Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) performance significantly depends on electrodes water content. Liquid water emerging from the Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) micro-channels can form droplets, films or slugs in the Gas Flow Channel (GFC). In the regime of droplets formation, the interaction with the gas flow leads to an oscillating mechanisms that is fundamental to study the detachment from the GDL surface. In this work, a numerical model of a droplet growing on the GDL surface is developed to describe the interaction between droplet and gas flow. Therefore, a lumped force balance is enforced to determine the center of mass motion law. Oscillation frequencies during growth and at detachment are found as a function of droplet size. The model is also exploited to find the relationship between droplet critical detachment size and gas velocity. The numerical results are compared with the experimental data previously published by the authors as well as with other experimental results available in the literature. The matching between the numerical and experimental data is very good. The low computational burden and the conciseness of the proposed approach make the model suitable for applications such as control and optimization strategies development to enhance PEMFC performance. Additionally, the model can be exploited to implement monitoring and diagnostic algorithm as well.

Experimental validation of a lumped model of single droplet deformation, oscillation and detachment on the GDL surface of a PEM fuel cell

POLVERINO, PIERPAOLO;ESPOSITO, ANGELO;PIANESE, Cesare
2013

Abstract

Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) performance significantly depends on electrodes water content. Liquid water emerging from the Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) micro-channels can form droplets, films or slugs in the Gas Flow Channel (GFC). In the regime of droplets formation, the interaction with the gas flow leads to an oscillating mechanisms that is fundamental to study the detachment from the GDL surface. In this work, a numerical model of a droplet growing on the GDL surface is developed to describe the interaction between droplet and gas flow. Therefore, a lumped force balance is enforced to determine the center of mass motion law. Oscillation frequencies during growth and at detachment are found as a function of droplet size. The model is also exploited to find the relationship between droplet critical detachment size and gas velocity. The numerical results are compared with the experimental data previously published by the authors as well as with other experimental results available in the literature. The matching between the numerical and experimental data is very good. The low computational burden and the conciseness of the proposed approach make the model suitable for applications such as control and optimization strategies development to enhance PEMFC performance. Additionally, the model can be exploited to implement monitoring and diagnostic algorithm as well.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4018253
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