Experimental and analytical analysis of polarization and water transport behaviors of hydrogen alkaline membrane fuel cell

Experimental test and analytical modeling are conducted to investigate the operating behavior of an alkaline electrolyte membrane (AEM) fuel cell fed by H2/air (or O2) and explore the effect of various operating pressures on the water transfer mechanism. According to the experimental test, the cell performance is greatly improved through increasing the operating pressure gradient from anode to cathode which leads to significant liquid water permeation through the membrane. The high frequency resistance of the A901 alkaline membrane is observed to be relatively stable as the operating pressure varies based on the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) method. Correspondingly, based on the modeling prediction, the averaged water content in the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) does not change too much which leads to the weak variation of membrane ohmic resistance. This reveals that the performance enhancement should give the credit to better electro-chemical reaction kinetics for both the anode and cathode, also prone by the EIS results. The reversion of water back diffusion direction across the membrane is also observed through analytical solution.