Publication Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering


Fuel cells--Testing--Computer simulation


In recent years, fuel cells have been considered as one of the most attractive renewable energy generation systems. However, major challenges in the adaptation of fuel cell technology are to improve the performance and lower the cost of some of the critical components and materials used in fuel cells. A significant cost goes towards catalysts for PEMFC, and this requires a reduction of platinum loading on electrodes. In order to evaluate the fuel cell system performance, a mathematical model for thermodynamics, combined heat, mass transfer processes and associated electrochemical reactions in a tri-layer PEM fuel cell design was developed to analyze the transport phenomena and reaction resistances in the micro-porous electrodes and electrolyte membranes. A finite element-based computational code was developed to solve the mathematical model and evaluate various state-of-the-art materials available in the market. The simulation model was used to conduct a sensitivity analysis to evaluate the performance of the fuel cell with varying operating conditions parameters.


ix, 73 pages




Northern Illinois University

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