This paper presents the results of a parametric study conducted using a three-dimensional, non-isothermal model of a PEM fuel cell. The effect of various operational, geometric and property parameters was investigated in detail. The availability of reliable data for setting various modeling parameters was found to be critical to obtain physically realistic results. In addition to the effect of temperature and pressure, geometrical and material parameters such as the gas-diffusion thickness and porosity as well as the ratio between the channel width and the collector plate land area were investigated in detail, and it was found that the contact resistance plays an important role for the evaluation of the impact of such parameters on the fuel cell performance. The results demonstrate the usefulness of this computational model as a design and optimization tool.

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