Validation of a two-phase multidimensional polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell computational model using current distribution measurements

Brian Carnes, Dusan Spernjak, Gang Luo, Liang Hao, Ken S. Chen, Chao-yang Wang, Rangachary Mukundan, Rodney L. Borup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Validation of computational models for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) performance is crucial for understanding the limits of the model predictions. We compare predictions from a multiphase PEMFC computational model with experimental data collected under various current density, temperature and humidification conditions from a single 50 cm 2 PEMFC with a 10 × 10 segmented current collector. Both cell voltage and current distribution measurements are used to quantify the predictive capability of the computational model. Several quantitative measures are used to quantify the error in the model predictions for current distribution, including root mean square error, maximum/minimum local error, and local error averaged from inlet to outlet. The cell voltage predictions were within 15 mV of the experimental data in the current range from 0.1 to 1.2 A cm -2 , and the current distributions were acceptable (less than 30% local error) except for the low temperature case, where the model overpredicted the current distribution. Particular attention was paid to incorporating experimental variability into the model validation process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-137
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2 2013


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

Cite this