A two-phase non-isothermal PEFC model: Theory and validation

Matti Noponen (Corresponding Author), E. Birgersson, J. Ihonen, M. Vynnycky, A. Lundblad, G. Lindbergh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


A two‐dimensional, non‐isothermal, two‐phase model of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) is presented. The model is developed for conditions where variations in the streamwise direction are negligible. In addition, experiments were conducted with a segmented cell comprised of net flow fields. The, experimentally obtained, current distributions were used to validate the PEFC model developed. The PEFC model includes species transport and the phase change of water, coupled with conservation of momentum and mass, in the porous backing of the cathode, and conservation of charge and heat throughout the fuel cell. The current density in the active layer at the cathode is modelled with an agglomerate model, and the contact resistance for heat transfer over the material boundaries is taken into account. Good agreement was obtained between the modelled and experimental polarization curves. A temperature difference of 6 °C between the bipolar plate and active layer on the cathode, and a liquid saturation of 6% at the active layer in the cathode were observed at 1 A cm–2.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-377
JournalFuel Cells
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • current distribution measurement
  • numerical simulation
  • PEFC
  • two-phase transport
  • water management


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