Analysis of cold start in polymer electrolyte fuel cells

Leng Mao, Chao Yang Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)B139-B146
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrochemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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