Detailed experimental parameters are controlled and measured under widely varying operating conditions. In addition to polarization curves, feed gas flow rates, temperatures, pressure drop, and relative humidity are all measured accurately. Performance of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) was studied using steady-state polarization curves and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) techniques. The effects of relative humidity, temperature, pressure and feed gas stoichiometry on fuel cell performance were investigated. It was found that the humidity of both the anode and cathode inlet gases had a significant effect on fuel cell performance. The experimental results showed that a decrease in the cathode humidity has a more detrimental effect on cell performance than a comparable decrease in the anode humidity. The obtained results will be used to define conditions of optimal hydration of the membrane. Based on the performance and resistance measurements, optimal humidification can be achieved. The polarization curves of the cell at different operating temperatures showed that fuel cell performance was improved with increasing temperature from 65 to 75°C. The fuel cell performance also improved as the operating pressure was increased from 1 atm to 4 atm. The resistance of the working fuel cell showed that the membrane resistance increased as the feed gas relative humidity (RH) decreased. The experimental results were compared with the results of a CFD mathematical model. These experimental data will provide a baseline for validation of fuel cell models.

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