Numerical investigation of the performance of symmetric flow distributors as flow channels for PEM fuel cells

Bladimir Ramos Alvarado, Abel Hernandez-Guerrero, Daniel Juarez-Robles, Peiwen Li

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    31 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This work reports on the performance of a single PEM fuel cell using symmetric flow patterns as gas delivery channels. Three flow patterns, two symmetric and one serpentine, are taken from the literature on cooling of electronics and they are implemented in a computational model as gas flow channels in the anode and cathode side of a PEMFC. A commercial CFD code was used to solve the physics involved in a fuel cell namely: the flow field, the mass conservation, the energy conservation, the species transport, and the electric/ionic fields under the assumptions of steady state and single phase. An important feature of the current modeling efforts is the analysis of the main irreversibilities at different current densities showing the main energy dissipation phenomena in each cell design. Also, the hydraulic performance of the flow patterns was studied by evaluating the pressure drop and pumping power. The first part of this work reveals the advantages of using a serpentine pattern over the base symmetric distributors. The second part is an optimization of the symmetric patterns using the entropy minimization criteria. Such an optimization led to the creation of a flow structure that promotes an improved performance from the point of view of power generation, uniformity of current density, and low pumping power.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)436-448
    Number of pages13
    JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
    Volume37
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

    Fingerprint

    distributors
    channel flow
    Channel flow
    Flow patterns
    fuel cells
    Fuel cells
    flow distribution
    Current density
    optimization
    pumping
    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC)
    Flow structure
    current density
    Pressure drop
    Power generation
    Flow of gases
    Conservation
    Energy dissipation
    Flow fields
    Energy conservation

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
    • Fuel Technology
    • Condensed Matter Physics
    • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

    Cite this

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    title = "Numerical investigation of the performance of symmetric flow distributors as flow channels for PEM fuel cells",
    abstract = "This work reports on the performance of a single PEM fuel cell using symmetric flow patterns as gas delivery channels. Three flow patterns, two symmetric and one serpentine, are taken from the literature on cooling of electronics and they are implemented in a computational model as gas flow channels in the anode and cathode side of a PEMFC. A commercial CFD code was used to solve the physics involved in a fuel cell namely: the flow field, the mass conservation, the energy conservation, the species transport, and the electric/ionic fields under the assumptions of steady state and single phase. An important feature of the current modeling efforts is the analysis of the main irreversibilities at different current densities showing the main energy dissipation phenomena in each cell design. Also, the hydraulic performance of the flow patterns was studied by evaluating the pressure drop and pumping power. The first part of this work reveals the advantages of using a serpentine pattern over the base symmetric distributors. The second part is an optimization of the symmetric patterns using the entropy minimization criteria. Such an optimization led to the creation of a flow structure that promotes an improved performance from the point of view of power generation, uniformity of current density, and low pumping power.",
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    Numerical investigation of the performance of symmetric flow distributors as flow channels for PEM fuel cells. / Ramos Alvarado, Bladimir; Hernandez-Guerrero, Abel; Juarez-Robles, Daniel; Li, Peiwen.

    In: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol. 37, No. 1, 01.01.2012, p. 436-448.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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