Understanding Microscale Mechanisms in the Cathode Gas Diffusion Layer of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC)(05ΝΟΝ-EU-512)


The main objectives on this project were:
- To study state of the art membrane electrode assemblies (i.e. catalyst and gas diffusion layers), which will be used as components in an operational PEM fuel cell.
- To numerically reconstruct the microstructure of the gas diffusion electrode using a methodology that allows to predict the main transport properties (i.e.conductivity, permeability, etc.) with a relative error of 15% or less.
- To calculate, through 3D computational fluid dynamics simulation, the flow field, temperature field and water vapor transport through the porous electrode, including the effects of the thermal conductivity of the electrode material.
- To determine the factors, operational or structural, most influential to correct operation by varying them at least ±30% from nominal operating conditions.
- To support the numerical effort through experimental measurements of the performance characteristics of a model PEM fuel cell, operating with the same electrode materials used in the simulations and under the same operating conditions.
- To translate the results into specific requirements regarding operating conditions and porous material microstructure.
- To support the results of the studies and to render them into marketable information with regard to specific PEM fuel cell applications.

Participated partners:
- Tropical S.A.
- Centre for Research & Technology Hellas (CERTH)
- University of Western Macedonia
- University of Notre Dame