Steady state and transient simulation of anion exchange membrane fuel cells

Abstract : The model succeeds in predicting initial and time dependent AEMFC performance. The model predicts cell performance at very high current densities (0 -3 A cm -2). An ultra-low level of cathode hydra-tion limits cell performance at high currents. At high currents cathode utilization is limited to a region near the membrane. Using the model to explore new AEMFC design alternatives is demonstrated. We present a new model for anion exchange membrane fuel cells. Validation against experimental polarization curve data is obtained for current densities ranging from zero to above 2 A cm -2. Experimental transient data is also successfully reproduced. The model is very flexible and can be used to explore the system's sensitivity to a wide range of material properties, cell design specifications, and operating parameters. We demonstrate the impact of gas inlet relative humidity (RH), operating current density, ionomer loading and ionomer ion exchange capacity (IEC) values on cell performance. In agreement with the literature, high air RH levels are shown to improve cell performance. At high current densities (>1 A cm -2) this effect is observed to be especially significant. Simulated hydration number distributions across the cell reveal the related critical dependence of cathode hydration on air RH and current density values. When exploring catalyst layer design, optimal intermediate ionomer loading values are demonstrated. The benefits of asymmetric (cathode versus anode) electrode design are revealed, showing enhanced performance using higher cathode IEC levels. Finally, electrochemical reaction profiles across the electrodes uncover inhomogeneous catalyst utilization. Specifically, at high current densities the cathodic reaction is confined to a narrow region near the membrane.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 5:09:39 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, September 15, 2018 - 1:11:06 AM

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Dario Dekel, Igal Rasin, Miles Page, Simon Brandon. Steady state and transient simulation of anion exchange membrane fuel cells. Journal of Power Sources, Elsevier, 2017, ⟨10.1016/j.jpowsour.2017.07.012⟩. ⟨hal-01568749⟩

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