Key challenges to the acceptance of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) for automobiles are the cost reduction and its improvement in power density for compactness. In order to get the solutions for these issues, further improvement in the cell performance is required with high current density operation. In this study, the impacts of heat and water transport on the cell performance under high current density were investigated by experimental evaluation of liquid water distribution and numerical validation. Liquid water distribution in-plane direction was evaluated by neutron radiography. Furthermore, electrochemical reaction distribution was also evaluated by using inserted metal wires at anode, and then the experimental results were qualitatively validated by the numerical model. The experimental and numerical validation results revealed that significant increase in mass and ohmic loss was induced by temperature, liquid water, and electrochemical reaction distribution in-plane direction.

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