A Quasi-2D Transient Multiphase Modeling of Cold Start Processes in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell
It’s well known that startup process of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) under subzero temperature is extremely significant because of its influence on fuel cell performance and durability. In the study, a quasi-2D numerical model is developed and dynamic equations of mass conservation, energy conservation, membrane water conservation, ice conservation, species conservation are all considered. Three different hydrogen supply modes are studied in detail: flow-through anode (FTA) mode, dead-ended anode (DEA) mode and off-gas recirculation (OR) mode. It is found that the local current density (LCD) and temperature distribution vary remarkably along flow channel in OR mode as t > 500s due to nitrogen crossover and accumulation. During the cold start operation, the DEA mode and OR mode hold more water in anode catalyst layer (ACL) which reduces the effects of hydraulic permeation, resulting in more ice formation in cathode catalyst layer (CCL) and slower temperature rising.