Thermal-fluid transports in a five-layer membrane-electrode assembly of a PEM fuel cell

J. J. Hwang, C. H. Chao, Wei Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Thermal-fluid transport phenomena in a membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) of a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell attached to interdigitated gas distributors are studied numerically. The MEA consists of two porous catalyst layers, two porous gas diffusion layers, and an impermeable PEM. In the catalyst layers, the overpotential heating by the electrochemical reaction under thermal equilibrium conditions produces heat that is removed by the fluids as well as the solid matrices. In the diffusion layers, the difference in the heat conductivities between the solid matrices and the fluids causes a thermal non-equilibrium in the porous medium. A two-equation approach is used to resolve the temperature difference between the solid matrices and the fluids. The effects of the porous Reynolds number, interfacial heat transfer coefficient, and overpotential heating are examined. It is found that the local maximum temperature occurs inside the cathodic catalyst layer. In addition, the temperature difference between the solid matrices and the fluids in the diffusion layers decreases with increasing the non-dimensional interfacial heat transfer coefficient. The present results have provided comprehensive heat transfer information that is helpful in understanding of the mechanisms responsible for thermal pathways in a PEM fuel cell.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-459
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Volume163
Issue number1 SPEC. ISS.
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Dec 7

Fingerprint

Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC)
fuel cells
assembly
electrolytes
membranes
Membranes
Electrodes
Fluids
electrodes
fluids
polymers
Heat transfer coefficients
Catalysts
matrices
heat transfer coefficients
catalysts
temperature gradients
Heating
Diffusion in gases
distributors

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

Hwang, J. J. ; Chao, C. H. ; Wu, Wei. / Thermal-fluid transports in a five-layer membrane-electrode assembly of a PEM fuel cell. In: Journal of Power Sources. 2006 ; Vol. 163, No. 1 SPEC. ISS. pp. 450-459.
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Thermal-fluid transports in a five-layer membrane-electrode assembly of a PEM fuel cell. / Hwang, J. J.; Chao, C. H.; Wu, Wei.

In: Journal of Power Sources, Vol. 163, No. 1 SPEC. ISS., 07.12.2006, p. 450-459.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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