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A 2D Finite Element Model for the Analysis of a PEM Fuel Cell Heat and Stress Distribution

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In this study, a 2D FEM (Finite Element Method) analysis model of a representative unit of fuel cell has been set-up and solved using COMSOL Multiphysics. The heat transfer module with plane stress has been used. Implementation of the interfacial boundary conditions and heat sources allow evaluating temperature and stress distribution in the fuel cell during variation of the current density. By taking advantage of symmetry conditions, temperature and Van Mises stress have been simulated in the through-plane and in-plane direction on two scales. A global scale on the path of the entire cell, and locale scale on the path of membrane electrodes are assembled. The results show that displacement, temperature gradient and stress are directly related to level of current density and local section statement. Hence increasing the current density pushes the high temperature distribution to the cathode under the center of the gas channel.
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Fuel Cell; Finite Element; Heat Transfer; Nafion; Gas Diffusion Layer; Bipolar Plate

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