Coupling continuum and pore-network models for polymer-electrolyte fuel cells

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



© 2015 Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Three novel iterative methodologies for coupling continuum and pore-network models (PNM) applied to polymer-electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) are presented. The modeling framework developed in this work merges the advantages of a continuum model, such as computational time, ease of implementation, and complicated physics, with those of relatively novel PNMs, such as discrete information on water-front location and distribution. The outputs generated by the PNM are fed into the continuum model to compute electrochemical reaction rates and associated heat and mass fluxes. Out of three presented coupling methodologies, the most effective coupling is identified to be where locally-resolved effective diffusivity, thermal conductivity, and liquid permeability are computed with the PNM and fed into the continuum model and the fluxes from continuum model fed back into the PNM in an iterative scheme until solution convergence is reached. The described method is computationally efficient with stable convergence of less than five iterations. The proposed algorithms can be applied to multiple computational platforms and PEFC and related model architectures.

Publication Title

International Journal of Hydrogen Energy