Effects of electrical resistance of the gas diffusion layer of a pem fuel cell

Tianhong Zhou, Hongtan Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


A three-dimensional computational model of polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEMFC) was employed to investigate the effects of electron transport through the gas diffusion layer (GDL) and catalyst layer. The electron transport equation was added to our previously established 3D model. Using reasonable electrical conductivities for the GDL and catalyst layer, especially the different values for the in-plane and through-plane conductivities for the GDL, it was found that the effect of the electronic resistance of GDL is not as significant as previous researches suggested. The previously overestimated effect was mainly caused by assuming the GDL's inplane conductivity to be the same as through-plane conductivity, which can have an order of magnitude difference. Comparing the magnitude of ohmic loss from the electron current to that of the proton current, it can also be concluded that the ohmic heating from the electron current is negligible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-256
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers, Advanced Energy Systems Division (Publication) AES
StatePublished - 2005
Event2005 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: Nov 5 2005Nov 11 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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