Modeling of High Temperature PEM Fuel Cells using FEMLAB

Cheddie D., Munroe, N.
Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Florida International University, Miami, FL

All of the work conducted in proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) modeling to date has been limited to low temperature applications.

The present work is based on the development of a complete 2-D mathematical model of a high temperature PEMFC, which accounts for multi-component fluid flow with electrochemical reactions, heat transfers, and potential variations. The computational domain includes the entire fuel cell unit – gas channels, gas diffusion layers, catalyst layers (treated as finite sized regions), and a high temperature proton exchange membrane. Finally the Butler-Volmer equation describes the reaction kinetics in the catalyst layers.

The FEMLAB modules used – with modifications – are Non-Isothermal Flow, Darcy’s Law, Maxwell-Stefan Diffusion (non-conservative), Convection and Conduction (non-conservative), and Conductive Media DC.