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TECHNICAL PAPERS: Porous Media

Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells With Porous Materials as Fluid Distributors and Comparisons With Traditional Channeled Systems

[+] Author and Article Information
S. M. Senn, D. Poulikakos

Laboratory of Thermodynamics in Emerging Technologies, Institute of Energy Technology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, ETH Zentrum, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland

J. Heat Transfer 126(3), 410-418 (Jun 16, 2004) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1738424 History: Received August 25, 2003; Revised February 26, 2004; Online June 16, 2004
Copyright © 2004 by ASME
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References

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Schematic drawing of the partition of the computational domain Ω=ΩI∪ΩII∪ΩIII. (a) Cell with a channeled flow-field. (b) Cell with a porous gas distributor. The domain Ω consists of the fluid subdomain ΩI (flow channels ΩI,1 and ΩI,2 in (a); porous gas distributors ΩI,1 and ΩI,2 in (b); diffusion layers ΩI,3I,4; catalyst layers ΩI,5I,6; membrane ΩI,7), the solid subdomain ΩII including the current collector on the cathode side and the solid subdomain ΩIII including the current collector on the anode side. The flow direction is indicated with ξ3
Grahic Jump Location
Comparison of numerical results with experimental results from Ticianelli et al. 22. Polarization curves for three different operating conditions: (1) 323 K, 1/1 Atm; (2) 323 K, 3/5 Atm; and (3) 353 K, 3/5 Atm
Grahic Jump Location
Parallel flow-field at 323 K, 1/1 Atm and U=0.3 V. (a) Cross-sectional distribution of the oxygen mole fraction xO2 in three different planes, i.e., ξ3=0.1 L (left side), ξ3=0.5 L (middle) and ξ3=0.9 L (right side). The subdomains ΩI,1I,3, and ΩI,5 are shown from the bottom to the top. (b) Distribution of the overpotential η=Φs−Φf in the middle of the cathode catalyst layer (ξ2=−129.35 μm). The picture is shrunk in the flow direction ξ3. (c) Cross-sectional distribution of the water vapor mole fraction xH2O in the three planes, i.e., ξ3=0.1 L (left side), ξ3=0.5 L (middle) and ξ3=0.9 L (right side). (d) Cross-sectional distribution of the relative humidity xH2Op/psat in the three planes, i.e., ξ3=0.1 L (left side), ξ3=0.5 L (middle), and ξ3=0.9 L (right side)
Grahic Jump Location
Serpentine flow-field at 323 K, 1/1 Atm, and U=0.3 V. (a) Distribution of the oxygen mole fraction xO2 in the middle of the cathode diffusion layer (ξ2=−270.7 μm). (b) Distribution of the overpotential η=Φs−Φf in the middle of the cathode catalyst layer (ξ2=−129.35 μm). (c) Distribution of the water vapor mole fraction xH2O in the middle of the cathode diffusion layer (ξ2=−270.7 μm). (d) Distribution of the relative humidity xH2Op/psat in the middle of the cathode diffusion layer (ξ2=−270.7 μm)
Grahic Jump Location
Porous gas distributor at 323 K, 1/1 Atm, U=0.3 V, ε=0.9, κ=1.76×10−9 m2, and σ=1,250 Ω−1  m−1 . (a) Distribution of the oxygen mole fraction xO2 throughout the cell (ξ1=const.). The picture is shrunk in the flow direction ξ3. (b) Distribution of the water vapor mole fraction xH2O in the same plane. (c) Distribution of the relative humidity xH2Op/psat in the same plane
Grahic Jump Location
Average current density of a fuel cell with a porous gas distributor for different effective electrical conductivities and porosities ε of the foam at 323 K, 1/1 Atm, U=0.5 V, and κ=1.76×10−9 m2. The effective electrical foam conductivity σs is nondimensionalized with the electrical conductivity of the solid material (125,000 Ω−1  m−1 ), i.e., σds/(125,000 Ω−1 m−1). The average current density iavg of the cell with the porous gas distributor is nondimensionalized with the average current density obtained from the parallel flow-field operated at identical conditions, i.e., iavg,d=iavg/(0.62 A/cm2). The position of a cell in which reticulated vitreous carbon (ε=0.9, 100 ppi) is used for the porous gas distributors is indicated by the cross-marker
Grahic Jump Location
Polarization curves. Comparison of the parallel channel flow-field with the porous gas distributors for different effective electrical conductivities σs of the foam at 323 K, 1/1 Atm, ε=0.9, κ=1.76×10−9 m2 with σds/(125,000 Ω−1 m−1). The position of reticulated vitreous carbon (ε=0.9, 100 ppi) is indicated as a specific example

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