Numerical Study of Curved-Shape Channel Effect on Performance and Distribution of Species in a Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell: Novel Structure

Document Type: Research Article

Authors

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

Abstract

In this paper, a three-dimensional, single-phase proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is studied numerically. Finite volume method was used for solving the governing equations and, consequently, the numerical results were validated by comparing them with experimental data, which showed good agreement. The main objective of this work is to investigate the effect of a novel gas channel shape– by applying sinusoidal gas channel- on the cell performance and mass transport phenomena. Some parameters such as oxygen consumption, water production, protonic conductivity, and temperature distribution for two cell voltages were studied, and the results were compared with respect to conventional and new models.    The results indicated that the new novel model showed better performance than the conventional model, especially at low cell voltages, causing an increase in oxygen consumption and water production. Therefore, based on a number of investigated relations, a higher rate of current density was obtained, thus enhancing the fuel cell performance. This is because the incoming species path to the gas channels in the  new model becomes longer. Therefore, the diffusion of the species toward the electrochemical reaction area increased.

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Main Subjects


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