International Journal of Energy Research, Vol.44, No.1, 171-191, 2020
Numerical investigation on the effect of flow field and landing to channel ratio on the performance of PEMFC
Three-dimensional numerical investigation of PEMFC with landing to channel ratio (L:C) of 2:2 for 25-cm(2) serpentine-parallel channel has been simulated, and the obtained results have been validated with the polarization curve obtained through experiments. It is found that the maximum error in the polarization curve is less than 4%, and thus a very good deal exists between the simulation study and experimentation. Upon validation, the study has been extended for various flow path designs with different L:C ratio numerically. The prediction reveals that the L:C ratio of 2:2 exhibits the better performance for all the flow channels considered, and it is found that the straight-zigzag flow field with L:C ratio of 2:2 attributes the maximum power density of 0.3250 W/cm(2) for an optimum open circuit voltage of 0.4 Volts with minimal pressure drop. Oxygen consumption in the cathode flow channels of serpentine-parallel, serpentine-zigzag, and straight-parallel are 77.08%, 10.41%, and 42.70% lesser than that of straight-zigzag PEMFC, respectively. The pressure drop in the flow channel of serpentine-parallel, serpentine-zigzag, and straight-parallel with landing to channel ratio 2:2 are 78.18%, 95.81%, and 48.33% higher than that of straight-zigzag flow field, respectively. The polarization curve, hydrogen (H-2), oxygen (O-2), water content along the flow channel and the proton conductivity, H2O content across the membrane electrolyte, and current density contour at the GDL/catalyst interface of the anode side for all flow channel configurations have been presented and discussed.