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Performance Characteristics of a PEM Fuel Cell with Parallel Flow Channels at Different Cathode Relative Humidity Levels
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Incheon, Songdo Dong , Yeonsu-Ku, Incheon, Korea
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 August 2009; in revised form: 4 November 2009 / Accepted: 5 November 2009 / Published: 17 November 2009
Abstract: In fuel cells flow configuration and operating conditions such as cell temperature, humidity at each electrode and stoichiometric number are very crucial for improving performance. Too many flow channels could enhance the performance but result in high parasite loss. Therefore a trade-off between pressure drop and efficiency of a fuel cell should be considered for optimum design. This work focused on numerical simulation of the effects of operating conditions, especially cathode humidity, with simple micro parallel flow channels. It is known that the humidity at the cathode flow channel becomes very important for enhancing the ion conductivity of polymer membrane because fully humidified condition was normally set at anode. To investigate the effect of humidity on the performance of a fuel cell, in this study humidification was set to 100% at the anode flow channel and was changed by 0–100% at the cathode flow channel. Results showed that the maximum power density could be obtained under 60% humidified condition at the cathode where oxygen concentration was moderately high while maintaining high ion conductivity at a membrane.
Keywords: humidity; micro parallel flow channels; fuel cell; numerical simulation
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Lee, P.H.; Hwang, S.S. Performance Characteristics of a PEM Fuel Cell with Parallel Flow Channels at Different Cathode Relative Humidity Levels. Sensors 2009, 9, 9104-9121.
Lee PH, Hwang SS. Performance Characteristics of a PEM Fuel Cell with Parallel Flow Channels at Different Cathode Relative Humidity Levels. Sensors. 2009; 9(11):9104-9121.
Lee, Pil Hyong; Hwang, Sang Soon. 2009. "Performance Characteristics of a PEM Fuel Cell with Parallel Flow Channels at Different Cathode Relative Humidity Levels." Sensors 9, no. 11: 9104-9121.