Effects of Clamping Force on the Operating Behavior of PEM Fuel Cell
Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell is widely recognized as an outstanding portable power plant and expected to be possibly commercialization in the near future. As is well known, mechanical stresses implemented on the bipolar plates during the assembly procedure should have prominent influences on mass and heat transfer behavior inside the cell, as well as the resultant performance. In this study, an analytical model is proposed to comprehensively investigate the influence of clamping force on the mass transport, electrochemical properties and overall cell output capability of a PEM fuel cell. The results indicate that proper clamping force not only benefits the gas leakage prevention but also increases the contact area between the neighboring components to decrease the contact ohmic resistance.