Models are a fundamental tool for the design process of fuel cells and fuel cell systems. In this work, a steady-state, one-dimensional model accounting for coupled heat and mass transfer, along with the electrochemical reactions occurring in the DMFC, is presented. The model output is the temperature profile through the cell and the water balance and methanol crossover between the anode and the cathode. The model predicts the correct trends for the influence of current density and methanol feed concentration on both methanol and water crossover. The model estimates the net water transfer coefficient through the membrane, α, a very important parameter to describe water management in the DMFC. Suitable operating ranges can be set up for different MEA structures maintaining the crossover of methanol and water within acceptable levels. The model is rapidly implemented and is therefore suitable for inclusion in real-time system level DMFC calculations. © 2008 International Association for Hydrogen Energy.
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