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Research Papers

Influence of Flow Channel Design on the Flow Pressure Drop and the Performance of Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

[+] Author and Article Information
Yong-Sheen Hwang, Suk-Won Cha, Hoon Choi

 Seoul National University, San 56-1, Shinlim-Dong, Kwanak-Gu, Seoul, 151-741, Korea

Dae-Young Lee, Seo Young Kim

 Korea Institute of Science and Technology, 66 Hoegiro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, 130-741, Korea

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 6(1), 011023 (Nov 26, 2008) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2972166 History: Received June 17, 2007; Revised October 10, 2007; Published November 26, 2008

We investigated the optimum flow channel design for direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). Especially, we explored the effect of the pressure drop across the inlet and outlet on the performance of the DMFCs with various flow channel designs. In DMFC systems, the optimization of such parameters are critical to minimize the power usage by the auxiliary devices, such as fuel pump and blowers. In this paper, we present how the pressure drop control may determine the optimal driving point of the DMFC stack. Also, we show how the optimal fuel utilization ratio may be achieved, without degrading the performance of DMFC stacks. Overall, we discuss how the flow channel design affects the selection of the balance of plant (BOP) components, the design of the DMFC system, and the efficiency of the entire system.

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Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Variation of the differential pressure at different channel depths (calculated result)

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Figure 2

Wetbulb temperature of the entrance region

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Figure 3

Variation of the moisture flow rate at different temperatures (current density=150mA∕cm2)

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Figure 4

Variation of the moisture flow rate at different temperatures (current density=150mA∕cm2)

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Figure 5

Transient variation of the voltage at 100mA∕cm2

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Figure 6

Result of the FFT analysis of the voltage variation at 100mA∕cm2

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Figure 7

DMFC performance with respect to temperature at a channel depth of 1mm

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Figure 8

Magnitude of the fluctuation with respect to stoichiometry with a fixed channel depth of 1mm

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Figure 9

DMFC performance with respect to channel depth at a temperature of 60°C

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Figure 10

Variation of the voltage with respect to stoichiometry with a fixed current density of 100mA∕cm2 at a temperature of 60°C

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Figure 11

Magnitude of the fluctuation with respect to stoichiometry at 60°C

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