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Research Papers

Accelerated Numerical Test of Liquid Behavior Across Gas Diffusion Layer in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Cathode

[+] Author and Article Information
Kui Jiao1

Department of Mechanical, Automotive and Materials Engineering, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON, N9B 3P4, Canada

Biao Zhou2

Department of Mechanical, Automotive and Materials Engineering, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON, N9B 3P4, Canadabzhou@uwindsor.ca

1

Present address: Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, N2L 3G1, Canada. e-mail: kjiao@uwaterloo.ca

2

Corresponding author.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 5(4), 041011 (Sep 11, 2008) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2971020 History: Received January 10, 2007; Revised December 14, 2007; Published September 11, 2008

Liquid water transport inside proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells is one of the key challenges for water management in a PEM fuel cell. Investigation of the air-water flow patterns inside fuel cell gas flow channels with gas diffusion layer (GDL) would provide valuable information that could be used in fuel cell design and optimization. This paper presents an accelerated numerical investigation of air-water flow across a GDL with a serpentine channel on PEM fuel cell cathode by use of a commercial computational fluid dynamics software package FLUENT . Detailed flow patterns with air-water across the porous media were investigated and discussed.

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Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Schematic of PEM fuel cell operation

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Figure 2

Computation domain

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Figure 4

Water distribution in 3D view ((a) t=0, (b) t=0.024s, (c) t=0.03s, and (d) t=0.032s)

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Figure 5

Water distribution and velocity field on the catalyst layer (z=0.0011m) ((a) t=0, (b) t=0.024s, (c) t=0.03s, and (d) t=0.032s)

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Figure 6

Water distribution in 3D view ((a) t=0.033s, (b) t=0.034s, (c) t=0.035s, and (d) t=0.04s)

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Figure 7

Water distribution and velocity field on the catalyst layer (z=0.0011m) ((a) t=0.033s, (b) t=0.034s, (c) t=0.035s, and (d) t=0.04s)

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Figure 8

Water distribution and velocity field on the plane at y=0.0005m (2 along the z-direction) ((a) t=0.03s, (b) t=0.04s, (c) t=0.05s, (d) t=0.07s, and (e) t=0.1s)

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Figure 9

Water distribution and velocity field on the vertical planes at t=0.06s ((a) x=0.003m, (b) x=0.0075m, and (c) x=0.0148m)

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Figure 10

Water distribution in 3D view ((a) t=0.06s, (b) t=0.07s, (c) t=0.09s, and (d) t=0.1s)

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Figure 11

Water distribution and velocity field on the GDL (z=0.0009m) ((a) t=0.115s, (b) t=0.12s, (c) t=0.13s, and (d) t=0.15s)

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Figure 12

Water distribution and velocity field on the plane at y=0.0005m (2 along the z-direction) ((a) t=0.11s, (b) t=0.15s, (c) t=0.17s, (d) t=0.175s, and (e) t=0.18s)

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Figure 13

Water distribution in 3D view ((a) t=0.15s, (b) t=0.17s, (c) t=0.175s, and (d) t=0.18s)

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Figure 14

Water amount inside the MEA versus time

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