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Heat and water transport models for polymer electrolyte fuel cells

Advances in Electrocatalysis, Materials, Diagnostics and Durability

Advanced diagnostics, models and design

Low-temperature fuel cells

  1. U. Pasaogullari

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470974001.f500043

Handbook of Fuel Cells

Handbook of Fuel Cells

How to Cite

Pasaogullari, U. 2010. Heat and water transport models for polymer electrolyte fuel cells. Handbook of Fuel Cells.

Author Information

  1. University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


Owing to conflicting requirements of membrane hydration and avoiding flooding by liquid water, water management is very critical for polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC). Water saturation pressure is strongly dependent on temperature around the PEFC operating temperatures. Therefore water transport and water management are strongly dependent on temperature distribution and thermal transport within the fuel cell. In this article, heat and water management in PEFCs is explored with a focus on modeling of the coupled heat and water transport. Effect of membrane hydration on fuel cell operation and performance is investigated in detail. Heat generation in PEFCs is described and breakdown of heat sources is given, and models describing the thermal transport and temperature distribution are reviewed. Coupled two-phase heat and mass transport is elucidated along with the results from the computational models describing the phenomena.


  • polymer electrolyte;
  • flooding;
  • membrane hydration;
  • water management;
  • thermal management;
  • anisotropy