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Computation 2016, 4(2), 21; doi:10.3390/computation4020021

Pore-Network Modeling of Water and Vapor Transport in the Micro Porous Layer and Gas Diffusion Layer of a Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell

Integrated Experimental and Computational Laboratory for Porous Media Research, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Utrecht, Princetonplein 9, P.O. Box 80021, 3508 TA Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Academic Editor: Qinjun Kang
Received: 11 January 2016 / Revised: 16 May 2016 / Accepted: 23 May 2016 / Published: 30 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Modeling Flow and Transport in Porous Media)
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Abstract

In the cathode side of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC), a micro porous layer (MPL) added between the catalyst layer (CL) and the gas diffusion layer (GDL) plays an important role in water management. In this work, by using both quasi-static and dynamic pore-network models, water and vapor transport in the MPL and GDL has been investigated. We illustrated how the MPL improved water management in the cathode. Furthermore, it was found that dynamic liquid water transport in the GDL was very sensitive to the built-up thermal gradient along the through-plane direction. Thus, we may control water vapor condensation only along GDL-land interfaces by properly adjusting the GDL thermal conductivity. Our numerical results can provide guidelines for optimizing GDL pore structures for good water management. View Full-Text
Keywords: micro porous layer (MPL); gas diffusion layer (GDL); pore-network modeling; water management; phase change; polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) micro porous layer (MPL); gas diffusion layer (GDL); pore-network modeling; water management; phase change; polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Qin, C.-Z.; Hassanizadeh, S.M.; Van Oosterhout, L.M. Pore-Network Modeling of Water and Vapor Transport in the Micro Porous Layer and Gas Diffusion Layer of a Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell. Computation 2016, 4, 21.

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