(329f) Experimental Investigation of the Impact of Water Accumulation On Performance of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC) with Porous and Non-Porous Flow Channels

Lipscomb, G. G., University of Toledo
Karthikeyan, P., University of Toledo
Li, H. C., University of Toledo
Jeffrey, S., University of Toledo

Liquid water accumulation in the interfacial contact area between the flow channel landing and gas diffusion layer (GDL) can dramatically impact steady and transient performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). To address this concern, a porous landing could facilitate water removal in the cathode flow channel and significantly improve PEMFC performance.

The fabrication of a porous interdigitated cathode flow channel from a porous carbon sheet is reported here. Performance measurements were made with nominally identical PEMFCs using non-porous (serpentine and interdigitated) and porous (interdigitated) cathode flow channels. PEMFCs with porous interdigitated flow channels had 48% greater power output than PEMFCs with non-porous interdigitated flow channels at high current densities.

The PEMFCs performance with porous interdigitated cathode flow channel has been validated with results reported in the literature.