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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Understanding Water and Thermal Management in Polymer-Electrolyte Fuel Cells

Abstract

The Parties developed understanding of water and thermal management in fuel cells using a detailed 1-D model for the through-plane direction, a gas-channel relation model for the flow-channel direction, and a method to account for the rib/channel direction. The model simulates and predicts the water transport phenomena occurring within the fuel-cell sandwich, including the complex interplay among the various phases. This model enables optimum designs, operating conditions, and material properties for use in commercial PEFCs for automotive applications. In addition, novel advanced diagnostic methods and submodels were developed to determine the critical properties and model parameters and explore specific phenomena (e.g., ionomer thin films).

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