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Title: Understanding Water Transport in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells Using Coupled Continuum and Pore-Network Models

Abstract

Water management remains a critical issue for polymer electrolyte fuel cell performance and durability, especially at lower temperatures and with ultrathin electrodes. To understand and explain experimental observations better, water transport in gas diffusion layers (GDLs) with macroscopically heterogeneous morphologies was simulated using a novel coupling of continuum and pore-network models. X-ray computed tomography was used to extract GDL material parameters for use in the pore-network model. The simulations were conducted to explain experimental observations associated with stacking of anode GDLs, where stacking of the anode GDLs increased the limiting current density. Through imaging, it is shown that the stacked anode GDL exhibited an interfacial region of high porosity. The coupled model shows that this morphology allowed more efficient water movement through the anode and higher temperatures at the cathode compared to the single GDL case. As a result, the cathode exhibited less flooding and hence better low temperature performance with the stacked anode GDL.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [1]
  1. Michigan Technological Univ., Houghton, MI (United States). Dept. of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
  2. Tufts Univ., Medford, MA (United States). Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
  3. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Advanced Light Source (ALS)
  4. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Energy Conversion Group, Energy Technologies Area
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Fuel Cell Technologies Office (EE-3F)
OSTI Identifier:
1506262
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231; EE0005667
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Fuel Cells
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 16; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 1615-6846
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; 42 ENGINEERING; Continuum Model; Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells; Pore‐network Model; Water and Thermal Management; X‐ray Computed Tomography

Citation Formats

Medici, Ezequiel F., Zenyuk, Iryna V., Parkinson, D. Y., Weber, A. Z., and Allen, J. S. Understanding Water Transport in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells Using Coupled Continuum and Pore-Network Models. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1002/fuce.201500213.
Medici, Ezequiel F., Zenyuk, Iryna V., Parkinson, D. Y., Weber, A. Z., & Allen, J. S. Understanding Water Transport in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells Using Coupled Continuum and Pore-Network Models. United States. doi:10.1002/fuce.201500213.
Medici, Ezequiel F., Zenyuk, Iryna V., Parkinson, D. Y., Weber, A. Z., and Allen, J. S. Wed . "Understanding Water Transport in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells Using Coupled Continuum and Pore-Network Models". United States. doi:10.1002/fuce.201500213. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1506262.
@article{osti_1506262,
title = {Understanding Water Transport in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells Using Coupled Continuum and Pore-Network Models},
author = {Medici, Ezequiel F. and Zenyuk, Iryna V. and Parkinson, D. Y. and Weber, A. Z. and Allen, J. S.},
abstractNote = {Water management remains a critical issue for polymer electrolyte fuel cell performance and durability, especially at lower temperatures and with ultrathin electrodes. To understand and explain experimental observations better, water transport in gas diffusion layers (GDLs) with macroscopically heterogeneous morphologies was simulated using a novel coupling of continuum and pore-network models. X-ray computed tomography was used to extract GDL material parameters for use in the pore-network model. The simulations were conducted to explain experimental observations associated with stacking of anode GDLs, where stacking of the anode GDLs increased the limiting current density. Through imaging, it is shown that the stacked anode GDL exhibited an interfacial region of high porosity. The coupled model shows that this morphology allowed more efficient water movement through the anode and higher temperatures at the cathode compared to the single GDL case. As a result, the cathode exhibited less flooding and hence better low temperature performance with the stacked anode GDL.},
doi = {10.1002/fuce.201500213},
journal = {Fuel Cells},
number = 6,
volume = 16,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {4}
}

Journal Article:
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