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Energies 2018, 11(4), 880; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11040880

Water Transport and Removal in PEMFC Gas Flow Channel with Various Water Droplet Locations and Channel Surface Wettability

State Key Laboratory of Engines, Tianjin University, 300072 Tianjin, China
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Received: 6 February 2018 / Revised: 1 April 2018 / Accepted: 4 April 2018 / Published: 10 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells 2017)
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Abstract

Water transport and removal in the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is critically important to fuel cell performance, stability, and durability. Water emerging locations on the membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) surface and the channel surface wettability significantly influence the water transport and removal in PEMFC. In most simulations of water transport and removal in the PEMFC flow channel, liquid water is usually introduced at the center of the MEA surface, which is fortuitous, since water droplet can emerge randomly on the MEA surface in PEMFC. In addition, the commonly used no-slip wall boundary condition greatly confines the water sliding features on hydrophobic MEA/channel surfaces, degrading the simulation accuracy. In this study, water droplet is introduced with various locations along the channel width direction on the MEA surface, and water transport and removal is investigated numerically using an improved model incorporating the sliding flow property by using the shear wall boundary condition. It is found that the water droplet can be driven to the channel sidewall by aerodynamics when the initial water location deviates from the MEA center to a certain amount, forming the water corner flow in the flow channel. The channel surface wettability on the water transport is also studied and is shown to have a significant impact on the water corner flow in the flow channel. View Full-Text
Keywords: proton exchange membrane fuel cell; water management; water transport; water removal; water droplet location; water corner flow proton exchange membrane fuel cell; water management; water transport; water removal; water droplet location; water corner flow
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Qin, Y.; Wang, X.; Chen, R.; Shangguan, X. Water Transport and Removal in PEMFC Gas Flow Channel with Various Water Droplet Locations and Channel Surface Wettability. Energies 2018, 11, 880.

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