The effects of water and microstructure on the performance of polymer electrolyte fuel cells

Shah, A., Kim, G.S., Gervais, W., Young, A., Promislow, K., Li, J. and Yi, S. (2006) The effects of water and microstructure on the performance of polymer electrolyte fuel cells. Journal of Power Sources, 160, (2), 1251-1268. (doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2006.02.085).


[img] PDF
Download (1114Kb)


n this paper, we present a comprehensive non-isothermal, one-dimensional model of the cathode side of a Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell. We explicitly include the catalyst layer, gas diffusion layer and the membrane. The catalyst layer and gas diffusion layer are characterized by several measurable microstructural parameters. We model all three phases of water, with a view to capturing the effect that each has on the performance of the cell. A comparison with experiment is presented, demonstrating excellent agreement, particularly with regard to the effects of water activity in the channels and how it impacts flooding and membrane hydration. We present several results pertaining to the effects of water on the current density (or cell voltage), demonstrating the role of micro-structure, liquid water removal from the channel, water activity, membrane and gas diffusion layer thickness and channel temperature. These results provide an indication of the changes that are required to achieve optimal performance through improved water management and MEA-component design. Moreover, with its level of detail, the model we develop forms an excellent basis for a multi-dimensional model of the entire membrane electrode assembly.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2006.02.085
Related URLs:
Keywords: PEMFC; Cathode catalyst layer; Water; Microstructure; Operating conditions; Performance prediction
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Engineering Sciences > Thermofluids and Superconductivity
ePrint ID: 44774
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
18 April 2006Published
3 February 2006Submitted
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2007
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:18

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics