Characterization of the dynamic response of proton exchange membrane fuel cells - A numerical study

Ka Hong Loo, K. H. Wong, S. C. Tan, Y. M. Lai, Chi Kong Tse

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


The dynamic response of PEM (Proton exchange membrane) fuel cells is a complex phenomenon which is affected by numerous factors related to their designs and operating conditions. Despite that experimental data is available in the literature, a systematic numerical study to explain the dynamic behavior of PEM fuel cells is currently unavailable. In this paper, a one-dimensional, two-phase, dynamic model of PEM fuel cell is developed to achieve this principal objective. Transient profiles of cell voltage, activation and ohmic over-potentials, saturation level of liquid water, oxygen concentration, and membrane water content are predicted under various operating conditions. Under constant fuel and air flow rates, it is found that the cell voltage exhibits undershoot behavior following a step increase in current density due to the inherent time delay experienced by the redistribution of membrane water content with a response time of ∼50 s. The undershoot is followed by an overshoot in the presence of flooding with a significantly longer predicted response time of ∼150-200 s. It is found that the various operating conditions mainly affect the specific details of the undershoot and overshoot profiles without changing their general behavioral forms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11861-11877
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2010


  • Characteristic time
  • Dynamic behavior
  • PEM fuel cell
  • Polymer electrolyte fuel cell
  • Transient response
  • Water flooding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of the dynamic response of proton exchange membrane fuel cells - A numerical study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this