Water and thermal management are crucial factors in determining the performance of PEMFC for automotive application. In order to investigate the effect of cell humidity and temperature on the performance of PEMFC, a dynamic model of a PEMFC system for automotive application has been developed by using Matlab/Simulink®. The model is composed of a PEM unit cell, membrane humidifier, and thermal management system (TMS). At first, fuel and air are well hydrated by the shell and tube humidifier, then humidified fuel and air flow into the PEMFC for electrochemical reaction. PEMFC temperature was maintained at a constant level by the thermal management system. The active area of PEM model is 240 cm2. The cell was discretized into several control volumes in the through-plane to resolve energy balance and species diffusion. The membrane humidifier model is also discretized into three control volumes in the through-plane to resolve the mass conservation and energy balance. Fuel and air are hydrated by the diffusion of the water through the membrane. The thermal management system consists of radiator, fan and pump. De-ionized water cools down the temperature of PEMFC. In order to validate the model, the model was compared with a corresponding experiment. Comparison shows that simulation results are in good agreement with experiments. And the dynamic response of PEMFC with regard to the change of current was also investigated. The model is useful to elucidate the relationships between operating conditions such as air relative humidity, temperature, etc. It is expected that this dynamic modeling of PEMFC system can contribute to the design optimization of PEM fuel cell system for vehicle application.

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