An application-oriented steady-state PEMFC model is presented. The model is computationally fast enough to allow for applied investigations such as optimizations and sensitivity analyses but is detailed enough to observe local flow phenomena such as membrane flooding. The model resolves parameters along the flow channel and incorporates a separate membrane model. Contrary to other existing 1-D models of PEMFCs, water content within the membrane is not assumed to follow a linear profile between anode and cathode, but is resolved across membrane thickness and solved off-line for the entire domain of possible water-content boundary conditions. Co-flow and counter-flow topologies have been investigated from a end-user perspective. In addition, the model has been extended with hydrogen recirculation as well as air humidification with an electro-chemically passive cell. The effects of the anode and cathode humidification are investigated based on a sensitivity analysis. Systematic optimizations on operating conditions are also carried out for the different topologies to maximize efficiency such that no flooding occurs.

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