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In situ measurement, characterization, and modeling of two-phase pressure drop incorporating local water saturation in PEMFC gas channels

See, Evan
Fonte: Rochester Instituto de Tecnologia Publicador: Rochester Instituto de Tecnologia
Tipo: Tese de Doutorado
Relevância na Pesquisa
Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) have been an area of focus as an alternative for internal combustion engines in the transportation sector. Water and thermal management techniques remain as one of the key roadblocks in PEMFC development. The ability to model two-phase flow and pressure drop in PEMFCs is of significant importance to the performance and optimization of PEMFCs. This work provides a perspective on the numerous factors that affect the two-phase flow in the gas channels and presents a comprehensive pressure drop model through an extensive in situ fuel cell investigation. The study focused on low current density and low temperature operation of the cell, as these conditions present the most challenging scenario for water transport in the PEMFC reactant channels. Tests were conducted using two PEMFCs that were representative of the actual full scale commercial automotive geometry. The design of the flow fields allowed visual access to both cathode and anode sides for correlating the visual observations to the two-phase flow patterns and pressure drop. A total of 198 tests were conducted varying gas diffusion layer (GDL), inlet humidity, current density, and stoichiometry; this generated over 1500 average pressure drop measurements to develop and validate two-phase models. A two-phase 1+1 D modeling scheme is proposed that incorporates an elemental approach and control volume analysis to provide a comprehensive methodology and correlation for predicting two-phase pressure drop in PEMFC conditions. Key considerations...