Title: Simulation and analysis of water concentration in the proton exchange membrane

Authors: Shizhong Chen; Zhongxian Xia; Shiyu Xing; Xuyang Zhang; Yuhou Wu

Addresses: School of Mechanical Engineering, Shenyang Jianzhu University, 9 Hunnan East Road, Hunnan New District, Shenyang, Liaoning, 110168, China ' School of Mechanical Engineering, Shenyang Jianzhu University, 9 Hunnan East Road, Hunnan New District, Shenyang, Liaoning, 110168, China ' School of Mechanical Engineering, Shenyang Jianzhu University, 9 Hunnan East Road, Hunnan New District, Shenyang, Liaoning, 110168, China ' College of Engineering, University of Miami, 1251 Memorial Drive, Coral Gables, Miami, FL, 33146 USA ' Shenyang Jianzhu University, 9 Hunnan East Road, Hunnan New District, Shenyang, Liaoning, 110168 China

Abstract: Water content in proton exchange membranes (PEM) has an important effect on PEM fuel cells. The water concentration gradient map was simulated by using COMSOL multiphysics, and this figure was calculated and analysed to get the water concentration distribution in PEM. The results show that water concentration in the membrane shows inverse parabolic increase along the direction of gas flow. The trend of water concentration on the cathode surface is the same as on the anode surface, both of them increase along the direction of gas flow, but the value on the cathode side is higher than that on the anode side. The change rate of water concentration on the membrane increases along the direction of gas flow. The water concentration on the middle position of the membrane is the lowest throughout the membrane, even lower than inlet along the thickness direction, which can lead to water shortages.

Keywords: proton exchange membrane; PEM fuel cells; concentration gradient map; water concentration; simulation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSPM.2015.072538

International Journal of Simulation and Process Modelling, 2015 Vol.10 No.4, pp.372 - 382

Available online: 16 Oct 2015 *

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