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Research Paper

Humidification Effects of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell With Conventional and Interdigitated Flow Field

[+] Author and Article Information
Qi-fei Jian

e-mail: qfjian@126.com

Kai Xiao

School of Mechanical and
Automobile Engineering,
South China University of Technology,
Guangzhou, Guangdong 510640, China

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FUEL CELL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received February 21, 2012; final manuscript received July 18, 2013; published online September 17, 2013. Editor: Nigel M. Sammes.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 10(6), 061007 (Sep 17, 2013) (10 pages) Paper No: FC-12-1015; doi: 10.1115/1.4025075 History: Received February 21, 2012; Revised July 18, 2013

A three-dimensional and steady-state model was developed to explore the effects of fuel gas humidification on cell performance for conventional and interdigitated flow fields in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Effects on the current density, temperature difference, and water content have been simulated and analyzed, respectively, with conventional and interdigitated flow field when the humidification in the anode or cathode is from 25% to 100%, respectively. The numerical results show that, when RHa (the anode-side relative humidity) is 100%, the current density decreases as RHc (the cathode-side relative humidity) increases with conventional flow field, but for PEMFC with interdigitated flow field, the current density increases first and then decreases as RHc increases. When RHc ranges from 50% to 75%, temperature difference on the membrane has little change. Membrane water content for PEMFC with interdigitated flow field is higher, with the maximum water content 16.67 at cell voltage of 0.4 V.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic of the flow fields. (a) Conventional flow field and (b) interdigitated flow field.

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Fig. 2

3D structure of PEMFCs. (a) PEMFC with conventional flow field and (b) PEMFC with interdigitated flow field.

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Fig. 3

Sectional view of PEMFCs. (a) PEMFC with conventional flow field and (b) PEMFC with interdigitated flow field.

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Fig. 4

Cross section of the model computational mesh. (a) PEMFC with conventional flow field and (b) PEMFC with interdigitated flow field.

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Fig. 5

Effects of anode humidification on current density of PEMFC with conventional flow field

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Fig. 6

Effects of anode humidification on current density of PEMFC with interdigitated flow field

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Fig. 7

Effects of cathode humidification on current density of PEMFC with conventional flow field

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Fig. 8

Effects of cathode humidification on current density of PEMFC with interdigitated flow field

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Fig. 9

Effects of anode humidification on PEM temperature difference of PEMFC with conventional flow field

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Fig. 10

Effects of anode humidification on PEM temperature difference of PEMFC with interdigitated flow field

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Fig. 11

Effects of cathode humidification on PEM temperature difference of PEMFC with conventional flow field

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Fig. 12

Effects of cathode humidification on PEM temperature difference of PEMFC with interdigitated flow field

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Fig. 13

Distribution of membrane water content at the interface between PEM and CL on the cathode side of PEMFC with conventional flow field: (a) V = 0.8 V; (b) V = 0.6 V; (c) V = 0.4 V

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Fig. 14

Distribution of membrane water content at the interface between PEM and CL on the cathode side of PEMFC with interdigitated flow field: (a) V = 0.8 V; (b) V = 0.6 V; (c) V = 0.4 V

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