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Gossling S.,Zentrum fur BrennstoffzellenTechnik ZBT | Klages M.,Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research | Haussmann J.,Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research | Beckhaus P.,Zentrum fur BrennstoffzellenTechnik ZBT | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Power Sources | Year: 2016

PEM fuel cells can be operated within a wide range of different operating conditions. In this paper, the special case of operating a PEM fuel cell with a dry cathode supply and without external humidification of the cathode, is considered. A deeper understanding of the water management in the cells is essential for choosing the optimal operation strategy for a specific system. In this study a theoretical model is presented which aims to predict the location in the flow field at which liquid water forms at the cathode. It is validated with neutron images of a PEM fuel cell visualizing the locations at which liquid water forms in the fuel cell flow field channels. It is shown that the inclusion of the GDL diffusion resistance in the model is essential to describe the liquid water formation process inside the fuel cell. Good agreement of model predictions and measurement results has been achieved. While the model has been developed and validated especially for the operation with a dry cathode supply, the model is also applicable to fuel cells with a humidified cathode stream. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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