A three-dimensional steady-state electrochemical mathematic model is established where the mass, fluid and thermal transport processes are considered as well as the electrochemical reaction. The influences of the parameters of interest, which include the porosity, the permeability, and the thickness of the gas diffusion layer and the inlet gas stoichiometric flow rate, on the performance of fuel cells are identified. By applying the Powell algorithm, multiple optimum parameters are obtained from the optimization solution with respect to the objective function, which is defined as the maximum potential of the electrolyte fluid phase at the membrane/cathode interface with a typical value of the cell voltage. By comparing the optimized oxygen mole fraction and the local current density distribution with the reference case, the results shown in the paper provide useful tools for a better design of fuel cells.

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