Limiting Current Densities Based on Permeability of Porous Transport Layers of PEM Fuel Cells Using a Pore Network Model

Sunday, October 11, 2015: 15:20
Regency D (Hyatt Regency)
V. Konduru, E. Medici (Michigan Technological University), and J. S. Allen (Michigan Technological University)
Thermal and mass transport in the porous transport layers (PTL) of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEMFC) is studied using a pore network model. The pore network consists of coupled pore phase and solid phase model. The characteristics pore size distributions for the PTLs are obtained from porosimetry. At lower operating temperatures, flooding of the PTL can occur if the generated water if not removed at a suitable rate. This results in the restriction of reactant gases to the reaction site thereby reducing operational performance. In this paper the maximum current densities at which the PTL flooding occurs at different operating conditions are estimated using the calculated permeability of different PTLs. This can be used to study the relative performance of different PTLs under different operational parameters.