The optimal cathode flow field design of a single serpentine proton exchange membrane fuel cell is obtained by adopting a combined optimization procedure including a simplified conjugate-gradient method (SCGM) and a completely three-dimensional, two-phase, non-isothermal fuel cell model. The cell output power density Pcell is the objective function to be maximized with channel heights, H1-H5, and channel widths, W2-W5 as search variables. The optimal design has tapered channels 1, 3 and 4, and diverging channels 2 and 5, producing 22.51% increment compared with the basic design with all heights and widths setting as 1 mm. Reduced channel heights of channels 2-4 significantly enhance sub-rib convection to effectively transport oxygen to and liquid water out of diffusion layer. The final diverging channel prevents significant leakage of fuel to outlet via sub-rib convection from channel 4. Near-optimal design without huge loss in cell performance but is easily manufactured is discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)