A study of work and improve of water content in PEMFC with liquid cooling

Tyumen State University Herald. Physical and Mathematical Modeling. Oil, Gas, Energy


2020. Vol. 6. № 2 (22)

A study of work and improve of water content in PEMFC with liquid cooling

For citation: Agapov K. V., Dunikov D. O., Kuzmin K. D., Stoyanov E. V. 2020. “A study of work and improve of water content in PEMFC with liquid cooling”. Tyumen State University Herald. Physical and Mathematical Modeling. Oil, Gas, Energy, vol. 6, no. 2 (22), pp. 8-21. DOI: 10.21684/2411-7978-2020-6-2-8-21

About the authors:

Konstantin V. Agapov, Postgraduate Student, National Research University, Moscow Power Engineering Institute; Engineer, InEnergy LLC (Moscow); agapovkv@mail.ru; ORCID: 0000-0001-8009-3080

Dmitriy O. Dunikov, Cand. Sci. (Phys.-Math.), Associate Professor, National Research University, Moscow Power Engineering Institute; Senior Research Officer, Joint Institute for High Temperatures RAS (Moscow); ddo@mail.ru; ORCID: 0000-0002-2238-5605

Kirill D. Kuzmin, Engineer, InEnergy LLC (Moscow); k.kuzmin@inenergy.ru

Evgeniy V. Stoyanov, Engineer, InEnergy LLC (Moscow); e.stoyanov@inenergy.ru


In this publication, in addition to focusing on the engineering component in creating our own test bench for trying various modes and the overall performance of solid polymer fuel cells with electric power of more than 2 kW, the features of the result of the operation of a liquid-cooled fuel cell in the field of heat transfer are displayed. It is known that its performance and service life depend on a properly tuned water and thermal balance of the fuel cell. The problem area is described in the insufficient moisture content of the supplied air to the fuel cell and the excess heat in the fuel cell. In this case, the negative consequence is that additional resistance to the rate of the electrochemical reaction is created, as a result of which the generated power decreases. A possible way to solve this problem is proposed: so, according to the heat balance equation, by increasing the temperature difference between the incoming and outgoing heat carrier, more heat energy can be removed. The temperature difference was achieved using a water-air radiator. The increased removal of thermal energy allowed the condensation of part of the moisture inside the fuel cell, maintaining the humidity and conductivity of the membrane, but not allowing flooding of the channels with liquid water, which otherwise could lead to a decrease in performance. During the tests, it was possible to increase the removed power by 321 w, which is 8.4% in excess of the maximum power. Based on the obtained experimental results, dependencies were constructed that are expressed by the current-voltage characteristic, power curve, the amount of heat removed by the water from the fuel cell, and a graph of the change in water temperature at the inlet and outlet of the fuel cell at various stages of operation.


  1. GOST 3022-80. 1980. Technical hydrogen. Technical conditions. Moscow: Izdatelstvo standartov. 26 pp. [In Russian]

  2. Polyakova T. V. 2012. “Status and prospects of hydrogen energy development”. Vestnik MGIMO University, no. 1, pp. 156-164. [In Russian]

  3. Afshari E., Ziaei-Rad M., Dehkordi M. M. 2017. “Numerical investigation on a novel zigzag-shaped flow channel design for cooling plates of PEM fuel cells”. Journal of the Energy Institute, vol. 90, no. 5, pp. 752-763. DOI: 10.1016/j.joei.2016.07.002

  4. Alizadeh E., Khorshidian M., Saadat S. H. M., Rahgoshay S. M., Rahimi-Esbo M. 2017. “The experimental analysis of a dead-end H2/O2 PEM fuel cell stack with cascade type design”. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 42, no. 16, pp. 11662-11672. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2017.03.094

  5. Aslam R. M., Ingham D. B., Ismail M. S., Hughes K. J., Ma L., Pourkashanian M. 2019. “Simultaneous thermal and visual imaging of liquid water of the PEM fuel cell flow channels”. Journal of the Energy Institute, vol. 92, no. 2, pp. 311-318. DOI: 10.1016/j.joei.2018.01.005

  6. Asri N. F., Husaini T., Sulong A. B., Majlan E. H., Daud W. R. W. 2017. “Coating of stainless steel and titanium bipolar plates for anticorrosion in PEMFC: a review”. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 42, no. 14, pp. 9135-9148. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2016.06.241

  7. Devrim Y., Devrim H., Eroglu I. 2015. “Development of 500 W PEM fuel cell stack for portable power generators”. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 40, no. 24, pp. 7707-7719. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2015.02.005

  8. Heinzel A., Mahlendorf F., Jansen C. 2009. “Fuel cells — proton-exchange membrane fuel cells. Bipolar plates”. In: Garche J. (ed.). 2009. Encyclopedia of Electrochemical Power Sources, pp. 810-816. Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/B978-044452745-5.00226-4

  9. Liang P., Qiu D., Peng L., Yi P., Lai X., Ni J. 2018. “Contact resistance prediction of proton exchange membrane fuel cell considering fabrication characteristics of metallic bipolar plates”. Energy Conversion and Management, vol. 169, pp. 334-344. DOI: 10.1016/j.enconman.2018.05.069

  10. Liu H.-H., Cheng C.-H., Hsueh K.-L., Hong C.-W. 2017. “Modeling and design of air-side manifolds and measurement on an industrial 5-kW hydrogen fuel cell stack”. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 42, no. 30, pp. 19216-19226. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2017.06.057

  11. Liu L., Chen W., Li Y. 2016. “An overview of the proton conductivity of nafion membranes through a statistical analysis”. Journal of Membrane Science, vol. 504, pp. 1-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2015.12.065

  12. Misran E., Hassan N. S. M., Daud W. R. W., Majlan E. H., Rosli M. I. 2013. “Water transport characteristics of a PEM fuel cell at various operating pressures and temperatures”. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 38, no. 22, pp. 9401-9408. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2012.12.076

  13. Moreno N. G., Molina M. C., Gervasio D., Pérez-Robles J. F. 2015. “Approaches to polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) and their cost”. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, vol. 52, pp. 897-906. DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2015.07.157

  14. Saeeda W., Warkozek G. 2015. “Modeling and analysis of renewable PEM fuel cell system”. Energy Procedia, vol. 74, pp. 87-101. DOI: 10.1016/j.egypro.2015.07.527

  15. Shih N.-C., Weng B.-J., Lee J.-Y., Hsiao Y.-C. 2014. “Development of a 20 kW generic hybrid fuel cell power system for small ships and underwater vehicles”. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 39, no. 25, pp. 13894-13901. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2014.01.113

  16. Subin K., P. Jithesh K. 2018. “Experimental study on self-humidified operation in PEM fuel cells”. Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments, vol. 27, pp. 17-22. DOI: 10.1016/j.seta.2018.03.004

  17. Tu Z., Zhang H., Luo Z., Liu J., Wan Z., Pan M. 2013. “Evaluation of 5 kW proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack operated at 95 °C under ambient pressure”. Journal of Power Sources, vol. 222, pp. 277-281. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2012.08.081

  18. Wan Z., Shen J., Zhang H., Tu Z., Liu W. 2014. “In situ temperature measurement in a 5 kW-class Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell stack with pure oxygen as the oxidant”. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, vol. 75, pp. 231-234. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2014.03.075

  19. Yang L., Xie P., Zhang R., Cheng Y., Cai B., Wang R. 2019. “HIES: cases for hydrogen energy and I-Energy”. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 44, no. 56, pp. 29785-29804. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2019.03.056