A novel approach coupling neutron imaging and numerical modelling for the analysis of the impact of water on fuel cell performance

A novel approach coupling neutron imaging and numerical modelling for the analysis of the impact of water on fuel cell performance

Energy, Volume 68, 15 April 2014, Pages 971-981.

Alfredo Iranzoa, Pierre Boillatb, Pierre Oberholzerb, José Guerrac

AICIA, School of Engineering, Sevilla, Spain and

Electrochemistry Laboratory (LEC) and Neutron Imaging and Activation Group (NIAG), Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI), Switzerland and

Thermal Engineering Group, Energy Engineering Department, School of Engineering, University of Sevilla, Spain.

 

Abstract

 

A novel modelling framework for the simulation of the diffusive mass transport limitations occurring at GDL local scale of PEFCs is presented, in particular in relation with the distribution of liquid water in the porous media. The distinctive characteristic of this framework is the fact that the distribution of liquid water is not predicted by the model but it is instead mapped into the simulation model from available experimental measurements, obtained with neutron imaging. The presence of liquid water is thus included in the model as a modifier for the gas diffusion transport, and not directly calculated by the model. This allows for a coupling of experimental measurements and model development that is expected to allow a further progress of highly reliable models for the understanding of local fuel cell phenomena. A 1D cell is analyzed, and the effective diffusion coefficient and the n exponent in the diffusion correction factor is calculated from the results of the combination of modelling and experimental data. An extension of the method for a 2D cell is also introduced.

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