Capabilities and Limitations of 3D-CFD Simulation of Anode Flow Fields of High-Pressure PEM Water Electrolysis

Christoph Haas, Alexander Trattner, Marie-Gabrielle Macherhammer, Nejc Klopcic

Research output: Working paperPreprint


In this work, single-phase (liquid water) and two-phase (liquid water and gaseous oxygen) 3D-CFD flow analysis of the anode of a high pressure PEM electrolysis cell was conducted. 3D-CFD simulation models of the anode side porous transport layer of a PEM electrolyzer cell were created for the flow analysis. For the geometrical modelling of the PTL, two approaches were used: (a) modelling the exact geometry and (b) modelling a simplified geometry using a porosity model. Before conducting two-phase simulations, the model was validated using a single-phase approach. The Eulerian multiphase and the volume-of-fluid approaches were used for the two-phase modelling and the results were compared. Furthermore, a small section of the PTL was isolated to focus on the gas bubble flow and behaviour in more detail. The results showed plausible tendencies regarding pressure drop, velocity distribution and gas volume fraction distribution. The simplified geometry using the porous model could adequately replicate the results of the exact geometry model with a significant reduction in simulation time. The developed simulation model can be used for further investigations and gives insight into two-phase flow phenomena in the PTL. Additionally, the information obtained from simulation can aid the design and evaluation of new PTL structures
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NamePreprints - the Multidisciplinary Platform
PublisherMDPI AG


  • PEM Water Electrolysis
  • numerical simulation; two-phase flow analysis
  • numerical simulation

Fields of Expertise

  • Mobility & Production


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