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Combined Flow Fields (Serpentine-Interdigitated) for Improvement of a PEMFC Performance

[+] Author Affiliations
I. Perez-Raya, A. Hernandez-Guerrero, F. Elizalde-Blancas, B. Ramos-Alvarado, D. Lorenzini-Gutierrez

University of Guanajuato, Salamanca, GUA, Mexico

Paper No. ESDA2012-82442, pp. 513-523; 11 pages
  • ASME 2012 11th Biennial Conference on Engineering Systems Design and Analysis
  • Volume 2: Applied Fluid Mechanics; Electromechanical Systems and Mechatronics; Advanced Energy Systems; Thermal Engineering; Human Factors and Cognitive Engineering
  • Nantes, France, July 2–4, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: International
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4485-4
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


This paper presents the results of an analysis that proposes a combined path for the gases distribution in a PEMFC. The combination takes into account two of the most common flow fields currently in use: serpentine and interdigitated. The objective of the study is to determine the optimal conditions related with the way of distributing the hydrogen with the aim to increase the fuel cell performance. Therefore the paper centers in modifying the geometry of the anode while keeping a conventional serpentine geometry for the geometry. The analysis shows the current density distribution, the pressure drop, and the power generated by a PEM operating under the proposed gas flow field. In order to compare the results, a conventional commercial geometry was also analyzed and then both geometries were compared via polarization and power curves. The model adopted for the analysis takes into account the effects of the electrochemical reactions that occur in the fuel cell, in this case, the electrons and protons movement, the species consumption, the water vapour production in the catalysts and the water transport through the membrane (electro-osmotic effect). The results show that the proposed geometry leads to an excellent species distribution allowing a more uniform current distribution and a good power generation.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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