Thermal uniformity in the flow field plate of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) is crucial for their power generating efficiency and reliability and therefore, has attracted much attention. The present numerical study is an attempt to optimize the flow channels via replacement of convectional zigzag continuous channels by tree-like bifurcated channels radially outwards. The numerical model is validated by experimental data available in the open literature. The effects of included angles and length ratios among the channels on thermal uniformity are analyzed based on detailed fluid flow characteristics. Results show that tree-like channels outperform conventional ones. It is found that tree-like flow channels can improve thermal uniformity of proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Within limits, with smaller angle between bifurcated flow channels and length ratio 2−1/3 between higher flow channel and lower flow channel, PEMFC can obtain the most uniform temperature distribution in Y shape tree-liked flow field.

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