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Energies 2017, 10(6), 748; doi:10.3390/en10060748

Comparison of Liquid Water Dynamics in Bent Gas Channels of a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell with Different Channel Cross Sections in a Channel Flooding Situation

1
Department of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering, Kongju National University, 1223-24 Cheonan Daero, Seobuk-gu, Cheonan, Chungnam 31080, Korea
2
School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering, Kyungil University, 50 Gamasil-gil, Hayang-eup, Gyeongsan, Gyeongbuk 38428, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vladimir Gurau
Received: 7 April 2017 / Revised: 15 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 26 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sources)
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Abstract

The transport characteristics of water slugs in a bent gas channel of a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell are numerically studied using the volume of fluid (VOF) method. To investigate the effects of channel cross-sectional shape in a channel flooding situation, the gas channels (GCs) with one rectangular and two trapezoidal cross sections are compared. Parametric studies are also conducted to evaluate the effects of the contact angle of the top and side walls, the contact angle of the gas diffusion layer (GDL) surface, and the air inlet velocity. Considering both of the water volume fraction (WVF) and GDL water coverage ratio (WCR), the trapezoidal channel with open angles of 60 degrees provides the most favorable performance in a channel flooding condition. Among all the top and side wall contact angles considered, the hydrophobic contact angle of 120 degrees shows the best results. Among the three GDL contact angles of 90, 110 and 140 degrees, the hydrophobic GDL contact angle of 140 degrees provides the most favorable water removal characteristics in a channel flooding situation. For all cross-sectional shapes, the water removal rate increases and the liquid water interface shows more complex patterns as the air inlet velocity increases. View Full-Text
Keywords: polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell; water management; channel flooding; slug flow; bent gas channel (GC); volume of fluid (VOF) method polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell; water management; channel flooding; slug flow; bent gas channel (GC); volume of fluid (VOF) method
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kim, J.H.; Lee, G.G.; Kim, W.T. Comparison of Liquid Water Dynamics in Bent Gas Channels of a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell with Different Channel Cross Sections in a Channel Flooding Situation. Energies 2017, 10, 748.

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