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PEM Fuel Cells by Ken S. Chen, Yun Wang

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2.1 THERMODYNAMICS

Thermodynamics is a branch of physical science, which deals with energy and its conversion among heat (thermal energy), work (or mechanical energy), electricity (or electrical energy), and other forms of energy. Since PEM fuel cells are energy converters, thermodynamics is useful in analyzing the fuel-cell theoretical conversion efficiency or the upper bound of electrical energy that can be withdrawn. In this section, we first introduce important thermodynamic concepts that are closely related to PEM fuel cell operation as well as water and thermal management. Secondly, we will discuss the fundamentals related to the reversible thermodynamic potential and its determining parameters.

In addition to the fundamental laws of ...

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