To enhance cold start capability and survivability of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) at subzero temperatures, a fundamental understanding of the principles involved is required. In this work an analytical model is presented to describe heat balance, ice formation in the catalyst layer, water transport characteristics throughout a fuel cell at very low temperatures, and the ensuing voltage behavior during PEFC cold start. The model is used to elucidate cold start behaviors of a PEFC from -10 and -20°C and to identify key parameters controlling PEFC cold start, such as the initial membrane water content prior to startup and thermal mass of bipolar plates.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry