novel method has been implemented for measuring the concentration of various gas species (water vapor, carbon dioxide) within fuel cell gas channels and other minichannel applications in a non-invasive manner through the use of tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy (TDLAS). An optically accessible test cell has been designed to allow for the passage of 1–0.5 millimeter diameter laser beams along 12 mm-12 cm long flow paths, while also allowing for visual observation of the channels in order to detect the formation of liquid water. Concentrations of water vapor and carbon dioxide have been measured in situ within the test cell with a temporal resolution of 0.5 secs and 2.5 secs respectively. The technique is portable to high aspect ratio channels yielding concentration measurements of species over 1 mm long passages with an experimental uncertainty of 5%.

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