CFD analysis of a constructal flow distributor as a bipolar plate for PEMFCs

Bladimir Ramos-Alvarado, Abel Hernandez-Guerrero, Daniel Juarez-Robles, Cuauhtemoc Rubio-Arana, Francisco Vital-Flores

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

A plate-type constructal flow distributor is implemented as a gas distributor for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell. A 3D complete model is simulated using CFD techniques. The fuel cell model includes the gas flow channels, the gas diffusion layers and the membrane electrode assembly (MEA). The governing equations for the mass and momentum transfer are solved including the pertinent source terms due to the electrochemical reactions in the different zones of the fuel cell. Similar configurations have been already presented in previous studies but using the flow distributor as a heat remover; however, the similarity between heat transfer and mass transfer phenomena has lead to investigate the performance of such distributors in fuel cells. In terms of flow analysis, it was found that the constructal flow distributor presents a low pressure drop for a wide range of Reynolds number conditions at the inlet, as well as an excellent uniformity of flow distribution. Some of the advantages of the constructal model, over traditional flow patterns, are the uniformity of current density distribution, the adequate consumption of species and the possibility to increase the bifurcation levels to cover a larger reaction area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition 2009, IMECE 2009
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
Pages641-649
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9780791843796
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010
Event2009 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE2009 - Lake Buena Vista, FL, United States
Duration: Nov 13 2009Nov 19 2009

Publication series

NameASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings
Volume6

Other

Other2009 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE2009
CountryUnited States
CityLake Buena Vista, FL
Period11/13/0911/19/09

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Ramos-Alvarado, B., Hernandez-Guerrero, A., Juarez-Robles, D., Rubio-Arana, C., & Vital-Flores, F. (2010). CFD analysis of a constructal flow distributor as a bipolar plate for PEMFCs. In Proceedings of the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition 2009, IMECE 2009 (pp. 641-649). (ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings; Vol. 6). American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).