Fluid Flow and Current Density Distribution in Large-area HT PEMFCs

G. C. Bandlamudi[1,2], C. Siegel[2], C. Heßke[1], and A. Heinzel[1,2]
[1]ZBT Duisburg, Duisburg, Germany
[2]University of Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Germany

High temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (HT PEMFCs) are very promising technologies when used in combined cooling and heating power (CCHP) systems. They are operated at 160°C, offering the possibility of high tolerance to fuel impurities and a possibility to use the heat generated for cooling and heating purposes, leading to higher total system efficiency.

Employing a 24-channel gas supply (300 cm² of active area), fuel and oxidant gas velocities in the flow field and the porous media and their pressure profiles were studied. The electrochemical behaviour studied using various techniques is compared to COMSOL Multiphysics® based simulations. Optimum operating conditions, based on even current distribution (across the entire active area) and lowest possible pressure drop were identified.