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TECHNICAL BRIEFS

Innovative Flow-Field Combination Design on Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Performance

[+] Author and Article Information
Guo-Bin Jung

Fuel Cell Center and Department of Mechanical Engineering, Yuan Ze University, Chung-Li, Taoyuan, 320, Taiwanguobin@saturn.yzu.edu.tw

Ay Su, Fang-Bor Weng, Shih-Hung Chan

Fuel Cell Center and Department of Mechanical Engineering, Yuan Ze University, Chung-Li, Taoyuan, 320, Taiwan

Cheng-Hsin Tu

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Yuan Ze University, Chung-Li, Taoyuan, 320, Taiwan

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 4(3), 365-368 (May 23, 2006) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2744056 History: Received June 28, 2005; Revised May 23, 2006

The flow-field design of direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) is an important subject about DMFC performance. Flow fields play an important role in the ability to transport fuel and drive out the products (H2O,CO2). In general, most fuel cells utilize the same structure of flow field for both anode and cathode. The popular flow fields used for DMFCs are parallel and grid designs. Nevertheless, the characteristics of reactants and products are entirely different in anode and cathode of DMFCs. Therefore, the influences of flow fields design on cell performance were investigated based on the same logic with respect to the catalyst used for cathode and anode nonsymmetrically. To get a better and more stable performance of DMFCs, three flow fields (parallel, grid, and serpentine) utilized with different combinations were studied in this research. As a consequence, by using parallel flow field in the anode side and serpentine flow-field in the cathode, the highest power output was obtained.

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Figures

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Figure 3

Constant-current (4A, 160mAcm−2) discharge performance of three DMFCs with different flow fields (anode-cathode, 70°C, O2, 150ml∕min, MeOH (2M) 5ml∕min)

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Figure 4

Constant-current (4A, 160mAcm−2) discharge performance of DMFCs with different flow-field combinations (anode-cathode, 70°C, O2150ml∕min, MeOH (2M) 5ml∕min)

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Figure 5

I-E characteristics of a DMFC operating with different flow fields in the anode and serpentine in the cathode

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Figure 2

I-E characteristics of a DMFC operating with different flow fields (anode-cathode, 70°C, O2150ml∕min, MeOH (2M) 5ml∕min)

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Figure 1

Investigated flow fields for DMFC. (a) parallel, (b) serpentine, and (c) grid

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