Neutron radiography was used to quantify the steady-state water content and its distribution in a operating proton exchange membrane fuel cell. It was observed that the liquid water distribution near the corners of the gas-flow channels (GFCs) is influenced by the local gas-flow velocity as determined by the cathode stoichiometric flow ratio. At low velocity, the distribution of liquid water down the channel was found to be fairly uniform with only a slight reduction in liquid water content at the exit of the GFC corners. It was further observed that as the cathode gas-flow velocity is increased, a noticeable pattern develops in which liquid water is concentrated at the entrance to the GFC corners and becomes depleted in the corner and near the exit of the corner; liquid water content again increases further down the channel away from the corners. A single-phase computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model was developed and employed to help explain the observed water-distribution patterns. Flow-fields computed from our CFD model reveal recirculation regions in the GFC corners as well as in the areas of increased local gas-flow velocity, which help explain the experimentally observed liquid water distribution.
Elucidating Liquid Water Distribution and Removal in an Operating Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell via Neutron Radiography
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Hickner, M. A., Chen, K. S., and Siegel, N. P. (October 5, 2009). "Elucidating Liquid Water Distribution and Removal in an Operating Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell via Neutron Radiography." ASME. J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol. February 2010; 7(1): 011001. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.3115624
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