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Experimental Observation of Liquid Water Formation in Cathode Side Gas Channel of a Transparent PEM Fuel Cell

[+] Author Affiliations
Mingfei Gan

Syracuse University

Lea Der Chen

Unversity of Iowa

P. C. Sui

University of Victoria

Paper No. IMECE2006-13765, pp. 229-233; 5 pages
  • ASME 2006 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Heat Transfer, Volume 2
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, November 5 – 10, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4785-3 | eISBN: 0-7918-3790-4
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


This paper reports on an experimental observation of water formation in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). A fuel cell assembly with transparent end plates showing the gas channels is used. The study shows that liquid water can be present inside the gas channel of the fuel cell at a relatively low current density condition. The presence of liquid water could be in the form of mist-flow, suspended droplets, and sporadic liquid-gas two-phase flows, depending on operating conditions of the fuel cell. The voltage of the transparent fuel cell degraded over time, which is thought to be a result due to contamination from the fabrication of the gas channel plates of the transparent fuel cell. Onsets of the liquid droplet formation in gas channels are compared to the qualitative descriptions of homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleation theories.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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