The clamping force should be applied to a proton electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell due to its structural characteristics. The clamping force affects the ohmic and mass transport resistances in the PEM fuel cell. In this study, the effects of the clamping force on the water transport and performance characteristics of a PEM fuel cell are experimentally investigated with variations in the relative humidity and current density. The water transport characteristics were analyzed by calculating the net drag coefficient. The ohmic resistance decreased with the increase in the clamping force due to the reduced contact resistance and more even membrane hydration. However, the mass transport resistance increased with the increase in the clamping force due to the gas diffusion layer compression. The net drag coefficient decreased with the increase in the clamping force due to high water back-diffusion. Additionally, the relationship between the total resistance and the net drag coefficient was investigated.
- Clamping force
- Proton electrolyte membrane fuel cell
- Water transport
ASJC Scopus subject areas