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Open AccessArticle

Air-Forced Flow in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells: Calculation of Fan-Induced Friction in Open-Cathode Conduits with Virtual Roughness

by Dejan Brkić 1,2,*,† and Pavel Praks 1,*,†
1
IT4Innovations, VŠB—Technical University of Ostrava, 708 00 Ostrava, Czech Republic
2
Faculty of Electronic Engineering, University of Niš, 18000 Niš, Serbia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Both authors contributed equally to this article.
Processes 2020, 8(6), 686; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8060686
Received: 8 April 2020 / Revised: 27 May 2020 / Accepted: 3 June 2020 / Published: 11 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modelling and Process Control of Fuel Cell Systems)
Measurements of pressure drop during experiments with fan-induced air flow in the open-cathode proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) show that flow friction in its open-cathode side follows logarithmic law similar to Colebrook’s model for flow through pipes. The stable symbolic regression model for both laminar and turbulent flow presented in this article correlates air flow and pressure drop as a function of the variable flow friction factor which further depends on the Reynolds number and the virtual roughness. To follow the measured data, virtual inner roughness related to the mesh of conduits of fuel cell used in the mentioned experiment is 0.03086, whereas for pipes, real physical roughness of their inner pipe surface goes practically from 0 to 0.05. Numerical experiments indicate that the novel approximation of the Wright-ω function reduced the computational time from half of a minute to fragments of a second. The relative error of the estimated friction flow factor is less than 0.5%. View Full-Text
Keywords: Colebrook equation; fuel cells; flow friction factor; open-cathode; pressure drop; symbolic regression; numerically stabile solution; roughness Colebrook equation; fuel cells; flow friction factor; open-cathode; pressure drop; symbolic regression; numerically stabile solution; roughness
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Brkić, D.; Praks, P. Air-Forced Flow in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells: Calculation of Fan-Induced Friction in Open-Cathode Conduits with Virtual Roughness. Processes 2020, 8, 686.

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