In this article we presented the recent activities in the field of gas flow in the micro channel and porous media of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC). The gas flow behavior in the micro-channel, especially in the case of serpentine channel is very complex due to the appearance of cross flow through the gas diffusion layer (GDL). The gas flow behavior in the separator channel and GDL of a PEFC has been studied by using a transient, isothermal and three dimensional numerical models. To predict gas flow phenomena accurately the precise calculation of mass conversation is necessary which is strictly maintained in our present simulation. The effects of physical characteristics and geometrical properties have been investigated to quantify the amount of cross flow and pressure loss. The cross flow has been investigated in terms of volume mass flux through the GDL under the rib. The ratio cross flow rate to the total flow rate increases when gas channel pitch length decreased. Moreover, with increasing of permeability this ratio also increases. The effect of cross flow and bend region characteristics on the pressure loss has been identified. In addition, to isolate the contribution of cross flow on the performance of fuel cell, the simulation was carried out with electrochemical reaction using parallel straight channel. We designed a parallel flow field to induce artificial cross flow through the GDL. The numerical results show that the flow cross-over through the GDL under the rib significantly facilitate the oxygen transport towards the catalyst layer. Therefore, it is possible to overcome the oxygen transport limitation. Consequently, the cross flow can increase the current density by reducing the oxygen transport limitation, although this also increases the non-uniformity in current density.

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