Experimental studies of effect of land width in PEM fuel cells with serpentine flow field and carbon cloth

Xuyang Zhang, Andrew Higier, Xu Zhang, Hongtan Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Flow field plays an important role in the performance of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, such as transporting reactants and removing water products. Therefore, the performance of a PEM fuel cell can be improved by optimizing the flow field dimensions and designs. In this work, single serpentine flow fields with four different land widths are used in PEM fuel cells to study the effects of the land width. The gas diffusion layers are made of carbon cloth. Since different land widths may be most suitable for different reactant flow rates, three different inlet flow rates are studied for all the flow fields with four different land widths. The effects of land width and inlet flow rate on fuel cell performance are studied based on the polarization curves and power densities. Without considering the pumping power, the cell performance always increases with the decrease in the land width and the increase in the inlet flow rates. However, when taking into consideration the pumping power, the net power density reaches the maximum at different combinations of land widths and reactant flow rates at different cell potentials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number471
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • Flow field
  • Flow field design
  • Proton exchange membrane fuel cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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