Abstract

A numerical analysis of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) that contains a perforated metal plate at the cathode side has been conducted. The model utilizes the Eulerian multi-phase approach to predict the occurrence and transport of liquid water inside the cell. The PEMFC that was modelled contained micro-channels at both anode and cathode side. Results suggest that despite the fact that the inlet gases are fully saturated (RH = 100%), the holes in the metal sheet remain in the single phase, and the predicted maximum current densities are accordingly high. The high thermal conductivity of the metal sheets result in only a moderate temperature increase in the cell, and the fuel cell membrane is predicted to be hydrated under all conditions investigated. The fact that the cathode channel and the holes in the metal sheet remain dry is attributed to the high pressure drop inside the flow channel.

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