화학공학소재연구정보센터
International Journal of Multiphase Flow, Vol.52, 35-45, 2013
Simulations of two-phase flow distribution in communicating parallel channels for a PEM fuel cell
Numerical simulations utilizing computational fluid dynamics (CFD) with a volume of fluid (VOF) method has been employed to investigate two-phase flow distribution in inter-connected parallel flow channels. The interconnections resemble gas and liquid communications in fuel cell flow fields due to the inherent or artificial structures of gas diffusion layers (GDLs). The simulation results showed that communication between parallel channels could have a great impact on the two-phase flow pattern, gas and water distribution and flow maldistribution. Wide communication channels provide a pathway for gas to short-circuit the liquid, leading to a worsened gas flow distribution. However, when the communication channels are narrow enough, they are helpful for mitigating the flow maldistribution by redistributing the liquid among the parallel flow channels through the communication channels. The simulation results were also verified by comparing the predicted and measured normalized pressure drop and the gas flow ratios at the entrance section of experimental parallel channels. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.