0
RESEARCH PAPERS

Effects of Operating Parameters on the Current Density Distribution in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

[+] Author and Article Information
Y. Zhang, A. Mawardi

Advanced Materials and Technologies Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-3139

R. Pitchumani1

Advanced Materials and Technologies Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-3139

1

Corresponding author.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 3(4), 464-476 (Mar 15, 2006) (13 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2349531 History: Received December 08, 2005; Revised March 15, 2006

During the operation of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell, significant variation of the local current density could exist across the cell causing sharp temperature and stress gradients in certain points, and affecting the water management, all of which severely impact the cell performance and reliability. The variation of local current density is a critical issue in the performance of PEM fuel cell, and is influenced by the operating conditions. This article presents a model-assisted parametric design with the objective of determining the operating conditions which maximize the fuel cell performance while maintaining a level of uniformity in the current density distribution. A comprehensive two-dimensional model is adopted to simulate the species transport and electrochemical phenomena in a PEM fuel cell. Numerical simulations are performed for over a wide range of operating conditions to analyze the effects of various operating parameters on the variation of local current density of the fuel cell, and to develop design windows which serve as guideline in the design for maximum power density, minimum reactant stoichiometry, and uniform current density distribution.

FIGURES IN THIS ARTICLE
<>
Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.

References

Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 3

Validation of the numerical PEM fuel cell model with (a) experimental polarization curve data from Ref. 13, and numerical data from Ref. 8 for the concentration distributions of (b) hydrogen, (c) oxygen, and (d) water

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 4

Current density contours in the membrane for two different operating conditions: (a)Ecell=0.2V, ζa=2.68, ζc=1.51, and (b)Ecell=0.8V, ζa=10.51, ζc=5.55, while other parameters are fixed as in Table 3

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 5

(a) Current density distribution along the channel direction for different cell voltages and (b) the corresponding normalized value with respect to the maximum current density

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 6

Normalized current density distribution for different cell temperatures for cell voltages of (a) 0.2, (b) 0.5, and (c)0.8V

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 7

Normalized variation in current density as a function of cell temperature for selected values of cell voltage

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 8

Design windows showing combinations of cell temperature and cell voltage that results in normalized variation of current density less than 20% and (a) the corresponding power density contours and (b) the corresponding anode stoichiometry contours

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 9

Design windows showing combinations of anode pressure and cell voltage that results in normalized variation of current density less than 20% and (a) the corresponding power density contours and (b) the corresponding anode stoichiometry contours; and combinations of cathode pressure and cell voltage and (c) the corresponding power density contours and (d) the corresponding anode stoichiometry contours

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 10

Design windows showing combinations of anode relative humidity and cell voltage that results in normalized variation of current density less than 20% and (a) the corresponding power density contours and (b) the corresponding anode stoichiometry contours; and combinations of cathode relative humidity and cell voltage and (c) the corresponding power density contours and (d) the corresponding anode stoichiometry contours

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 11

Design windows showing combinations of anode mass flow rate and cell voltage that results in normalized variation of current density less than 20% and (a) the corresponding power density contours and (b) the corresponding anode stoichiometry contours; and combinations of cathode mass flow rate and cell voltage and (c) the corresponding power density contours and (d) the corresponding anode stoichiometry contours

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 2

Schematic of the model domain and the associated boundary conditions

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 1

Schematic illustration of a PEM fuel cell

Tables

Errata

Discussions

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In