Kätzel, J.; Markötter, H.; Arlt, T.; Klages, M.; Haußmann, J.; Messerschmidt, M.; Kardjilov, N.; Scholta, J.; Banhart, J.; Manke, I.: Effect of ageing of gas diffusion layers on the water distribution in flow field channels of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. Journal of Power Sources 301 (2016), p. 386-391

We present a quantitative analysis of the influence of artificial ageing of gas diffusion layers (GDL) on the water distribution and transport in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) during cell operation. Water droplet size distributions are measured by means of in-operando neutron radiography. We find a strong correlation between droplet size distribution and GDL ageing time: With increasing GDL ageing, water droplet sizes in the flow field channels strongly decrease, indicating an ineffective water transport that leads to a reduced cell performance. This effect can be assigned to water accumulations on the GDL surface that block the gas supply towards the catalyst layer.