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Article

Water Balance in PEM and Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

[+] Author and Article Information
Michael G. Izenson

 Creare Incorporated, P.O. Box 71, Hanover, NH 03755, Phone 603-643-3800, Fax 603-643-4657mgi@creare.com

Roger W. Hill

 Creare Incorporated, P.O. Box 71, Hanover, NH 03755, Phone 603-643-3800, Fax 603-643-4657

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 2(1), 1-8 (Aug 26, 2004) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1840758 History: Received January 26, 2004; Revised August 26, 2004

Water management is a critical design issue for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, because the PEM must be maintained at the proper water content to remain ionically conducting without flooding the electrodes. Furthermore, portable PEM power systems should operate at water balance to minimize weight. This paper presents the basic design relationships that govern water balance in a PEM fuel cell. Specific calculations are presented based on data from hydrogen/air and direct methanol fuel cells currently under development for portable power systems. We will show how the water balance operating point depends on the cell operating parameters and show the sensitivity to off-design conditions.

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Copyright © 2004 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 7

Ratio of water accumulation to production in a DMFC for unbalanced operation for various inlet air conditions (Sact=2.5)

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Figure 6

DMFC water balance temperature for ambient air conditions of 40°C, various relative humidities, and solution molarity of 0.5

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Figure 5

Ratio of water accumulation to production in an HAFC for unbalanced operation for various inlet air conditions (S=2.5)

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Figure 4

HAFC water balance temperature for a range of ambient temperatures and relative humidities (S=2.5)

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Figure 3

HAFC water balance temperature for ambient air conditions of 40°C and various relative humidities

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Figure 2

Air flow rate as a function of stoichiometric ratio and cell voltage for HAFCs and DMFCs

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Figure 1

Hydrogen/air and direct methanol fuel cells

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