An open-source toolbox for PEM fuel cell simulation

Jean Paul Kone, Xinyu Zhang, Yuying Yan, Stephen Adegbite

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper, an open-source toolbox that can be used to accurately predict the distribution of the major physical quantities that are transported within a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell is presented. The toolbox has been developed using the Open Source Field Operation and Manipulation (OpenFOAM) platform, which is an open-source computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code. The base case results for the distribution of velocity, pressure, chemical species, Nernst potential, current density, and temperature are as expected. The plotted polarization curve was compared to the results from a numerical model and experimental data taken from the literature. The conducted simulations have generated a significant amount of data and information about the transport processes that are involved in the operation of a PEM fuel cell. The key role played by the concentration constant in shaping the cell polarization curve has been explored. The development of the present toolbox is in line with the objectives outlined in the International Energy Agency (IEA, Paris, France) Advanced Fuel Cell Annex 37 that is devoted to developing open-source computational tools to facilitate fuel cell technologies. The work therefore serves as a basis for devising additional features that are not always feasible with a commercial code.

Original languageEnglish
Article number38
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Modelling
  • Numerical
  • Open-source code
  • Proton exchange membrane fuel cell
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science (all)
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Applied Mathematics


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