Development of a Stochastically-driven, Forward Predictive Performance Model for PEMFCs
A one-dimensional multi-scale coupled, transient, and mechanistic performance model for a PEMFC membrane electrode assembly has been developed. The model explicitly includes each of the 5 layers within a membrane electrode assembly and solves for the transport of charge, heat, mass, species, dissolved water, and liquid water. Key features of the model include the use of a multi-step implementation of the HOR reaction on the anode, agglomerate catalyst sub-models for both the anode and cathode catalyst layers, a unique approach that links the composition of the catalyst layer to key properties within the agglomerate model and the implementation of a stochastic input-based approach for component material properties. The model employs a new methodology for validation using statistically varying input parameters and statistically-based experimental performance data; this model represents the first stochastic input driven unit cell performance model. The stochastic input driven performance model was used to identify optimal ionomer content within the cathode catalyst layer, demonstrate the role of material variation in potential low performing MEA materials, provide explanation for the performance of low-Pt loaded MEAs, and investigate the validity of transient-sweep experimental diagnostic methods.
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