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Design and investigation of novel gradient flow fields for proton exchange membrane fuel cell

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Cheng Chin


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Ensuring sufficient gas supply and high distribution uniformity are crucial issues in the flow field design to improve the performance and durability of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). However, previous studies often ignore the gas-water distribution variations along the flow direction and adopt identical design for the entire flow field, resulting in unsatisfactory performance. To fill in this gap, this paper innovatively proposes two types of gradient flow field (gradient narrowing and gradient droplet) considering the gas-water distribution characteristics. The channel of the gradient narrowing flow field gradually decreases in all directions along the flow direction, and the gradient droplet flow field is composed of staggered droplet blocks, and the distribution density gradually decreases along the flow direction. The Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to an Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) method is used for the comprehensive evaluation of flow fields. The results demonstrate that the gradient flow field can significantly improve the performance and physical field distribution. The gradient narrowing flow field has the best performance, with 11.39 % improvement in peak power density, 77.96 % increment in average oxygen mass fraction, and 43.11 % improvement in oxygen uniformity compared to parallel flow field. Further, the key geometric parameters sensitivity analysis of gradient narrowing flow field is carried out. This study contributes to understanding the underlying mechanism of mass transfer properties in the novel gradient flow field, and exploring its potential for high-performance flow fields design.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cai L, Liang C, Zhang CZ, Wang Y, Peng T, Fan M, Li R, Chin CS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer

Year: 2024

Volume: 224

Print publication date: 28/02/2024

Online publication date: 28/02/2024

Acceptance date: 08/02/2024

ISSN (print): 0017-9310

ISSN (electronic): 1879-2189

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2024.125310


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