Computational Modelling and Simulation of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell with COMSOL

Sorgulu F.

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ENERGY AND THERMAL ENGINEERING: ISTANBUL 2017 25-28 April 2017, Yildiz Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey, İstanbul, Turkey, 25 - 28 April 2017, pp.594-596

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: İstanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.594-596
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


In recent years polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) have seemed to be one of the most efficient and suitable alternatives to conventional batteries for especially scientific and martial purposes due to their relatively easy, efficient, sustainable, and clean way of converting chemical energy into electrical energy. Although a vast amount of research on PEMFCs has been done, there are many ununderstood sub-processes still present in PEMFCs. Among the available research techniques used in PEMFC studies, computational modeling and simulation is a promising tool that could supply better data on micro-scale processes encountered in PEMFC operation. This is why many researchers have been investigating to develop better computational models of PEMFCs. Since the available models have their own advantages and disadvantages, advanced models are still needed. In this study a two-dimensional computational PEMFC model was adopted from previous studies and simulated using COMSOL MP v5.2 in order to have a starting point for developing a better representative PEMFC model. Navier-Stokes, Brinkman, Maxwell-Stefan, and Butler-Volmer equations were solved to calculate the flow in the gas channels, the flow in porous layers, the mass transport (diffusion of species), and the current distribution in the model, respectively. The polarization curve was plotted and compared with the experimental data. It was found that the results were in good agreement with the experimental results. Furthermore, the results showed a strong dependence on the mesh quality and type.

This study was supported by the Research Fund of Yalova University. Project Number: 2015/BAP/121