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Predicted Liquid Water Saturation in Unstructured Pore Networks Based on PEMFC GDL Porosity Profiles

[+] Author Affiliations
J. Hinebaugh, Z. Fishman, A. Bazylak

University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Paper No. FuelCell2010-33097, pp. 517-523; 7 pages
  • ASME 2010 8th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • ASME 2010 8th International Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology Conference: Volume 1
  • Brooklyn, New York, USA, June 14–16, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4404-5 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3875-4
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


An unstructured, two-dimensional pore network model is employed to describe the effect of through-plane porosity profiles on liquid water saturation within the gas diffusion layer (GDL) of the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. Random fibre placements are based on the porosity profiles of six commercially available GDL materials recently obtained through x-ray computed tomography experiments. The pore space is characterized with a Voronoi diagram, and invasion percolation-based simulations are performed. It is shown that water tends to accumulate in regions of relatively high porosity due to the lower associated capillary pressures. It is predicted that GDLs tailored to have smooth porosity profiles will have fewer pockets of high saturation levels within the bulk of the material.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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