In this research, cooling of polymer membrane fuel cells by nanofluids is numerically studied. Single-phase homogeneous technique is used to evaluate thermophysical properties of the water/Al 2 O 3 nanofluid as a function of temperature and nanoparticle concentration. Four cooling plates together with four various fluids (with different nanoparticle concentrations) are considered for cooling fuel cells. The impact of geometry, Reynolds number, and concentration is investigated on some imperative parameters such as surface temperature uniformity and pressure drop. The results reveal that, among different cooling plates, the multipass serpentine flow field has the best performance. It is also proved that the use of nanofluid, in general, enhances the cooling process and significantly improves those parameters directly affecting the fuel cell performance and efficiency. By increasing the nanoparticle concentration by 0.006, the temperature uniformity index will decrease about 13%, the minimum and maximum temperature difference at the cooling plate surface will decrease about 13%, and the pressure drop will increase about 35%. Nanofluids can improve thermal characteristics of cooling systems and consequently enhance the efficiency and durability of fuel cells.