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Research Papers

The Effect of Cell Temperature and Channel Geometry on the Performance of a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell

[+] Author and Article Information
Mojtaba Parvizi Omran

Mousa Farhadi1

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering,  Babol University of Technology, P.O. Box 484, Babol, Iran 4714871167mfarhadi@nit.ac.ir

Kurosh Sedighi

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering,  Babol University of Technology, P.O. Box 484, Babol, Iran 4714871167ksedighi@nit.ac.ir

1

Corresponding author.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 8(6), 061004 (Sep 26, 2011) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4004640 History: Received October 20, 2010; Accepted July 13, 2011; Published September 26, 2011; Online September 26, 2011

A 3D, single phase steady-state model has been developed for liquid feed direct methanol fuel cell. The model is implemented into the commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software package FLUENT® v6.2, with its user-defined functions (UDFs). The continuity, momentum, and species conservation equations are coupled with electrochemical kinetics in the anode and cathode channel and MEA. For electro chemical kinetics, the Tafel equation is used at both the anode and cathode sides. Results are validated against DMFC experimental data with reasonable agreement and used to study the effects of cell temperature, channel depth, and channel width on polarization curve, power density and crossover rate. The results show that the increasing operational temperature, the limiting current density and peak of power density increase and subsequently crossover increases too. It is also shown that the increasing of channel width is a beneficial way for improving cell performance at a methanol concentration below 1 M.

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Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

(a) 3D schematic diagram of modeling domain and (b) 2D cross section geometry

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Figure 2

(a) Generated mesh in gambit software and (b) mesh size used for different layer

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Figure 3

Comparison of numerical results with experimental data [25]

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Figure 4

(a) Polarization curve and (b) power density at different cell temperature

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Figure 5

Effect of cell temperature on the rate of methanol crossover

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Figure 6

Effect of the channel depth on (a) polarization curve and (b) power density

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Figure 7

Effect of channel depth on the rate of methanol crossover

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Figure 8

Effect of the channel width on (a) polarization curve and (b) power density

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Figure 9

Methanol concentration distribution for different cross section along the channel at channel width: (a) 1.0 mm and (b) 1.5 mm

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Figure 10

Effect of channel width on the rate of methanol crossover

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