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Analysis and Optimization of Flow Distribution Channels for Uniform Flow in Fuel Cells

[+] Author Affiliations
Peiwen Li, Devasubramaniam Coopamah, Nikesh Dhar

University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Paper No. FEDSM2008-55180, pp. 915-920; 6 pages
  • ASME 2008 Fluids Engineering Division Summer Meeting collocated with the Heat Transfer, Energy Sustainability, and 3rd Energy Nanotechnology Conferences
  • Volume 1: Symposia, Parts A and B
  • Jacksonville, Florida, USA, August 10–14, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: Fluids Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4840-1 | eISBN: 0-7918-3832-3
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME


The paper presents the results of investigation about flow distribution and uniformity of flow fields in three types of flow distributors with novel design. The flow distributors have a number of bifurcations to split one flow into a number of sub-streams of equal flow rates on a bipolar plate which may accommodate the electrochemical reaction in a fuel cell. There are three types of bifurcation structures studied, which are the 90° tee-type, rounded-type, and slanted-type. Numerical analysis and experimental test was conducted to investigate the flow uniformity in a multiple channels that come from several stages of bifurcations. Pressure drops of the whole flow field from inlet to outlet of the bipolar plates were also studied in the numerical simulation. Overall evaluation of flow uniformity and pressure drops in the three designs was also conducted.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME



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