Comparison between numerical simulation and visualization experiment on water behavior in single straight flow channel polymer electrolyte fuel cells

Hiromitsu Masuda, Kohei Ito, Toshihiro Oshima, Kazunari Sasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A relationship between a flooding and a cell voltage drop for polymer electrolyte fuel cell was investigated experimentally and numerically. A visualization cell, which has single straight gas flow channel (GFC) and observation window, was fabricated to visualize the flooding in GFC. We ran the cell with changing operation condition, and measured the time evolution of cell voltage and took the images of cathode GFC. Considering the operation condition, we executed a developed numerical simulation, which is based on multiphase mixture model with a formulation on water transport through the surface of polymer electrolyte membrane and the interface of gas diffusion layer/GFC. As a result in experiment, we found that the cell voltage decreased with time and this decrease was accelerated by larger current and smaller air flow rate. Our simulation succeeded to demonstrate this trend of cell voltage. In experiment, we also found that the water flushing in GFC caused an immediate voltage change, resulting in voltage recovery or electricity generation stop. Although our simulation could not replicate this immediate voltage change, the supersaturated area obtained by our simulation well corresponded to fogging area appeared on the window surface in the GFC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-313
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Volume177
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2008

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

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