A metal foam filled microchannel cooling device for polymer-electrolyte-membrane fuel cell (PEFC) and flow batteries was investigated experimentally and numerically in this study. Nickel foam was selected due to its high conductivity, large surface area, low density and low cost. The properties of the nickel foam were determined analytically and experimentally. Experiments were conducted to obtain pressure drop at various Reynolds numbers for metal foams of varying porosities. The experimental data was used to provide inputs for the numerical model. A modeling approach for flow in a metal foam filled channel was validated with the available data. The validated model was then used to analyze the heat transfer and fluid flow characteristics of the metal foam microchannel. Two different locations of the cooling device with respect to the PEF C stack were investigated. The thermal resistance and pressure drop change with Reynolds number are presented. Significant temperature drop was observed with the metal foam microchannel design. The modeling results can be used to guide the direction of future experiments.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.