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Article

Effect of Pore Shape and Spacing on Water Droplet Dynamics in Flow Channels of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

1
State Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil Processing, China University of Petroleum, Beijing 102249, China
2
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717, USA
3
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A9, Canada
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jin-Soo Park and Andrew Dicks
Energies 2021, 14(5), 1250; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14051250
Received: 19 January 2021 / Revised: 10 February 2021 / Accepted: 16 February 2021 / Published: 25 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells)
Effective water management increases the performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The liquid droplet movement mechanism in the cathode channel, the gas-liquid two-phase flow pattern, and the resulting pressure drop are important to water management in PEMFCs. This work employed computational fluid dynamics (CFD) with a volume of fluid (VOF) to simulate the effects of two operating parameters on the liquid water flow in the cathode flow channel: Gas diffusion layer (GDL) pore shape for water emergence, and distance between GDL pores. From seven pore shapes considered in this work, the longer the windward side of the micropore is, the larger the droplet can grow, and the duration of droplet growth movement will be longer. In the cases of two micropores for water introduction, a critical pore distance is noted for whether two droplets coalesce. When the micropore distance was shorter than this critical value, different droplets coalesce after the droplets grew to a certain extent. These results indicate that the pore shape and the distance between pores should be accounted for in future simulations of PEMFC droplet dynamics and that these parameters need to be optimized when designing novel GDL structures. View Full-Text
Keywords: water management; VOF model; droplet dynamics; two-phase flow; PEM fuel cells water management; VOF model; droplet dynamics; two-phase flow; PEM fuel cells
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fan, M.; Duan, F.; Wang, T.; Kang, M.; Zeng, B.; Xu, J.; Anderson, R.; Du, W.; Zhang, L. Effect of Pore Shape and Spacing on Water Droplet Dynamics in Flow Channels of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells. Energies 2021, 14, 1250. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14051250

AMA Style

Fan M, Duan F, Wang T, Kang M, Zeng B, Xu J, Anderson R, Du W, Zhang L. Effect of Pore Shape and Spacing on Water Droplet Dynamics in Flow Channels of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells. Energies. 2021; 14(5):1250. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14051250

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fan, Mengying, Fengyun Duan, Tianqi Wang, Mingming Kang, Bin Zeng, Jian Xu, Ryan Anderson, Wei Du, and Lifeng Zhang. 2021. "Effect of Pore Shape and Spacing on Water Droplet Dynamics in Flow Channels of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells" Energies 14, no. 5: 1250. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14051250

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