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Performance Enhancement of the Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Using Pin Type Flow Channel with Porous Inserts

DOI: 10.4236/jpee.2015.35001    2,855 Downloads   3,535 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

The design of the flow field is highly responsible for the performance of the Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC). In this study, pin type flow channel is numerically analyzed by arranging carbon made porous material in uniform and zigzag manner on the rib surface of the flow field. The study focuses on enhancing the performance of PEMFC by reducing liquid flooding in the interface between the rib and Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL). A single PEMFC having an active area of 25 cm2, with three flow channel designs (conventional serpentine, pin type flow channel with 2 mm cubical porous inserts in zigzag and uniform pattern) are modeled for the numerical analysis. The effect of porosity of the carbon inserts on the cell performance is studied by varying its value from 0.6 to 0.9. The results show that the performance of the flow channel with zigzag and uniformly positioned porous inserts is more than the conventional serpentine flow channel by 20.36% and 16.87% respectively. The reason for this increase is the removal of the accumulated water from the rib surface due to the capillary action of the porous carbon inserts. This helps in eliminating the stagnant water regions under the rib and thereby helps in reducing liquid flooding.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Pal, V. , Karthikeyan, P. and Anand, R. (2015) Performance Enhancement of the Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Using Pin Type Flow Channel with Porous Inserts. Journal of Power and Energy Engineering, 3, 1-10. doi: 10.4236/jpee.2015.35001.

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