A low platinum loading model, considering both the platinum loading and platinum particle distribution on carbon support, is developed. This model takes into account the interfacial transport resistances at ionomer, water film and Pt particle surfaces in order to capture the effects of Pt loading and electrode composition on fuel cell performance. After coupling this electrode model into a comprehensive PEM fuel cell model, i.e. M2 model, experimental validation is performed for a wide range of Pt loading from 0.2 to 0.025 mg/cm2 for two electrode compositions with and without carbon dilution. Good agreement between the predicted and measured polarization curves is achieved under wide-ranging operating conditions. The agglomerate size effect is also examined and it is shown that the agglomerates have virtually no effect on cell performance for agglomerate radius smaller than 150 nm. Since in realistic fuel cell catalyst layers, agglomerates may not exist, or may only exist with sizes no larger than 150 nm based on SEM observations, the present work suggests that the standard homogeneous electrode model is suitable and sufficient for analyses of transport losses in PEM fuel cell electrodes where interfacial transport resistances exist.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry