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Research Papers: Heat and Mass Transfer

Effect of Nonuniform Stack Compression on Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Temperature Distributions

[+] Author and Article Information
N. Fekrazad

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06268

T. L. Bergman1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06268tberg@engr.uconn.edu

1

Corresponding author.

J. Heat Transfer 130(12), 122002 (Sep 19, 2008) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2970066 History: Received August 23, 2007; Revised June 19, 2008; Published September 19, 2008

A three-dimensional model is used to predict the power output and internal temperature distribution of a small proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack. Of particular interest is the influence of nonuniform stack compression on thermal conditions inside the fuel cell. A dimensionless membrane isothermality is correlated with a dimensionless compressive load distribution, suggesting that similar relationships may be developed for other fuel cell geometries. Fuel cell performance, in terms of minimizing temperature variations inside the device, can be enhanced by application of nonuniform stack compression.

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Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Schematic of (a) a repeating section of the fuel cell stack and (b) the computational domain

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Figure 2

Magnified view of the membrane with a shaded interrogation plane

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Figure 3

Temperature difference in the y-direction at different locations within the membrane as a function of O2 stoichiometric ratio with uniform clamping pressure. (a) pcl=1 bar and (b) pcl=3 bars.

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Figure 4

Maximum temperature differences in the z-direction (along lines of constant y in the interrogation plane) as a function of O2 stoichiometric ratio for uniform pcl=1 bar and 3 bars

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Figure 5

Temperature differences in the y-direction at different locations along the flow channels as a function of uniform clamping pressure, SO2=2.08

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Figure 6

(a) Power density, (b) difference between maximum and minimum temperatures of the membrane, (c) maximum temperature difference along the membrane (y-direction), and (d) maximum temperature difference along the membrane (z-direction) as a function of the nonuniform clamping pressure distribution. Gas pressure is p=3 bars.

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Figure 7

Relationship between the dimensionless thermal uniformity (B) and the dimensionless compression pressure distribution (A)

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