Mathematical development of preliminary performance/design equations for a hydrogen/air, solid polymer acid electrolyte based fuel cell is presented. The development is based on the principles of transport phenomena, intrinsic electrochemical kinetics, and classical thermodynamics. The developed formulation is intended to quantitatively describe the mass fraction profiles of the chemical species, hydrogen and oxygen, in the cell anode and cathode diffusion and electrocatalytic reaction layers as a function of the distance in the proton transport direction at an axial distance parallel to the cell anode or cathode channel flow. Given the cell geometry, chemical species and charge transport, and intrinsic electrochemical kinetic parameters, the developed formulation can be employed to compute the species local mass fluxes and predict the cell anode and cathode cell overvoltages for a desired geometric current density. The presented single cell performance predictive formulation has also been linked to the formulation needed to predict the performance of a stack of a number of identical PEMFCs connected in series.