Flow field optimization for proton exchange membrane fuel cells with varying channel heights and widths

Xiao Dong Wang, Yu Xian Huang, Chin Hsiang Cheng, Jiin Yuh Jang, Duu Jong Lee, Wei Mon Yan, Ay Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5522-5530
Number of pages9
JournalElectrochimica Acta
Volume54
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Sep 30

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Electrochemistry

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