0
Research Papers

The Effect of Nonuniform Under-Rib Convection on Reactant and Liquid Water Distribution in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

[+] Author and Article Information
P. K. Jithesh, T. Sundararajan

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Indian Institute of Technology Madras,
Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600036, India

Sarit K. Das

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Indian Institute of Technology Madras,
Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600036, India
e-mail: skdas@iitm.ac.in

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 3, 2014; final manuscript received March 2, 2015; published online May 27, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Abel Hernandez-Guerrero.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 12(4), 041003 (Aug 01, 2015) (8 pages) Paper No: FC-14-1015; doi: 10.1115/1.4030514 History: Received February 03, 2014; Revised March 02, 2015; Online May 27, 2015

The performance of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell strongly depends on the nature of reactant distribution and the effectiveness of liquid water removal. In this work, three different configurations of a mixed flow distributor are studied analytically and numerically to find out the effect of nonuniform under-rib convection on reactant and liquid water distribution in the cell. In a mixed flow distributor, the rate of under-rib convection is found to be different under each rib in the same flow sector which results in different rates of removal of liquid water. This helps to retain some water to hydrate the membrane, whereas the excess is removed to avoid flooding. It is found that under-rib convection aids to get better reactant distribution, reduces pressure drop, and provides better control over liquid water removal which is helpful in developing efficient water management strategies for PEM fuel cells.

FIGURES IN THIS ARTICLE
<>
Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.

References

Li, H., Tang, Y., Wang, Z., Shi, Z., Wu, S., Song, D., Zhang, J., Fatih, K., Zhang, J., Wang, H., Liu, Z., Abouatallah, R., and Mazza, A., 2008, “A Review of Water Flooding Issues in the Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell,” J. Power Sources, 178(1), pp. 103–117. [CrossRef]
Aiyejina, A., and Sastry, M. K. S., 2012, “PEMFC Flow Channel Geometry Optimization: A Review,” ASME J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol., 9(1), p. 011011. [CrossRef]
Li, Y.-S., Han, Y., and Zhan, J.-M., 2013, “Uniformity Analysis in Different Flow-Field Configurations of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell,” ASME J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol., 10(3), p. 031003. [CrossRef]
Choi, K.-S., Kim, B.-G., Park, K., and Kim, H.-M., 2012, “Current Advances in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells Based on the Promotional Role of Under-Rib Convection,” Fuel Cells, 12(6), pp. 908–938. [CrossRef]
Kanezaki, T., Li, X., and Baschuk, J., 2006, “Cross-Leakage Flow Between Adjacent Flow Channels in PEM Fuel Cells,” J. Power Sources, 162(1), pp. 415–425. [CrossRef]
Sun, L., Oosthuizen, P. H., and McAuley, K. B., 2006, “A Numerical Study of Channel-to-Channel Flow Cross-Over Through the Gas Diffusion Layer in a PEM-Fuel-Cell Flow System Using a Serpentine Channel With a Trapezoidal Cross-Sectional Shape,” Int. J. Therm. Sci., 45(10), pp. 1021–1026. [CrossRef]
Shi, Z., and Wang, X., 2008, “A Numerical Study of Flow Crossover Between Adjacent Flow Channels in a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell With Serpentine Flow Field,” J. Power Sources, 185(2), pp. 985–992. [CrossRef]
Suresh, P. V., Jayanti, S., Deshpande, A. P., and Haridoss, P., 2011, “An Improved Serpentine Flow Field With Enhanced Cross-Flow for Fuel Cell Applications,” Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 36(10), pp. 6067–6072. [CrossRef]
Park, K., Kim, H.-M., and Choi, K.-S., 2013, “Numerical and Experimental Verification of the Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Performances Enhanced by Under-Rib Convection,” Fuel Cells, 13(5), pp. 927–934. [CrossRef]
Bachman, J., Santamaria, A., Tang, H.-Y., and Park, J. W., 2012, “Investigation of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Parallel Flow Field With Induced Cross Flow,” J. Power Sources, 198(0), pp. 143–148. [CrossRef]
Bansode, A. S., Sundararajan, T., and Das, S. K., 2010, “Computational and Experimental Studies on the Effect of Flow-Distributors on the Performance of PEMFC,” ASME J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol., 7(5), p. 051014. [CrossRef]
Jithesh, P. K., Bansode, A. S., Sundararajan, T., and Das, S. K., 2012, “The Effect of Flow Distributors on the Liquid Water Distribution and Performance of a PEM Fuel Cell,” Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 37(22), pp. 17158–17171. [CrossRef]
Park, J., and Li, X., 2011, “An Analytical Analysis on the Cross Flow in a PEM Fuel Cell With Serpentine Flow Channel,” Int. J. Energy Res., 35(7), pp. 583–593. [CrossRef]
Bruus, H., 2008, Theoretical Microfluidics, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
Wang, Y., and Wang, C. Y., 2005, “Modeling Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells With Large Density and Velocity Changes,” J. Electrochem. Soc., 152(2), pp. A445–A453. [CrossRef]
Maharudrayya, S., Jayanti, S., and Deshpande, A. P., 2005, “Flow Distribution and Pressure Drop in Parallel-Channel Configurations of Planar Fuel Cells,” J. Power Sources, 144(1), pp. 94–106. [CrossRef]
Fluent, 2006, Fluent 6, User Guide and UDF Manual, Fluent Inc., Lebanon, NH.

Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Mixed flow distributor configurations: (a) 2 channel set, (b) 3 channel set, and (c) 4 channel set

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Resistance network for a flow sector in 3 channel set mixed flow distributor

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Flow chart for evaluating flow distribution in mixed distributor configurations

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Comparison of performance predicted by analytical and numerical models with experimental data

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Comparison of oxygen distribution predicted by analytical and numerical models

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

(a) Oxygen channel flow in 2 channel and 4 channel set configurations, (b) oxygen under-rib convection in 2 channel and 4 channel set configurations, and (c) oxygen channel flow and under-rib convection in 3 channel set configuration

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Average velocity of flow in the channels. (a) 2 channel set, (b) 3 channel set, and (c) 4 channel set configuration.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Comparison of pressure drop in different mixed distributor configurations

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Distribution of volume fraction of liquid water in the cathode catalyst layer. (a) 2 channel set, (b) 3 channel set, and (c) 4 channel set.

Tables

Errata

Discussions

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In