A Three-Dimensional Analysis Model for Elucidating Interactions Between Fluid Dynamics and Electrochemical Kinetics In PEMFC 2005-01-2069
A three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics(3-D CFD) model of the proton exchange membrane fuel cell(PEMFC) is presented to explain the characteristic of its behavior. Many researchers have numerically studied small(~10–50cm2) single cell PEMFC systems. But 3-D numerical model of the commercial-sized PEMFC with reacting area on the order of 200~ cm2 is still hard to perform effectively. This study applies 3-D CFD model to a commercial-sized(250cm2) PEMFC selected from research models to show its usefulness. Various types of bi-polar plate channel including standard serpentine shaped gas flow channel are proposed and examined. The model results indicate that forced gas flow induced by the modified gas channel improves mass transport of oxygen to, and water removal from, the catalyst layer, thus producing higher current density as compared with the initial shape. The effects of operating conditions like humidity, including temperature effect, and gas flow rates are also studied. Cathode flooding or membrane dehydrating conditions could be expected through numerical analysis.