Steady and unsteady modeling of single PEM fuel cell.

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering


Engineering, Mechanical.




Among the various types of fuel cells, the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell has been considered as a promising choice for automobile. Proper water and thermal management is essential for obtaining high performance from a PEM fuel cell. A steady and unsteady, water and thermal management model was developed to consider the effects of local pressure on the cell performance, pressure drop, open circuit voltage variation with stack temperature, water vapor effects on membrane conductivity. These considerations made the model physically more reasonable and more suitable for various operating conditions. Additionally, this model combined the along-flow-channel model and catalyst layer model, which represent a significant improvement to PEM fuel cell modeling. The model can predict the distributions of a series of important parameters along the flow channel and in the catalyst layer; thus the effects of various operating and design parameters on the fuel cell performance can be investigated easily by a numerical trial-and-error method. The transient performance of the fuel cell can be simulated with this model as well, which is crucial for the fuel cell system control. The modeling results agreed reasonably with the available experimental results from the literature. This model can be used as part of a PEM fuel cell stack or entire system modeling, and represents a very useful engineering tool for the analysis, design and optimization of PEM fuel cell.Dept. of Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2005 .H83. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 45-01, page: 0450. Thesis (M.A.Sc.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2005.