A theoretical study of inlet relative humidity control in PEM fuel cell

K. H. Wong, Ka Hong Loo, Y. M. Lai, Siew Chong Tan, Chi Kong Tse

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, the individual roles of inlet anode and cathode humidification, and their influences on PEM fuel cell's electrical performance are discussed systematically by using a pseudo two-dimensional, two-phase PEM fuel cell model. It follows that the maximum power density point of a PEM fuel cell is strongly dependent on the combination of the inlet anode and cathode humidification conditions. Their influences, however, are predicted to be highly asymmetrical, with the anode and cathode humidification mainly affecting ohmic and concentration overpotential, respectively. The physical explanation to this asymmetry is given with the aid of a detailed set of simulation results. Finally, the developed understanding of their influences are employed to formulate two examples on the use of inlet relative humidity control as a simple and effective method for maximizing the volumetric power density and operating range of PEM fuel cell, respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11871-11885
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2011


  • Inlet relative humidity control
  • Optimization
  • Proton exchange membrane fuel cell
  • Water management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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