Numerical Investigation of the Effects of Channel Cross Section Shape on the Tubular PEMFC Performance
Keywords:channel cross section, twisted flow field, tubular PEMFC, reactants consumption, finite volume method
In the present study, a novel tubular proton exchange membrane fuel cell with a twisted flow filed is designed to investigate the effect of the channel cross section shapes on the transfer and consumption of reactants and cell performance. Comparisons between three different configurations: rectangular, trapezoidal and triangular cross sections are realized. A complete three-dimensional, isothermal, unsteady and single-phase model is employed. The finite volume method in the cylindrical coordinates is used to discretize the continuity, momentum and species conservation equations. A FORTRAN program is developed to resolve the discretized equations system. The velocity, reactants and water distributions are obtained for the three studied cross sections. The results establish that the triangular configuration shows the best performance relative to the trapezoidal and rectangular cross-sections, this configuration increases strongly in the flow velocity of reactants, enhancing water evacuation process and reactant consumptions. The rectangular cross section has the worst cell performance.