City Research Online

Visualisation of water droplets during the operation of PEM fuel cells

Ous, T. & Arcoumanis, C. (2007). Visualisation of water droplets during the operation of PEM fuel cells. Journal of Power Sources, 173(1), pp. 137-148. doi: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2007.04.075


A transparent proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) has been designed to enable visualisation of water droplets during its operation. Images of the formation of droplets on the surface of the gas diffusion layer (GDL) on its cathode side, which result in water accumulation and blockage to the airflow channels, were recorded using a CCD camera. Measurement of the cell current and droplet characterisation have been carried out simultaneously and the effect of the airflow and external resistive load has been quantified. The droplet images show that water accumulation occurs first in the middle channels of a serpentine reactant-flow fuel cell design and that no droplets are formed at the bends of the flow channels. Water blockage to the airflow path was caused by the overlapping of two land-touching droplets developing on each side of the channel. Flooding was found to be more susceptible to the airflow than the other test operating conditions.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Power Sources. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Power Sources, Volume 173, Issue 1, 8 November 2007, Pages 137–148,
Publisher Keywords: PEMFC, Flooding, Water droplets, Gas diffusion layer (GDL), Airflow
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
Related URLs:
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of Journal paper for Repository.pdf]
PDF - Accepted Version
Download (57kB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login