Modeling three-dimensional complex flow-fields of proton exchange membrane fuel cells with large gas density change in cathode

Jinyong Kim, Chao Yang Wang

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

Abstract

Three-dimensional (3D) complex flow-fields of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells have attracted much attention owing to their excellent liquid water management and mass transport. However, due to their complex flow structure, PEMFCs with 3D complex flow-fields suffer from large pressure drops (> 0.1 bar) and hence large density variations along the flow direction, especially at high current density operations. In this work, the effect of gas density variation due to the frictional pressure loss is considered in the current three-dimensional computational model using the multi-phase mixture (M 2 ) formulation, in order to elucidate the effect of frictional loss on cell performance. The current work shows that the gas density drop in flow-fields can be significant at high current densities (20% at 3.0 A cm -2 and 30% at 4.0 A cm -2 ) and causes gas flow expansion, resulting in better liquid water management in flow-fields and gas diffusion layers (GDL) due to the gradually increasing gaseous viscous force along the flow direction. However, it is also pointed out that the gas density drop in cathode flow-fields results in cell performance loss due to lower oxygen concentrations (15mV voltage loss at 0.5 bar pressure drop, 60mV voltage loss at 0.78 bar pressure drop).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEnergy
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
ISBN (Electronic)9780791852071
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
EventASME 2018 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2018 - Pittsburgh, United States
Duration: Nov 9 2018Nov 15 2018

Publication series

NameASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE)
Volume6A-144113

Other

OtherASME 2018 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2018
CountryUnited States
CityPittsburgh
Period11/9/1811/15/18

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Modeling three-dimensional complex flow-fields of proton exchange membrane fuel cells with large gas density change in cathode'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Kim, J., & Wang, C. Y. (2018). Modeling three-dimensional complex flow-fields of proton exchange membrane fuel cells with large gas density change in cathode. In Energy (ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE); Vol. 6A-144113). American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). https://doi.org/10.1115/IMECE2018-88388