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CFD analysis of a PEM fuel cell for liquid dispersion at the interface of GDL‐GFC

CFD analysis of a PEM fuel cell for liquid dispersion at the interface of GDL‐GFC Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present the results of analysis of the transport gases and liquid water between the gas diffusion layer (GDL) and gas flow channel (GFC) of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). These results are then used to describe the effects of the GDL‐GFC interfacial conditions on the general performance of PEMFCs. Design/methodology/approach – This analysis utilizes finite element analysis commercial codes to illustrate the transport of fluids. The gas transport data obtained from the solution are compared with the established works of others. The liquid transport processes are modeled using the Darcy equation coupled with a saturation‐capillary pressure function (the Leverett function) and assuming no phase change. In addition, the boundary conditions for the liquid transport equation are varied in order to show the extent of non‐uniformities at the GDL‐GFC interface. Findings – Analysis shows that water dispersion from the GDL‐GFC interface extends across the GDL to its other side, and eventually reduces the performance of the PEMFC. Research limitations/implications – It is well known that CFD simulation of fuel cells is, in general, still facing significant challenges due to the limited understanding of the complex physical and chemical processes existing within the fuel cell. The model is now under further development to improve its capabilities and undergoing further validations. Practical implications – The simulations can provide detailed information on some of the key fluid dynamics, physical and chemical/electro‐chemical processes that exist in liquid dispersion at the interface of GDL‐GFC in fuel cells which are critical for fuel cell design and optimization. Originality/value – The simulation can be used to understand liquid dispersion at the interface of GDL‐GFC and provide and alternative to experimental investigations in order to improve the performance of fuel cell. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow Emerald Publishing

CFD analysis of a PEM fuel cell for liquid dispersion at the interface of GDL‐GFC

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0961-5539
DOI
10.1108/09615531111162792
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present the results of analysis of the transport gases and liquid water between the gas diffusion layer (GDL) and gas flow channel (GFC) of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). These results are then used to describe the effects of the GDL‐GFC interfacial conditions on the general performance of PEMFCs. Design/methodology/approach – This analysis utilizes finite element analysis commercial codes to illustrate the transport of fluids. The gas transport data obtained from the solution are compared with the established works of others. The liquid transport processes are modeled using the Darcy equation coupled with a saturation‐capillary pressure function (the Leverett function) and assuming no phase change. In addition, the boundary conditions for the liquid transport equation are varied in order to show the extent of non‐uniformities at the GDL‐GFC interface. Findings – Analysis shows that water dispersion from the GDL‐GFC interface extends across the GDL to its other side, and eventually reduces the performance of the PEMFC. Research limitations/implications – It is well known that CFD simulation of fuel cells is, in general, still facing significant challenges due to the limited understanding of the complex physical and chemical processes existing within the fuel cell. The model is now under further development to improve its capabilities and undergoing further validations. Practical implications – The simulations can provide detailed information on some of the key fluid dynamics, physical and chemical/electro‐chemical processes that exist in liquid dispersion at the interface of GDL‐GFC in fuel cells which are critical for fuel cell design and optimization. Originality/value – The simulation can be used to understand liquid dispersion at the interface of GDL‐GFC and provide and alternative to experimental investigations in order to improve the performance of fuel cell.

Journal

International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid FlowEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 20, 2011

Keywords: Water dispersions; PEMFC; Saturation; Gas flow; Diffusion; Fluid dynamics

References