Modeling of water and temperature distribution in PEM fuel cell

Li Zhong Ma, Shuang Lin Shen, Fei Jia, Hong Tan Liu, Lie Jin Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A two-phase flow, non-isothermal, three dimensional model was developed to study the transport phenomena in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. Modeling results of water distribution and temperature distribution are presented in this paper. The modeling results show that water and temperature distributions are non-uniform. Along the flow direction, water concentration in anode is decreasing while that in cathode is increasing which liquid water present in cathode; in the cross section perpendicular to the flow direction, both water concentration and liquid water saturation under the shoulder are higher than that under the channel; liquid water distribution across cathode GDL is different at different discharging voltages. Local temperature is decreasing along the flow direction, with even higher gradient when the reactant gas is insufficient; temperatures under the shoulder are lower than those under the channel; in the direction across MEA, the highest temperature is in cathode catalyst layer, and temperature gradient increases as the discharging voltage decreases; at the same discharging voltage, the thicker the PEM is, the lower the local temperatures and the temperature gradient across MEA are.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2051-2056
Number of pages6
JournalKung Cheng Je Wu Li Hsueh Pao/Journal of Engineering Thermophysics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Numerical modeling
  • PEM fuel cell
  • Temperature distribution
  • Water distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering


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