0
TECHNICAL PAPERS: Conduction

Anisotropic Heat Conduction Effects in Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

[+] Author and Article Information
Chaitanya J. Bapat

Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802cjb282@psu.edu

Stefan T. Thynell1

Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802Thynell@psu.edu

1

Corresponding author.

J. Heat Transfer 129(9), 1109-1118 (Jul 26, 2006) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2712478 History: Received November 14, 2005; Revised July 26, 2006

The focus of this work is to study the effects of anisotropic thermal conductivity and thermal contact conductance on the overall temperature distribution inside a fuel cell. The gas-diffusion layers and membrane are expected to possess an anisotropic thermal conductivity, whereas a contact resistance is present between the current collectors and gas-diffusion layers. A two-dimensional single phase model is used to capture transport phenomena inside the cell. From the use of this model, it is predicted that the maximum temperatures inside the cell can be appreciably higher than the operating temperature of the cell. A high value of the in-plane thermal conductivity for the gas-diffusion layers was seen to be essential for achieving smaller temperature gradients. However, the maximum improvement in the heat transfer characteristics of the fuel cell brought about by increasing the in-plane thermal conductivity is limited by the presence of a finite thermal contact conductance at the diffusion layer/current collector interface. This was determined to be even more important for thin gas-diffusion layers. Anisotropic thermal conductivity of the membrane, however, did not have a significant impact on the temperature distribution. The thermal contact conductance at the diffusion layer/current collector interface strongly affected the temperature distribution inside the cell.

FIGURES IN THIS ARTICLE
<>
Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.

References

Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 1

Schematic of PEM fuel cell and coordinate system

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 2

Temperature distribution for base case operation

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 3

Polarization curve obtained from model and compared with experimental results (54)

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 4

Variation of membrane and GDL temperatures with current density

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 5

Temperature distribution at two values of thermal contact conductance: (a)hcontact=500W∕m2K, and (b)hcontact=10,000W∕m2K

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 6

Effect of anisotropy in thermal conductivity of gas-diffusion layers on temperature (a)kyy∕kxx=0.33 and (b)kyy∕kxx=10.0

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 7

Effect of anisotropy in thermal conductivity of membrane on temperature (a)kyy∕kxx=0.33 and (b)kyy∕kxx=10.0

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 8

Effect of GDL thickness on temperatures inside the cell (a) GDL thickness=100μm and (b) GDL thickness=400μm

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 9

Variation of maximum fuel cell temperature with increasing y direction thermal conductivity. (All other parameter values are at base-case condition.)

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 10

A simplified view of heat transfer in a fuel cell

Tables

Errata

Discussions

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In