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Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell flow field design criteria – Application to parallel serpentine flow patterns

Ghanbarian, A., Kermani, M.J., Scholta, J., Abdollahzadeh, M.
Energy conversion and management 2018 v.166 pp. 281-296
catalysts, condensates, electrolytes, filters, fuel cells, oxygen, polymers, serpentine
One key strategy for maximizing the performance of fuel cells is the choice of proper flow field pattern. In this paper, a procedure was developed for the proper design of parallel serpentine flow field for proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Several parameters including the channel width and height, the rib between two adjacent channels, and the numbers of parallel channels and serpentine turns were considered and all the possible flow field configurations within the range of these design parameters were defined. In the next step, six consecutive constraining filters were defined and enforced to all the possible flow field configurations. In the final step, a complete three dimensional simulations were conducted for the remaining cases. Based on the results of the simulations, these cases were ranked, with the best case corresponds to the flow field with the minimum pressure drop, the maximum oxygen content at the surface of catalyst layer, maximum uniformity of oxygen distribution within the catalyst layer and minimum content of the condensate produced within the catalyst layer.