employ both experimental investigations and computational
tools in order to elucidate and understand the fundamental
phenomena occurring in proton exchange membrane fuel cells.
The experimental work informs the physical and computer models
and provides validation for the computational efforts.
The computational models can be employed to simulate performance
and analyze durability of PEMFCs under different operating
conditions. The significance of our activities is that
that the fundamental understanding and knowledge gained and
tools developed can guide and facilitate the optimization
of MEAs so as to improve their performance and durability.
In this “phenomena-centric” approach to studying
the processes of the membrane electrode assembly and whole
fuel cell, we strive to understand the phenomena in each component
of the PEMFC and then use that fundamental knowledge to construct
performance models on multiple scales from catalyst layers
key aspect of our work deals with understanding the role of
liquid water in proton exchange membrane fuel cells.
Understanding liquid water content and its distribution within
an operating proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is
critical to designing high performance systems and formulating
rational models for simulating PEMFC behavior. The generation,
transport, and removal of liquid water are key phenomena that
occur in a PEMFC. Effective water transport through
and removal from the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) is
crucial to achieving high current density and maintaining
PEMFC performance. In the design and optimization of
PEMFCs, it is important to be able to quantify the water content
in an operating cell in order to gain insight into the dominant
phenomena or processes that influence liquid water transport
tools include confocal imaging of porous bodies, segmented
cell for current density distribution, humidity sensing and
liquid water collection for water balance, GDL contact angle
and contact angle hysteresis, neutron imaging, and a transparent
see the fact sheets below for further details on our research.
Cell for meauring Current Density Distribution
Transparent Cell for Visualization of Flow
in Gas Channels