In this paper, a simplified and comprehensive PEMFC mathematical model introduced in previous studies is experimentally validated. Numerical results are obtained with the model for an existing set of commercial unit PEM fuel cells. The model accounts for pressure drops in the gas channels, and for temperature gradients with respect to space in the flow direction, and current increase that are investigated by direct infrared imaging, showing that even at low current operation such gradients are present in fuel cell operation, and therefore should be considered by a PEMFC model, since large coolant flow rates are limited due to induced high pressure drops in the cooling channels. The computed polarization and power curves are directly compared to the experimentally measured ones with good qualitative and quantitative agreement. The combination of accuracy and low computational time allow for the future utilization of the model as a reliable tool for PEMFC simulation, control, design and optimization purposes.

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