International Journal of Energy and Environmental Engineering
Modeling works which simulate the proton-exchange membrane fuel cell with the computational fluid dynamics approach involve the simultaneous solution of multiple, interconnected physics equations for fluid flows, heat transport, electrochemical reactions, and both protonic and electronic conduction. Modeling efforts vary by how they treat the physics within and adjacent to the membrane-electrode assembly (MEA). Certain approaches treat the MEA not as part of the computational domain, but rather an interface connecting the anode and cathode computational domains. These approaches may lack the ability to consistently model catalyst layer losses and MEA ohmic resistance. This work presents an upgraded interface formulation where coupled water, heat, and current transport behaviors of the MEA are modeled analytically. Improving upon the previous work, catalyst layer losses can now be modeled accurately without ad-hoc selection of model kinetic parameters. Key to the formulation is the incorporation of water absorption/desorption resistances. The interface model is developed with the consideration of only thru-plane variation, based upon varied fundamental research into each of the relevant physics. The model is validated against differential cell data with high- and low-humidity reactants. The agreement is very good in each case.
Original Publication Citation
Edwards, R. L., & Demuren, A. (2018). Interface model of PEM fuel cell membrane steady-state behavior. International Journal of Energy and Environmental Engineering, 22 pp. doi:10.1007/s40095-018-0288-2
Edwards, Russell L. and Demuren, Ayodeji, "Interface Model of PEM Fuel Cell Membrane Steady-Dtate Behavior" (2018). Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Faculty Publications. 74.