Water management issues continue to be a major concern for the performance of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells. Maintaining the optimal amount of hydration can ensure that the cell is operating properly and with high efficiency. There are several components that can affect water management, however one area that has received increased attention is the interface between the gas diffusion layer (GDL) and the gas reactant channels where excess water has a tendency to build up and block reactant gasses. One key parameter that can affect this build up is the geometry of the microchannels. The work presented here proposes an optimal trapezoidal geometry which will aid in the removal of excess water in the gas channels. The Concus-Finn condition is applied to the channel surfaces and GDL to ensure the water will be drawn away from GDL surface and wicked to the top corner of the channel. An ex situ setup is designed to establish the validity of the Concus-Finn application. Once validated, this condition is then used to design optimal channel geometries for water removal in a PEM fuel cell gas channel.
- Heat Transfer Division
Effect of Channel Geometry on Two-Phase Flow Structure in Fuel Cell Gas Channels
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Rath, CD, & Kandlikar, SG. "Effect of Channel Geometry on Two-Phase Flow Structure in Fuel Cell Gas Channels." Proceedings of the ASME 2011 9th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels. ASME 2011 9th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels, Volume 2. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. June 19–22, 2011. pp. 329-336. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ICNMM2011-58252
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