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Research Papers

The Numerical Study of Geometric Influence of Flow Channel Patterns on Performance of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

[+] Author and Article Information
Chiun-Hsun Chen, Chang-Hsin Chen

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  National Chiao Tung University, EE506, 1001 University Road,Hsinchu, Taiwan 300, Republic of China

Tang-Yuan Chen1

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  National Chiao Tung University, EE506, 1001 University Road,Hsinchu, Taiwan 300, Republic of Chinatychen.me95g@nctu.edu.tw

1

Corresponding author.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 9(2), 021015 (Mar 19, 2012) (17 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005615 History: Received March 27, 2011; Revised October 11, 2011; Published March 12, 2012; Online March 19, 2012

This study numerically investigates how the geometry of flow pattern influences performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), and analyzes how these parameters lead to different distributions of model variables. The investigation focuses on the impact of different bend angle and width of serpentine flow channels and tests how they improve the performance. Three-dimensional simulations are carried out with a steady, two-phase, multicomponent and electrochemical model, using CFD-ACE+, the commercial CFD code. Through simulation with various bend angles and widths, the results show that the combination of 60 deg and 120 deg for flow pattern achieves the highest performance at low operating voltage regime, and flow pattern with wider bend width also produces more current at low operating voltages. Plots of current density indicate that high current density locates at the bending areas of the channels. Therefore, the output current densities of each pattern are improved from the change of bend angle and width.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Flow field pattern in PEMFC (a) 45–135; (b) 60–120; (c) 90–90, respectively

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Figure 2

Flow field pattern in PEMFC (a) 1007; (b) 1010; (c) 1020, respectively

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Figure 3

Schematic of the PEMFC mass transport model [21]

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Figure 4

Numerical flow chart of current study

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Figure 5

Comparison of current model result with Santarelli and Torchio at 323 K

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Figure 6

Polarization curves of flow patterns with three different bend angles

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Figure 7

The specified number for each bend entrance along anodic flow channel where the corresponding values of Pe number are obtained

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Figure 8

The inverse of Peclet number at each bend entrance

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Figure 9

Distributions of current density in the membrane 0.4 V: (a) 45–135 flow pattern; (b) 60–120 flow pattern; (c) 90–90 flow pattern

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Figure 10

Distributions of temperature in the membrane at 0.4 V: (a) 45–135 flow pattern; (b) 60–120 flow pattern; (c) 90–90 flow pattern

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Figure 11

Average value of temperature in the membrane versus current density

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Figure 12

Distributions of saturation on the interface between cathodic GDL and catalyst layer

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Figure 13

Distributions of water content in membrane at 0.4 V: (a) 45–135 flow pattern; (b) 60–120 flow pattern; (c) 90–90 flow pattern

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Figure 14

Average value of membrane water content and membrane electrical resistance versus current density

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Figure 15

Polarization curves of flow patterns with three different bend widths

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Figure 16

The inverse of Peclet number at each bend entrance

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Figure 17

Distributions of current density in membrane at 0.4 V: (a) 1007 flow pattern; (b) 90–90 flow pattern; (c) 1020 flow pattern

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Figure 18

Distributions of temperature in membrane at 0.4 V: (a) 1007 flow pattern; (b) 90–90 flow pattern; (c) 1020 flow pattern

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Figure 19

Average value of temperature in membrane versus current density

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Figure 20

Distributions of saturation on the interface between cathodic GDL and catalyst layer

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Figure 21

Distributions of water content in membrane at 0.4 V: (a) 1007 flow pattern; (b) 90–90 flow pattern; (c) 1020 flow pattern

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Figure 22

Average value of membrane water content and membrane electrical resistance versus current density

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