In this study, a novel concept is investigated, according to which the traditional ribbed flow delivery systems are replaced with permeable porous fluid distributors, which circumvent a number of known performance hindering drawbacks. A thorough single-phase model, including the conservation of mass, momentum, energy, species, and electric current, using Butler-Volmer kinetics, is numerically solved in three dimensions, to investigate the impact of different flow configurations on the performance of hydrogen fuel cells. It is found that cells with porous gas distributors generate substantially higher current densities and therefore are more advantageous with respect to mass transfer. Another advantage of porous flow distributors is the potential for higher power densities and reduced stack weight.

*Proceedings of the ASME Heat Transfer Division*,

**366-1**, pp. 43–49.

*Proceedings of the ASME Heat Transfer Division—2000*, HTD-Vol. 366-1, pp. 19–25.

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