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An Internal Water Management Scheme for Portable Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells

[+] Author Affiliations
Richard S. Fu, Ugur Pasaogullari

University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

Paper No. FUELCELL2006-97070, pp. 1045-1052; 8 pages
  • ASME 2006 4th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • ASME 2006 Fourth International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology, Parts A and B
  • Irvine, California, USA, June 19–21, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Nanotechnology Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4247-9 | eISBN: 0-7918-3780-7
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


Performance of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) is highly dependent on water content of the membrane and a humidification scheme becomes a necessity to operate PEFCs at a high efficiency. However, conventional humidification schemes require external humidifiers, which are usually bulky and impractical for portable PEFCs. In this paper we propose an innovative approach for humidification of the polymer electrolyte membrane, using an internally built-in mass (water) exchanger (MX) embedded in the bipolar plates. We present the validation of the concept using a multi-dimensional, isothermal computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solution of the water transport in the proposed MX. An optimal range of operation of the MX is investigated and effects on PEFC performance are studied.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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