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SPECIAL ISSUE RESEARCH PAPERS

Numerical Modeling of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell With Considering Thermal and Relative Humidity Effects on the Cell Performance

[+] Author and Article Information
Pei-Hung Chi1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Yuan Ze University, 135 Yuan-Tung Rd., Chung-Li, Tao Yuan, 320 Taiwan, R.O.C.peter.chiph@msa.hinet.net

Fang-Bor Weng, Ay Su, Shih-Hung Chan

Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Fuel Cells Research Center, Yuan Ze University, 135 Yuan-Tung Rd., Chung-Li, Tao Yuan, 320 Taiwan, R.O.C.

1

Corresponding author.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 3(3), 292-302 (Feb 11, 2006) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2211632 History: Received November 30, 2005; Revised February 11, 2006

A three-dimensional (3D) model has been developed to simulate proton exchange membrane fuel cells. The model accounts simultaneously for electrochemical kinetics, current distribution, hydrodynamics, and multi-components transport. A single set of conservation equations of mass, momentum, energy, species, and electric current are developed and numerically solved using a finite-volume-based computational fluid dynamics technique (by computational fluid dynamics ACE+ commercial code). The physical model is presented for a 5cm×4.92cm×0.4479cm 3D geometry test cell with serpentine channels and counter flow. Subsequently, the model is applied to explore cell temperature effects in the cell environment with different relative humidity of inlet. The numerical model is validated and agreed well with the experimental data. The nonuniformity of thermal and water-saturation distributions is calculated and analyzed as well as its influence on the cell performance. As the cell is operated at low voltages (or high current densities), the thermal field of fuel cell tends to be nonuniform and exists locally in hot spots. The mechanism of thermal field and water content interacted with membrane dehydration and cathode water flooding will be discussed and revealed their influences on the cell performance, stability and degradation will be revealed.

Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Schematic illustration of PEMFC

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Figure 2

Serpentine flow field pattern for anode and cathode fuel supply channel

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Figure 3

Comparison of the basic operating conditions with present experiment, simulation, and reference paper of (15)

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Figure 4

Comparison of the reference paper of [15] with the same conditions on Table 3, but for different reaction area (present 25cm2 /paper 50cm2)

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Figure 5

On basic operating condition with 0.6V cell voltage: (a) H+ flux, (b) current density, (c)O2 mass fraction, (d)H2 mass fraction, (e) saturation, (f) temperature

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Figure 6

Polarization curves of the fuel cell at variable operating cell temperatures (numerical simulation and experiment)

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Figure 7

O2 mass fraction at operation voltage (0.3V) for cell temperature: (a)30°C(b)70°C

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Figure 8

Current density at operation voltage 0.3V, for cell temperature: (a)30°C, (b)70°C

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Figure 9

Temperature at operation voltage 0.3V, for cell temperature: (a)30°C, (b)70°C

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Figure 10

Saturation at operation voltage 0.3V, for cell temperature: (a)30°C, (b)70°C

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Figure 11

Temperature versus z direction at x=2.5mm,y=4.379mm for channel; at x=2.5mm,y=4.26mm for rib (0.3V), for different cell temperature (30, 50, and 70°C)

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Figure 12

Polarization curves of the fuel cell at variable relative humidity (numerical simulation)

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Figure 13

O2 mass fraction at operation voltage 0.3V, (a) RH=10%, (b) RH=100%

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Figure 14

Current density at operation voltage 0.3V, (a) RH=10%, (b) RH=100%

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Figure 15

Temperature at operation voltage 0.3V, (a) RH=10%, (b) RH=100%

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Figure 16

Saturation at operation voltage 0.3V, (a) RH=10%, (b) RH=100%

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