Different flow fields, operation modes and designs for proton exchange membrane fuel cells with dead-ended anode

Yupeng Yang, Xu Zhang, Liejin Guo, Hongtan Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Water and nitrogen can accumulate in the anode channel in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) with dead-ended anode (DEA) and can affect cell performance significantly. In this paper, the cell performance characteristics in DEA PEMFCs with three different anode flow fields under two operating modes are studied through measuring the cell voltages and local current densities. The effect of the anode exit reservoir is also studied for the three different anode flow fields. The experimental results show that the interdigitated flow field has the most stable cell performance under both constant pressure and pressure swing supply modes. Parallel and serpentine flow fields lead to very non-uniform local current distributions under constant pressure supply mode and experience severe fluctuations and spikes in local current densities under pressure swing supply mode. The results also show that anode pressure swing supply mode can achieve more stable cell performance than anode constant pressure supply mode for parallel and serpentine anode flow fields. The anode exit reservoir can significantly improve cell performance stability for parallel and serpentine flow fields, but has no significant effect on interdigitated flow fields. Besides, the results further show that PEMFCs with DEA can maintain very stable operation with anode serpentine flow field and an anode exit reservoir under pressure swing operation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1769-1780
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 18 2018


  • Anode supply mode
  • Dead-ended anode
  • Flow field
  • PEM fuel cell
  • Reservoir

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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