3D simulation of water and thermal management for high performance PEM fuel cell

Paper #:
  • 2018-01-1309

Published:
  • 2018-04-03
Abstract:
PEMFC (proton exchange membrane fuel cell) is widely regarded as the most promising candidate for the next-generation power source of automobile. In this study, the gas and liquid two-phase flow in channel and porous electrodes inside PEMFC coupled with electro-chemical reaction is simulated in detail, in which the anisotropy of GDL (gas diffusion layer) is also taken into account. In the simulation, the inlet reactant gas molar concentration is calculated based on the real inlet pressure, which is more practical than specifying a constant value in previous simulation. Meanwhile, the effect of EOD (electro-osmotic drag) on membrane water distribution is treated to be convection term in the conservation equation, instead of source term as usually used. It can be concluded in the simulation that increase the cathode stoichiometry ratio can facilitate the liquid water removal process in cathode channel and therefore decrease the liquid saturation in porous electrodes. It is also found that the higher the contact angle at the interface of BP (bipolar plate) and channel, the less the liquid water in channel and the higher the performance of PEMFC. Moreover, increase the contact angle of cathode GDL will increase the liquid saturation in MPL (micro-porous layer) and CL (catalyst layer) and the membrane water in membrane and CL but decrease the liquid amount in cathode GDL and channel. Meanwhile, decrease the cathode humidity appropriately is helpful to improve the performance of PEMFC because of the increase of oxygen concentration when the anode humidification is sufficient (e.g. 1.0), however, if not, it will decrease with the decrement of cathode humidity.
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