Effects of gas diffusion layer deformation on the transport phenomena and performance of PEM fuel cells with interdigitated flow fields

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T1 - Effects of gas diffusion layer deformation on the transport phenomena and performance of PEM fuel cells with interdigitated flow fields

AU - Li, Shian

AU - Sundén, Bengt

PY - 2018/8/16

Y1 - 2018/8/16

N2 - In this study, a three-dimensional, non-isothermal, two-phase flow mathematical model is developed and applied to investigate the effect of the GDL deformation on transport phenomena and performance of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells with interdigitated flow fields. The thickness and porosity of the GDL is decreased after compression, and the corresponding transport parameters (permeability, mass diffusivity, thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity) are affected significantly. The alterations in geometry and transport parameters of the GDL are considered in the mathematical model. The oxygen concentration, temperature, liquid water saturation and volumetric current density distributions of PEM fuel cells without compression are investigated and then compared to the PEM fuel cells with various assembly forces. The numerical results show that the cell performance is considerably improved with increasing assembly forces. However, the pressure drops in the gas flow channels are also substantially increased. It is concluded that the assembly force should be as small as possible to decrease the parasitic losses with consideration of gas sealing concern.

AB - In this study, a three-dimensional, non-isothermal, two-phase flow mathematical model is developed and applied to investigate the effect of the GDL deformation on transport phenomena and performance of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells with interdigitated flow fields. The thickness and porosity of the GDL is decreased after compression, and the corresponding transport parameters (permeability, mass diffusivity, thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity) are affected significantly. The alterations in geometry and transport parameters of the GDL are considered in the mathematical model. The oxygen concentration, temperature, liquid water saturation and volumetric current density distributions of PEM fuel cells without compression are investigated and then compared to the PEM fuel cells with various assembly forces. The numerical results show that the cell performance is considerably improved with increasing assembly forces. However, the pressure drops in the gas flow channels are also substantially increased. It is concluded that the assembly force should be as small as possible to decrease the parasitic losses with consideration of gas sealing concern.

KW - Cell performance

KW - GDL deformation

KW - Interdigitated flow fields

KW - Numerical modeling

KW - PEM fuel cells

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85050465159&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2018.07.064

DO - 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2018.07.064

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85050465159

VL - 43

SP - 16279

EP - 16292

JO - International Journal of Hydrogen Energy

JF - International Journal of Hydrogen Energy

SN - 1879-3487

IS - 33

ER -