(Invited) Engineering Net Water Balance in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells

Wednesday, 8 October 2014: 08:40
Sunrise, 2nd Floor, Star Ballroom 8 (Moon Palace Resort)
J. M. LaManna and M. M. Mench (University of Tennessee)
The motivation of this work is to understand and control the water balance of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell to reduce anode water buildup and degradation. A custom 4.8 cm2 fuel cell with precision liquid coolant control was used to acquire the water balance data. The precision liquid coolant ensures stable, high accuracy thermal boundary conditions for the analysis. The net water drag coefficient was measured by placing high accuracy dew point temperature sensors at the inlets and outlets of the fuel cell to measure water balance. Gradients in pressure, inlet relative humidity, and temperature were used to isolate hydraulic, diffusion, and temperature driven flow through the membrane and porous media.

This presentation will focus on the effects of anode land width, channel shape, and diffusion media tortuosity on net water drag. Using neutron radiography data that has been previously presented (1, 2) coupled with net water drag data, conclusions will be presented relating performance and water transport and storage. Data from this work will build upon an online database of benchmark data for the modeling community made available through this Department of Energy EERE supported program.


This work is funded by the United States Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EREE) Program through General Motors under Award Number DE-EE0000470.

1.         J. M. LaManna, S. Chakraborty, J. J. Gagliardo and M. M. Mench, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 39, 3387 (2014).

2.         J. LaManna and M. Mench, Meeting Abstracts, MA2014-01, 646 (2014).