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Experimental study on mitigating the cathode flooding at low temperature by adding hydrogen to the cathode reactant gas in PEM fuel cell

International Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2012.11.054
  • Flooding
  • Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell
  • Hydrogen Addition Method
  • Gas Diffusion Layer
  • Water Management


Abstract Severe flooding can be critical in a fuel cell vehicle operating at a high current density, and in a fuel cell vehicle at the initial stage of start up. It is often difficult to remove the condensed water from the cathode gas diffusion layer (GDL) of the fuel cell because of the surface tension between the water and the GDL. In this research, in order to remove the condensed water from the cathode GDL, a small amount of hydrogen was injected into the cathode reactant gases. The results showed that the hydrogen addition method successfully removed the liquid water from the cathode GDL. Water removal was verified for various hydrogen flow rates and hydrogen addition durations. Furthermore, the dew point temperature of the outlet gas at the cathode was observed to determine the amount of water removed from the cathode GDL. In addition, the water droplet in the cathode gas flow channel was visualized by using a transparent cell. Furthermore, degradation tests are also performed. Considering the degradation test, the hydrogen addition method is expected to be effective in mitigating cathode flooding.

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