Review of the Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling of Fuel Cells

[+] Author and Article Information
L. Ma

Centre for Computational Fluid DynamicsL.Ma@leeds.ac.uk

D. B. Ingham

Department of Applied MathematicsD.B.Ingham@leeds.ac.uk

M. Pourkashanian

Energy Resources Research Institute,  University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UKM.Pourkashanian@leeds.ac.uk

E. Carcadea

 National R&D Institute for Cryogenics and Isotopic Technologies, 240050, PO Box 10, Rm. Valcea, Romanialilicarcadea@yahoo.com

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 2(4), 246-257 (Apr 05, 2005) (12 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2039958 History: Received November 02, 2004; Revised April 05, 2005

This paper presents a review of the current situation in the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling of fuel cells and highlights the significant challenges that lie ahead in the development of a comprehensive CFD model for fuel cell applications. The paper focuses on the issues concerned with solid oxide fuel cells and proton exchange membrane fuel cells because these are the two most poplar and probably the most promising types of fuel cells for both stationary and transport applications. However, the general principles presented in this paper are applicable to all types of fuel cells.

Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Schematic diagram of a hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell

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Figure 2

Schematic diagram of the overpotential as a function of the log of the current density. The linear plot is from the Tafel equation (see, for example, (22))

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Figure 3

CFD modeling strategy for fuel cells

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Figure 4

Typical velocity vectors and mixture density contours in the gas channel and the diffusion layers of the PEMFC (29)

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Figure 5

Fluid velocity vectors for the secondary flows in a SOFC (41)

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Figure 6

Mass concentration of H2 in the active area of a cross flow planar SOFC stack, kg∕kg×100(42)

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Figure 7

Current density distribution in the active area of a cross flow planer SOFC stack, A∕cm2(42)

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Figure 8

Temperature distribution in the active area of a cross flow planar SOFC stack, °C (42)

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Figure 9

Schematic diagram of the potential polarization in a fuel cell

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Figure 10

Comparison between the CFD model predictions and the experimental data for a coflow PEMFC fuel cell (27)

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Figure 11

Water production rate (×10−11kg∕s) on the membrane surface of the anode (a) and cathode (b) sides for low humidity conditions (a negative sign indicates consumption) (29)

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Figure 12

Water vapor mass fraction in the gas phase mixture and the liquid saturation field in a two-dimensional cathode gas channel and the gas diffuser: (a) water vapor mass fraction and (b) liquid saturation. A moisturized air is fed from the left-hand end of the gas channel and discharged from the right (28).

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Figure 13

Comparison of the polarizations of a single-channel PEMFC unit computed with and without the two-phase model (see (50)).




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