Simulation of multiphase multicomponent processes in PEM fuel cells

November 27, 2007, 4:00 p.m. (CET)

Time: 11/27/07, 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Lecturer: Dr.-Ing. Steffen Oliver Ochs
Lehrstuhl für Hydromechanik und Hydrosystemmodellierung, Institut für Wasserbau, Uni Stuttgart
Venue: Pfaffenwaldring 61, Raum U1.003 (MML), Universität Stuttgart
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The development of new alternative power sources/supplies is animportant task nowadays. Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel-cellscurrently are intensively investigated and improved for applications. This requires a profound understanding of the physical andelectrochemical processes elapsing in fuel cells. It has been foundthat the kinetics of the oxygen reduction at the cathodeis a limiting factor for the performance of fuel-cells. The transportof oxygen to the cathode through its porous diffusion layer occurs ina predominantly diffusive manner. The generation of liquid water atthe cathode-site constrains this oxygen transport to the reactionlayer. Thus, an efficient water management in the cathode diffusionlayer is necessary to improve the performance of the fuel-cell.

In the seminar we present a multiphase multicomponent model originally developed at LH2 for the simulation of non-isothermal multiphase processes in the subsurface and the modifications necessary for modeling multiphase processes in the diffusion layer of PEM fuel-cells.The results of two studies one on the influence of capillary pressure and another on the effect of different flow regimes on the system behavior will be discussed.

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