Thursday February 25, 2010 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
ME-EM Building, Room 112
Jeffrey S. Allen
Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Technological University
Effective water management is critical to deployment of durable,low-temperature fuel cells for automotive applications. The inability tomanage the product water directly affect the durability of a fuel cellstack; currently limiting the stack lifetime well belowcon-imercialization targets. It turns out that capillary phenomena islargely responsible for the ineffective water managment. Mostengineering efforts directed at fuel cell water management attempt toover power capillarity. Much of our research is directed towardsutilizing the natural presence of capillarity in order to moreeffectively manage the product water in low-temperature fuel cells. Theresearch is a combination of experimental and numerical methods. Recentresearch results on characterizing water transport in the PorousTransport Layer (PTL), also known as the gas diffusion layer (GDL), andpredicting that transport will be discussed. In addition, recentfindings on capillary phenomena which dictates water motion in thereactant flow channels will be presented.