Nano Science and Technology Institute
Nanotech 2003 Vol. 3
Nanotech 2003 Vol. 3
Technical Proceedings of the 2003 Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 3
Chapter 11: Fuel Cells

Mathematical Modeling of Water Management in PEM Fuel Cells

Authors:P. Berg, K. Promislow, J. Stockie and B. Wetton
Affilation:Simon Fraser University, CA
Pages:459 - 462
Keywords:PEM fuel cell, mathematical modeling, water management
Abstract:Liquid water is fundamental to Polymer Electrolyte Membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). Its influence, both beneficial and parasitic, is measured on time scales from femto-seconds to hours, on length scales from Angstroms to centimeters. Its role couples it intimately to all aspects of PEM fuel cell operation: electro-chemical reaction and temperature management, ion transport in the polymer membrane, diffusive mass transport in gas diffusion layers, convective transport in headers and flow fields. A predictive mathematical model for water management must encompass, at some level, these complex interactions over the vast array of length and time scales. This talk will give an over-all sketch of PEMFC functioning, and then will visit in detail the aspects where nano-scales impinge upon the macro-level modeling. In particular we will focus on proton transport modeling in the electrolyte membrane, the multi-phase flow in the teflonated carbon fiber material of the gas diffusion layer which backs the membrane, and the crucial effects which occur at the junction of these two layers.
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