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Pore network simulation of water condensation in Gas Diffusion Layers of PEM Fuel Cells

Straubhaar, Benjamin and Pauchet, Joël and Prat, Marc Pore network simulation of water condensation in Gas Diffusion Layers of PEM Fuel Cells. (2015) In: 7th International Conference on Porous Media - InterPore 2015, 18 May 2015 - 21 May 2015 (Padova, Italy). (Unpublished)

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The fundamental understanding of water transport in PEMFCs is still a major challenge in direct relation with the water management issue, i.e., the ability to maintain a good dynamic balance of water in the membrane-electrode assembly during operation. We concentrate on the water transfer mechanisms occurring in the gas diffusion layer (GDL) on the cathode side. Recent works, e.g. [1], suggest that water condensation plays a major role in the water transfer and the flooding of GDL. In the present work, condensation in the GDL is studied numerically from three dimensional pore network simulations. As illustrated in Fig.1, the simulations predict that water condenses under the rib, in qualitative agreement with experimental visualizations [2]. The condensation process leads to the formation of growing liquid clusters progressively invading the GDL from the rib. This mechanism of flooding by condensation is markedly different from other scenarios assuming flooding by liquid water from the active layer – GDL interface, e.g. [3]. This new pore network model opens up the route to determine the exact water invasion mechanisms (liquid invasion and/or condensation), which is crucial for improving both performance and durability of PEMFCs.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Audience (conference):International conference without published proceedings
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique et aux énergies alternatives - CEA (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
European Union’s Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007-2013)
Deposited On:08 Jul 2015 07:13

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