Mass Transport Limitations of Water Evaporation in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Gas Diffusion Layers
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Facilitating the proper handling of water is one of the main challenges to overcome when trying to improve fuel cell performance. Specifically, enhanced removal of liquid water from the porous gas diffusion layers (GDLs) holds a lot of potential, but has proven to be non-trivial. A main contributor to this removal process is the gaseous transport of water following evaporation inside the GDL or catalyst layer domain. Vapor transport is desired over liquid removal, as the liquid water takes up pore space otherwise available for reactant gas supply to the catalytically active sites and opens up the possibility to remove the waste heat of the cell by evaporative cooling concepts. To better understand evaporative water removal from fuel cells and facilitate the evaporative cooling concept developed at the Paul Scherrer Institute, the effect of gas speed (0.5–10 m/s), temperature (30–60 °C), and evaporation domain (0.8–10 mm) on the evaporation rate of water from a GDL (TGP-H-120, 10 wt% PTFE) has been investigated using an ex situ approach, combined with X-ray tomographic microscopy. An along-the-channel model showed good agreement with the measured values and was used to extrapolate the differential approach to larger domains and to investigate parameter variations that were not covered experimentally. Show more
Journal / seriesEnergies
Pages / Article No.
SubjectPolymer electrolyte fuel cell; GDL; Evaporation; Water; Diffusion; Convection; Saturation; Modelling; Humidity; PEFC
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