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Water dynamics inside a cathode channel of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell.

Hossain, Mamdud; Islam, Sheikh Zahidul; Colley-Davies, Amy; Adom, Ebenezer


Amy Colley-Davies

Ebenezer Adom


The present study focuses on the investigation of water dynamics inside a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell using two different modelling approaches: Eulerian two-phase mixture and volume of fluid interface tracking models. The Eulerian two-phase mixture model has provided overall information of species distribution inside a fuel cell and identified that the liquid water usually accumulates under the land area. The volume of fluid interface tracking model has then been implemented to investigate the emergence of water droplets from the gas diffusion layer into the cathode channel and the subsequent removal of water from the channel. Further, the effects of the location of water emergence in the cathode channel on the dynamic behavior of liquid water have been investigated. The present study shows that the water emerging into the channel near the side walls greatly reduces the surface water coverage of the channel. In order to control the water path into the channel near side walls, a further discussion has been provided that a gas diffusion layer design based on hydrophilic fibres distributed inside a hydrophobic fibre matrix could provide a precisely controlled water path through the gas diffusion layer.


HOSSAIN, M., ISLAM, S.Z., COLLEY-DAVIES, A. and ADOM, E. 2013. Water dynamics inside a cathode channel of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. Renewable energy [online], 50, pages 763-779. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 13, 2012
Online Publication Date Sep 12, 2012
Publication Date Feb 28, 2013
Deposit Date Jun 6, 2013
Publicly Available Date Jun 6, 2013
Journal Renewable energy
Print ISSN 0960-1481
Electronic ISSN 1879-0682
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 50
Pages 763-779
Keywords Water dynamics; Surface coverage; Cathode channel; Gas diffusion layer; Volume of fluid; Surface wettability
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