Numerical Investigation of the Effect of Gas Diffusion Layer with Semicircular Prominences on Polymer Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Performance and Species Distribution

Document Type: Research Article


Department of Mechanical Engineering, Urmia University of Technology, Urmia, Iran


A three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics model of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) with both gas distribution flow channels and Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA) is developed. A set of conservation equation is numerically solved by developing a CFD code based on the finite volume technique and SIMPLE algorithm. In this research, some parameters like oxygen consumption, water production, velocity distribution, liquid water activity and the fuel cell performance for conventional cases (base Cases) are presented and compared to those in cases with semicircular prominences. The numerical simulations indicated that prominent gas diffusion layer (GDL) could improve the transport of the species through the porous layers and this leads to increment in fuel cell performance. Hence, prominent gas diffusion layers would result in higher current density. Finally the numerical results for the base Cases were compared with the experimental data, which represented reasonable agreement.


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