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Characterising PEM fuel cell performance using a current distribution measurement in comparison with a CFD model

: Hakenjos, A.; Tüber, K.; Schumacher, J.O.; Hebling, C.


Fuel Cells 4 (2004), No.3, pp.185-189
ISSN: 1615-6846
ISSN: 1615-6854
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISE ()

The characterisation of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell with a straight channel flow field design is performed. Spatially resolved current distribution measurements, at different air flow rates, are compared to numerical simulation results. The numerical model is validated by agreement of the measured and simulated current distribution. The test cell is segmented. It is operated at steady state conditions and the gas flow rates and cell temperature are controlled. The numerical simulation is realised with a PEM fuel cell model based on FLUENT(exp TM) computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software. It accounts for mass transport in the gaseous phase, heat transfer, electrical potential field and the electrochemical reaction. It provides three-dimensional distributions of, e.g., current densities, reactant concentrations and temperature.