Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cell converts directly electrochemical energy into electricity. Flow channels in bipolar plates, a critical component of fuel cell, were designed, simulated and tested. The bipolar plate used a mixture of graphite materials, and was fabricated using a Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) process. The fabricated green parts were carbonized at high temperatures and converted into brown parts. Infiltration of resin was used to enhance the electric conductivity and strength of the bipolar plate. Finite element simulations were performed to investigate the state of species (hydrogen, oxygen) in the channels and Gas Diffusion Layers (GDLs) for four flow field designs including parallel, serpentine, single Hilbert and composite Hilbert. The simulation results were used to obtain the polarization curves and the relationships between stack power and current density, and to discuss the effect of temperature on fuel cell performance. Experiments were conducted to validate the simulation results on voltage and power vs. current density and the effect of temperature on fuel cell performance for the different flow field designs.

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