In this paper a one-dimensional, isothermal model of a PEM fuel cell has been developed to investigate the effect of some structural and operational parameters on the cell performance. Also a homogenous model used to modeling the cathode catalyst layer (CCL) which numerically solved. Overall, the model predictions agree qualitatively with the experiment results. The structural and operational parameters which considered in this paper are: (i) the volume fraction of the Nafion® ionomer phase within the CCL, Lm,c; (ii) the volume fraction of the gas diffusion layer (GDL) material buckled into the CCL, Lg,c; (iii) the catalyst layer saturation, s; (iv) the membrane thickness, δm; (v) membrane type (Nafion® or Dow); and (vi) operating cell pressure, P. The results show that with decreasing in saturation (decreasing the liquid water phase and increasing the gas water phase in the CL), the cell performance will improved. Also the result shows, the Lm,c and the membrane thickness are more effective parameters on CL performance than the others. The best performance are occurred at Lm,c = 0.4. The result indicates the linear increases in the cell performance for decreasing in the membrane thicknesses. Membrane thicknesses were calculated by assuming a 30% swelling of the dry membrane. The present model predicts some sensitivity to pressure variation and the cell performance will increase as pressure increases.

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