The influence of humidification and temperature differences between inlet gases on water transport through the membrane of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

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Abstract

This paper discusses the effects of humidification and temperature differences of the anode and cathode on water transport in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell. Heaters are used to cause a difference in gas temperature between two electrodes before the gases enter the fuel cell. The results show that when the temperature of the cathode is higher than that of the anode, the electro-osmotic drag is suppressed. In contrast, when the temperature of the anode is higher than that of cathode, it is enhanced. These effects are more significant when the temperature difference between the anode and cathode is greater. The same trends are seen with back diffusion. Three cases are tested, and the results show that the suppression due to the temperature difference occurs even when the relative humidity is low at the hotter side. The water transport tendencies of electro-osmotic drag and back diffusion in different situations can be expressed as dominant percentages calculated by the water masses collected at the anode and cathode. The suppression effect due to the temperature difference is relatively insignificant with regard to back diffusion compared to electro-osmosis, so water tends to accumulate on the anode rather than the cathode side.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-85
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Volume284
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jun 15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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