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Three Dimensional Model of a High Temperature PEMFC. Study of the Flow Field Effect on Performance

Lookup NU author(s): Tiago Sousa, Professor Mohamed MamloukORCiD, Emeritus Professor Keith Scott


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A three-dimensional isothermal model of a high temperature polymer membrane fuel cell equipped with polybenzimidazole membrane is described. All major transport phenomena were taken into account except the species crossover through the membrane. The cathode catalyst layer was treated as spherical catalyst agglomerates with porous inter-agglomerate spaces. The inter-agglomerate spaces were filled with a mixture of electrolyte (hot phosphoric acid) and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). This approach proved to be an essential requirement for accurate simulation. In this particular paper, the influence of different flow field designs and dimensions on performance was intensely study. Traditional configurations were tested (straight, serpentine, pin-in, and interdigitated), and new designs were proposed. With these new designs, we tried to maximize performance by providing homogeneous reactants distribution over the active area keeping low-pressure drop and relatively high velocity. The dimension and position of the inlet and outlet manifolds were also analyzed. From the obtained results a massive influence of the manifolds position and dimension on performance was observed. This fact can provide important guidelines for future bipolar plates optimization.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sousa T, Mamlouk M, Scott K, Rangel CM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Fuel Cells

Year: 2012

Volume: 12

Issue: 4

Pages: 566-576

Print publication date: 15/06/2012

ISSN (print): 1615-6846

ISSN (electronic): 1615-6854

Publisher: Wiley - VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA


DOI: 10.1002/fuce.201100197


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