Effect of pressure difference between adjacent channels in an adjustable flow field in PEM fuel cells

Shizhong Chen, Xuyang Zhang, Hongtan Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Some of the most commonly used flow fields in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells have serpentine channels, parallel channels or interdigitated channels, and each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Hybrid flow-fields may be able to combine the advantages of multiple types of flow fields and at the same time minimize their disadvantages. In this work, a specially designed adjustable flow field that can be transformed from a pure serpentine flow field to a pure interdigitated flow field seamlessly is used to study the effects of pressure difference between the adjacent channels on both fuel cell performance and local current density. The adjustable flow field has two channels and one land, and the two channels are connected by an external piping circuit. A control valve in the external piping circuit can control the pressure difference between the two flow channels to simulate serpentine flow field, interdigitated flow fields and any type of flow fields in between. To study the effects of pressure difference on local current densities at the inlet channel, the land and the outlet channel, three membrane electrode assemblies (MEA), each with only one area catalyzed are used. Local current densities under the three areas are measured and compared under various pressure differences. The experimental results show that the local current density under the land is the highest and under the inlet channel is significantly higher than that under the outlet channel. The experimental results also show that there exists an optimal pressure difference between the two channels for overall cell performance. These results can provide valuable information in hybrid flow field optimizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4667-4672
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Volume42
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 16 2017

Fingerprint

Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC)
fuel cells
Flow fields
flow distribution
membranes
protons
Current density
current density
outlets
control valves
Networks (circuits)
channel flow
Channel flow
assemblies
Fuel cells
Membranes
Electrodes
optimization
electrodes

Keywords

  • Flow field
  • Local current density
  • PEM fuel cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

Effect of pressure difference between adjacent channels in an adjustable flow field in PEM fuel cells. / Chen, Shizhong; Zhang, Xuyang; Liu, Hongtan.

In: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol. 42, No. 7, 16.02.2017, p. 4667-4672.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{8a1ba7f96e22499f941e483da593ea59,
title = "Effect of pressure difference between adjacent channels in an adjustable flow field in PEM fuel cells",
abstract = "Some of the most commonly used flow fields in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells have serpentine channels, parallel channels or interdigitated channels, and each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Hybrid flow-fields may be able to combine the advantages of multiple types of flow fields and at the same time minimize their disadvantages. In this work, a specially designed adjustable flow field that can be transformed from a pure serpentine flow field to a pure interdigitated flow field seamlessly is used to study the effects of pressure difference between the adjacent channels on both fuel cell performance and local current density. The adjustable flow field has two channels and one land, and the two channels are connected by an external piping circuit. A control valve in the external piping circuit can control the pressure difference between the two flow channels to simulate serpentine flow field, interdigitated flow fields and any type of flow fields in between. To study the effects of pressure difference on local current densities at the inlet channel, the land and the outlet channel, three membrane electrode assemblies (MEA), each with only one area catalyzed are used. Local current densities under the three areas are measured and compared under various pressure differences. The experimental results show that the local current density under the land is the highest and under the inlet channel is significantly higher than that under the outlet channel. The experimental results also show that there exists an optimal pressure difference between the two channels for overall cell performance. These results can provide valuable information in hybrid flow field optimizations.",
keywords = "Flow field, Local current density, PEM fuel cell",
author = "Shizhong Chen and Xuyang Zhang and Hongtan Liu",
year = "2017",
month = "2",
day = "16",
doi = "10.1016/j.ijhydene.2016.10.164",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "42",
pages = "4667--4672",
journal = "International Journal of Hydrogen Energy",
issn = "0360-3199",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
number = "7",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Effect of pressure difference between adjacent channels in an adjustable flow field in PEM fuel cells

AU - Chen, Shizhong

AU - Zhang, Xuyang

AU - Liu, Hongtan

PY - 2017/2/16

Y1 - 2017/2/16

N2 - Some of the most commonly used flow fields in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells have serpentine channels, parallel channels or interdigitated channels, and each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Hybrid flow-fields may be able to combine the advantages of multiple types of flow fields and at the same time minimize their disadvantages. In this work, a specially designed adjustable flow field that can be transformed from a pure serpentine flow field to a pure interdigitated flow field seamlessly is used to study the effects of pressure difference between the adjacent channels on both fuel cell performance and local current density. The adjustable flow field has two channels and one land, and the two channels are connected by an external piping circuit. A control valve in the external piping circuit can control the pressure difference between the two flow channels to simulate serpentine flow field, interdigitated flow fields and any type of flow fields in between. To study the effects of pressure difference on local current densities at the inlet channel, the land and the outlet channel, three membrane electrode assemblies (MEA), each with only one area catalyzed are used. Local current densities under the three areas are measured and compared under various pressure differences. The experimental results show that the local current density under the land is the highest and under the inlet channel is significantly higher than that under the outlet channel. The experimental results also show that there exists an optimal pressure difference between the two channels for overall cell performance. These results can provide valuable information in hybrid flow field optimizations.

AB - Some of the most commonly used flow fields in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells have serpentine channels, parallel channels or interdigitated channels, and each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Hybrid flow-fields may be able to combine the advantages of multiple types of flow fields and at the same time minimize their disadvantages. In this work, a specially designed adjustable flow field that can be transformed from a pure serpentine flow field to a pure interdigitated flow field seamlessly is used to study the effects of pressure difference between the adjacent channels on both fuel cell performance and local current density. The adjustable flow field has two channels and one land, and the two channels are connected by an external piping circuit. A control valve in the external piping circuit can control the pressure difference between the two flow channels to simulate serpentine flow field, interdigitated flow fields and any type of flow fields in between. To study the effects of pressure difference on local current densities at the inlet channel, the land and the outlet channel, three membrane electrode assemblies (MEA), each with only one area catalyzed are used. Local current densities under the three areas are measured and compared under various pressure differences. The experimental results show that the local current density under the land is the highest and under the inlet channel is significantly higher than that under the outlet channel. The experimental results also show that there exists an optimal pressure difference between the two channels for overall cell performance. These results can provide valuable information in hybrid flow field optimizations.

KW - Flow field

KW - Local current density

KW - PEM fuel cell

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85007470640&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85007470640&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2016.10.164

DO - 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2016.10.164

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85007470640

VL - 42

SP - 4667

EP - 4672

JO - International Journal of Hydrogen Energy

JF - International Journal of Hydrogen Energy

SN - 0360-3199

IS - 7

ER -