Multidimensional modelling of polymer electrolyte fuel cells under a current density boundary condition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A three-dimensional numerical model of the polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) is applied to study current distribution and cell performance under a current density boundary condition. Since the electronic resistance in the along-channel direction in the current collector plate is much larger than in the other two directions, i.e., 50 mΩ cm2 vs. 0.5 mΩ cm2, it significantly affects current flow, and current and cell voltage distributions in a PEFC. An identical polarization curve results with two different boundary conditions, constant cell voltage and constant current density, however, the current density profiles in the along-channel direction differ significantly; it is much flatter for the constant current boundary condition. Increasing the electronic conductivity of the bipolar plate diminishes the difference in the current density distribution under the two boundary conditions. The results also point out that an experimental validation of a PEFC model based on the polarization curve alone is insufficient, and that detailed current density distribution data in the along-channel direction is essential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-462
Number of pages8
JournalFuel Cells
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

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Fuel cells
Current density
Electrolytes
Boundary conditions
Polymers
Polarization
Electric potential
Numerical models

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

Cite this

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title = "Multidimensional modelling of polymer electrolyte fuel cells under a current density boundary condition",
abstract = "A three-dimensional numerical model of the polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) is applied to study current distribution and cell performance under a current density boundary condition. Since the electronic resistance in the along-channel direction in the current collector plate is much larger than in the other two directions, i.e., 50 mΩ cm2 vs. 0.5 mΩ cm2, it significantly affects current flow, and current and cell voltage distributions in a PEFC. An identical polarization curve results with two different boundary conditions, constant cell voltage and constant current density, however, the current density profiles in the along-channel direction differ significantly; it is much flatter for the constant current boundary condition. Increasing the electronic conductivity of the bipolar plate diminishes the difference in the current density distribution under the two boundary conditions. The results also point out that an experimental validation of a PEFC model based on the polarization curve alone is insufficient, and that detailed current density distribution data in the along-channel direction is essential.",
author = "H. Meng and Chao-yang Wang",
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Multidimensional modelling of polymer electrolyte fuel cells under a current density boundary condition. / Meng, H.; Wang, Chao-yang.

In: Fuel Cells, Vol. 5, No. 4, 01.12.2005, p. 455-462.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Multidimensional modelling of polymer electrolyte fuel cells under a current density boundary condition

AU - Meng, H.

AU - Wang, Chao-yang

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N2 - A three-dimensional numerical model of the polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) is applied to study current distribution and cell performance under a current density boundary condition. Since the electronic resistance in the along-channel direction in the current collector plate is much larger than in the other two directions, i.e., 50 mΩ cm2 vs. 0.5 mΩ cm2, it significantly affects current flow, and current and cell voltage distributions in a PEFC. An identical polarization curve results with two different boundary conditions, constant cell voltage and constant current density, however, the current density profiles in the along-channel direction differ significantly; it is much flatter for the constant current boundary condition. Increasing the electronic conductivity of the bipolar plate diminishes the difference in the current density distribution under the two boundary conditions. The results also point out that an experimental validation of a PEFC model based on the polarization curve alone is insufficient, and that detailed current density distribution data in the along-channel direction is essential.

AB - A three-dimensional numerical model of the polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) is applied to study current distribution and cell performance under a current density boundary condition. Since the electronic resistance in the along-channel direction in the current collector plate is much larger than in the other two directions, i.e., 50 mΩ cm2 vs. 0.5 mΩ cm2, it significantly affects current flow, and current and cell voltage distributions in a PEFC. An identical polarization curve results with two different boundary conditions, constant cell voltage and constant current density, however, the current density profiles in the along-channel direction differ significantly; it is much flatter for the constant current boundary condition. Increasing the electronic conductivity of the bipolar plate diminishes the difference in the current density distribution under the two boundary conditions. The results also point out that an experimental validation of a PEFC model based on the polarization curve alone is insufficient, and that detailed current density distribution data in the along-channel direction is essential.

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