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Gas Flow Analysis of Bi-Polar Plate Designs for Fuel Cells

[+] Author Affiliations
Rajesh Boddu, Pradip Majumdar

Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL

Paper No. FUELCELL2006-97122, pp. 221-231; 11 pages
  • ASME 2006 4th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • ASME 2006 Fourth International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology, Parts A and B
  • Irvine, California, USA, June 19–21, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Nanotechnology Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4247-9 | eISBN: 0-7918-3780-7
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


A tri-layer fuel cell includes separate flow channels for hydrogen and oxygen. One potential alternative flow channel design is the use of a Bi-polar plate that connects cathode of a tri-layer fuel cell to anode of the next tri-layer fuel cell in order to provide an efficient flow of current through the cells with reduced voltage loss. The design of the bipolar plates provides considerable engineering challenges. It requires being thin with good contact surfaces for the purpose reduced electrical resistances as well as efficient transport processes for the reactant gasses in micro-channels with reduced pressure drops. Fluid flow and heat and mass transport in gas flow channels plays an important role in the effective performance of the fuel cell. A bi-polar plate design with straight parallel channels is considered and flow field in gas flow channels are analyzed using computational fluid dynamic model. Results for pressure drop coefficient and heat transfer coefficients with varying flow Reynolds number are presented.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME
Topics: Gas flow , Fuel cells



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