Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Advisor 1

Kazuya Tajiri

Committee Member 1

Jeffrey Allen

Committee Member 2

Radheshyam Tewari


A fully functional proton exchange membrane fuel cell with single land channel geometry on the cathode and segmented anode current collector with 9 mm2 active area with a 350μm spatial resolution was utilized to measure the local current distribution in the land channel direction. A distinguished printed circuit board approach was used for the data acquisition to adapt to any flow field design.

Performance of this segmented cell was examined at dry, wet and moderate humidity settings to study the water transport phenomenon in the PEMFC. In the dry condition at 60 ͦ C with 0% relative humidity, the non-uniform water production and dehydrated membrane revealed high current localization under the land region. Conversely, in the wet condition at 60 ͦ C with 80% relative humidity, due to the severe flooding in the catalyst layer resulted in very small limiting current density under the channel region. Individual segment performance analysis for the moderate settings at 60 ͦ C with 60% relative humidity displayed the uniform current distribution at higher cell potential whereas irregular local current generation at low cell voltages due to higher water accumulation under the land region.