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PEM Fuel Cells by Ken S. Chen, Yun Wang

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6.4 WATER DROPLET DYNAMICS AT THE GDL/GFC INTERFACE

At the cathode GDL/GFC interface, oxygen is transported toward the cathode catalyst layer to provide reactant for the ORR, whereas product water enters the GFC and is eventually removed out of the channel. The interfacial transport resistance can be significant when liquid water appears. Optical visualizations, see Figure 6-59, show that liquid water exists as droplets on the GDL surface; it is taken away by the gas flow or is attached to the channel walls. Liquid droplet dynamics at the GDL/GFC interface consists of three sub-processes: (1) liquid water transport from the catalyst layer to the GDL/GFC interface via capillary action; (2) droplet removal at the GDL/GFC interface via detachment ...

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