Using a specially designed current distribution measurement gasket in anode and thin thermocouples between the catalyst layer and gas diffusion layer (GDL) in cathode, in-plane current and temperature distributions in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) have been simultaneously measured. Such simultaneous measurements are realized in a commercially available experimental PEMFC. Experiments have been conducted under different air flow rates, different hydrogen flow rates and different operating voltages, and measurement results show that there is a very good correlation between local temperature rise and local current density. Such correlations can be explained and agree well with basic thermodynamic analysis. Measurement results also show that significant difference exists between the temperatures at cathode catalyst layer/GDL interface and that in the center of cathode endplate, which is often taken as the cell operating temperature. Compared with separate measurement of local current density or temperature, simultaneous measurements of both can reveal additional information on reaction irreversibility and various transport phenomena in fuel cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering