Numerical analysis on performances of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells with various cathode flow channel geometries

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15778-15786
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


This paper investigated numerically the effect of cathode channel shapes on the local transport characteristics and cell performance by using a three-dimensional, two-phase, and non-isothermal polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell model. The cells with triangle, trapezoid, and semicircle channels were examined using that with rectangular channel as comparison basis. At high operating voltages, the cells with various channel shapes would have similar performance. However, at low operating voltages, the fuel cell performance would follow: triangle > semicircle > trapezoid > rectangular channel. Analyses of the local transport phenomena in the cell indicate that triangle, trapezoid, and semicircle channel designs increase remarkably flow velocity of reactant, enhancing liquid water removal and oxygen utilization. Thus, these designs increase the limiting current density and improve the cell performance relative to rectangular channel design. © 2012, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Channel shape, Flow field design, Liquid water transport, Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell, Two-phase model

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