A three-dimensional, single-phase, isothermal, explicit electrochemistry polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell model has been developed and the developed computational model has been used to compare various effective diffusivity models of the gas diffusion layer. The Bruggeman model has traditionally been used to represent the diffusion of species in the porous gas diffusion layer. In this study, the Bruggeman model has been compared against models based on particle porous media, multi-length scale particles and the percolation-type correlation. The effects of isotropic and anisotropic permeability on flow dynamics and fuel cell performance have also been investigated. This study shows that the modelling of the effective diffusivity has significant effects on the fuel cell performance prediction. The percolation-based anisotropic model provides better accuracy for the fuel cell performance prediction. The effects of permeability have been found to be negligible and the specification of any realistic value for permeability has been found to be sufficient for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell modelling.
HOSSAIN, M., ISLAM, S.Z. and POLLARD, P. 2012. Numerical study of the effect of effective diffusivity and permeability of the gas diffusion layer on fuel cell performance. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, part A: journal of power and energy [online], 226(7), pages 907-921. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1177/0957650912454402