In a PEMFC (Proton electrolyte membrane fuel cell), water transport mechanism inside the membrane is very important in performance and durability of whole fuel cell stack. Diffusion of water through the membrane is governed by humidity conditions of outer layers and the humidity conditions of gases depend on temperature, pressure and operating pressures. Since those parameters are varied non-linearly, it is necessary to investigate water transport mechanism by concentration difference between both sides of membrane.
In this study, water contents of Nafion® membrane is measured in terms of relative humidity, temperatures, and operating pressure. Water diffusion is also measured at different pressures in both sides. Test chamber is designed to fix membrane in the middle of chamber and the membrane separates chambers in two spaces. Parametric study is conducted to measure the water contents of membranes in terms of temperatures 30°C, 50°C, 70°C, 90°C and 0 to 100% relative humidity. When the water diffusivity is calculated by measured data, the water concentrations in both sides are determined by harmonic averages of inlet and exit water humidity. Additionally, water flux is also investigated in terms of both sides humidity, operating pressure and temperatures. As a result, the water diffusion coefficient was explained by the operating temperature and the relative humidity and operating pressures.