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Article

Simulation-Aided PEM Fuel Cell Design and Performance Evaluation

[+] Author and Article Information
Junxiao Wu1

 Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems, Mississippi State University, Box 5405, Mississippi State, MS 39762 USA

Qingyun Liu

 Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems, Mississippi State University, Box 5405, Mississippi State, MS 39762 USA

1

Corresponding author. E-mail: jwu@cavs.msstate.edu

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 2(1), 20-28 (Sep 29, 2004) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1840819 History: Received April 01, 2004; Revised September 29, 2004

A multi-resolution fuel cell simulation strategy has been employed to simulate and evaluate the design and performance of hydrogen PEM fuel cells with different flow channels. A full 3D model is employed for the gas diffusion layer and a 1D+2D model is applied to the catalyst layer. Further, a quasi-1D method is used to model the flow channels. The cathode half-cell simulation was performed for three types of flow channels: serpentine, parallel, and interdigitated. Simulations utilized the same overall operating conditions. Comparisons of results indicate that the interdigitated flow channel is the optimal design under the specified operating conditions.

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Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

The schematic of the simulation setup: (a ) for serpentine channel, the schematic shows the x-z plane cross-section at y=0.01m and for the parallel and the interdigitated flow channels, the x-y plane cross-section at z=0.01m is shown. (b )–(d ) The top views of the flow patterns with the shaded area covered by channel ribs for the serpentine, parallel, and interdigitated flow patterns, respectively.

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Figure 2

The simulation grid at the GDL and gas channel interface for the serpentine flow patterns. The GDL grid is shown in thinner lines while the serpentine gas channel grid is in thicker ones.

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Figure 3

3D pressure (Pa) distributions for various channels: (a ) serpentine, (b ) parallel, and (c ) interdigitated

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Figure 4

Catalyst interface distributions for the serpentine channel with the cathode overpotential at −0.45V: (a ) current density (A∕cm2); (b ) pressure (Pa); (c ) oxygen mass fraction; and (d ) water mass fraction

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Figure 5

Catalyst interface distributions for the parallel channel with the cathode overpotential at −0.45V: (a ) current density (A∕cm2); (b ) pressure (Pa); (c ) oxygen mass fraction; and (d ) water mass fraction

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Figure 6

Catalyst interface distributions for the interdigitated channel with the cathode overpotential at −0.45V: (a ) current density (A∕cm2); (b ) pressure (Pa); (c ) oxygen mass fraction; and (d ) water mass fraction

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Figure 7

Comparisons of the current density variation as a percentage of the respective average current density for the three channels

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Figure 8

Comparisons of the polarization curves for the three channels

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