Energy Conversion and Management, Vol.185, 169-182, 2019
Hysteresis of output voltage and liquid water transport in gas diffusion layer of polymer electrolyte fuel cells
The hysteresis of PEM fuel cell output voltage of the single cell and multi-cell stack is presented by experiments, during which the in-situ liquid water visualization at certain point of gas channel, quantitative measurement of the RH (relative humidity) and HFR (high frequency resistance) by EIS (electrochemical impedance spectroscopy) were carried out. It is found that HFR makes little contribution to the hysteresis of voltage. Instead, the hysteresis of liquid water saturation s in GDL is believed to dominant this process. Although the hysteresis of capillary pressure of liquid water in GDL has already been the presented in previous works, it is for the first time that a simplified one-dimensional model on liquid water saturation is updated considering this effect to understand the possible relation between them. Two different liquid water saturation s distributions during imbibition and drainage are obtained by simulation and related hypothesis of different water morphology in GDL is proposed. Furthermore, according to the simulation results, the GDL consisting of material with high resistance to water penetrating is found to have the better performance in the flooding condition, but weak capability to maintain residual water during drainage of PEM fuel cell.