A New Fuel Cell Degradation Model Indexed by Proton Exchange Membrane Thickness Derived from Polarization Curve

Jianwei Li, Lei Luo, Qingqing Yang, Rui Ma

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper has developed a thickness-polarization degradation model based on the experimental data and polarization curves to model the degradation process of the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) refereeing proton exchange membrane (PEM) thickness. The PEM thickness, coupling with the PEMFC’s voltage and current density changes with the aging process. In this study, the data of PEMFC’s voltage and current density are obtained from the test bench under specific conditions. A new semi-empirical model adopted from the classic degradation model has been reconstructed as a form of voltage changing with current density and PEM thickness. A reverse fitting approach is developed to deal with the semi-empirical model to decouple the PEM thickness against operation time from the voltage and current density. As a result, the relationship between the PEM thickness and PEMFC’s operation time can be described as a rational fraction with second-order numerator and first-order denominator. In the proposed PEM thickness-polarization degradation model, the PEM thickness changing mechanism as the rational fraction is substituted into the reconstructed semi-empirical model. Consequently, the timediscrete polarization curves are converted as the time-continuous form, enabling the real-time estimation of PEMFC’s State of Health (SoH). The derived continuous polarization curve is verified by comparing it with the experimental time-discrete polarization curves showing more than 94.4% accuracy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5061-5073
    Number of pages13
    JournalIEEE Transactions on Transportation Electrification
    Issue number4
    Early online date11 Jul 2022
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:


    • Aging
    • Data models
    • Degradation
    • degradation modeling
    • Fuel cells
    • Indexes
    • membrane thickness degradation
    • Proton exchange membrane fuel cell
    • Protons
    • Thickness measurement
    • time-continuous polarization curves

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Automotive Engineering
    • Transportation
    • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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