In the present work, the anisotropic and heterogeneous effective thermal conductivity of the gas diffusion layer (GDL) is determined using a thermal lattice Boltzmann model. A three-dimensional fifteen speed (D3Q15), two-phase (fibre and air) model with single relaxation time is presented to determine the effective thermal conductivity in the through-plane and in-plane directions. The model solves the energy transport equation through a reconstructed fibrous GDL geometry. The geometry of the GDL was reconstructed using microscale computed tomography imaging of commercially available GDL materials. Simulated thermal conductivities determined in this work can provide insight into the effect of heterogeneity and anisotropy of the GDL on the thermal management required for improved PEM fuel cell performance.

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