Non-uniform current distribution in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells results in local over-heating, accelerated ageing, and lower power output than expected. This issue is very critical when fuel cell experiences water flooding. In this work, the performance of a PEM fuel cell is investigated under cathode flooding conditions. A partially flooded GDL model is proposed to study local current density distributions along flow fields over a wide range of cell operating conditions. The model results show as cathode inlet humidity and/or cell pressure increase the average current density for the unflooded portions of the cell increases but the system becomes more sensitive to flooding. Operating the cell at higher temperatures would lead to higher average current densities and the chance of system being flooded is reduced. In addition, higher cathode stoichiometries prevent system flooding but the average current density remains almost constant.

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