The objective was to develop a semi-empirical model that would simulate the performance of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells without extensive calculations. A fuel cell mathematical module has been designed and constructed to determine the performance of a PEM fuel cell. The influence of some operating parameters on the performance of PEM fuel cell has been investigated using pure hydrogen on the anode side and oxygen on the cathode side. The present model can be used to investigate the influence of process variables for design optimization of fuel cells, stacks, and complete fuel cell power system. The possible mechanisms of the parameter effects and their interrelationships are discussed. In order to assess the validity of the developed model a real PEM fuel cell system has been used to generate experimental data. The comparison shows good agreements between the modelling results and the experimental data. The model is shown a very useful for estimating the performance of PEM fuel cell stacks and optimization of fuel cell system integration and operation.