Transport Phenomena Analysis in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

[+] Author and Article Information
Hongtan Liu, Tianhong Zhou

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida 33124

Ping Cheng

School of Mechanical & Power Engineering, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai 200030, People’s Republic of China

J. Heat Transfer 127(12), 1363-1379 (Apr 08, 2005) (17 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2098830 History: Received May 11, 2004; Revised April 08, 2005

The objective of this review is to provide a summary of modeling and experimental research efforts on transport phenomena in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Several representative PEMFC models and experimental studies in macro and micro PEMFCs are selected for discussion. No attempt is made to examine all the models or experimental studies, but rather the focus is to elucidate the macro-homogeneous modeling methodologies and representative experimental results. Since the transport phenomena are different in different regions of a fuel cell, fundamental phenomena in each region are first reviewed. This is followed by the presentation of various theoretical models on these transport processes in PEMFCs. Finally, experimental investigation on the cell performance of macro and micro PEMFC and DMFC is briefly presented.

Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Number of papers published on fuel cells since 1994

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Figure 2

A single fuel cell

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Figure 3

The chemical reaction in the PEMFC

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Figure 4

Water movement within the membrane

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Figure 5

The relationship of water content and the drag coefficient versus water vapor activity given by Eqs. 15,17(7)

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Figure 6

A typical polarization curve

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Figure 7

Predicted water profiles across the Nafion® 117 membrane for four current densities (7)

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Figure 8

Modeling results for spatial variation of reaction rate j through active catalyst layer for various current densities (3)

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Figure 9

The oxygen mole fraction distribution along the channel/diffusion layer interface (15)

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Figure 10

The geometry of flow fields: (a) conventional flow field and (b) interdigitated flow field (40)

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Figure 11

Oxygen concentration distribution in the gas diffusion layer (a) with conventional flow field and (b) with interdigitated flow field at different values of over-potential η at P=5atm and T=85°C(40)

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Figure 12

Typical oxygen mole fractions along the flow direction (17)

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Figure 13

Typical current density distribution (a) along oxz section and (b) across the fuel cell from cathode to anode (17)

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Figure 14

Typical water mole concentration contours (a) at anode, (b) at cathode (17)

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Figure 15

Temperature distributions (a) across section oxz and (b) across the section oxy(17)

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Figure 16

Oxygen mass fraction in the “two-phase” mixture in the cathode channel, diffusion layer and catalyst layer for the base case with Iavg=1.09A∕cm2(54)

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Figure 17

Water mass fractions in the “two-phase” mixture in the cathode channel, diffusion layer and catalyst layer (54)

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Figure 18

The net water transfer coefficient α, as well as electro-osmotic, diffusion and hydraulic permeation water transport coefficients across the membrane along the flow direction (54)

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Figure 19

Polarization curves for different fuel cell temperatures. The anode and cathode humidification temperature are equal to the fuel cell temperature, back pressures are 3atm on both the anode and cathode sides and flow rates are 1200sccm on the anode side and 2200sccm on the cathode side (58)

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Figure 20

Polarization curves for different backpressures. The fuel cell temperature and humidification temperatures on both the anode and cathode sides are 70°C, flow rates are 1200sccm on the anode side and 2200sccm on the cathode side (58).

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Figure 21

Effect of current collector’s thickness on cell performance (62)

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Figure 22

Power density versus current density curves of Cells 1, 2, and 3, respectively (62)

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Figure 23

Polarization and cell resistance curves of micro and macro fuel cells (62)

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Figure 24

Fuel cell stack of banded and flip-flop configuration




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