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Sensitivity of Thermal Transport and Phase-Change in Thin Porous Layers to the Distribution of the Solid Matrix

[+] Author Affiliations
Vinaykumar Konduru, Ezequiel Medici, Jeffrey S. Allen

Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI

Paper No. HT2013-17476, pp. V001T01A037; 6 pages
  • ASME 2013 Heat Transfer Summer Conference collocated with the ASME 2013 7th International Conference on Energy Sustainability and the ASME 2013 11th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • Volume 1: Heat Transfer in Energy Systems; Thermophysical Properties; Theory and Fundamental Research in Heat Transfer
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, July 14–19, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5547-8
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


Understanding the water transport in the Porous Transport Layer (PTL) is important to improve the operational performance of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). High water content in the PTL and flow channel decreases the transport of the gas reactants to the polymer electrolyte membrane. Dry operating conditions result in increased ohmic resistance of the polymer electrolyte membrane. Both cases result in decreased fuel cell performance. Multi-phase flow in the PTL of the fuel cell is simulated as a network of pores surrounded by the solid material. The pore-phase and the solid-phase of the PTL are generated by varying the parameters of the Weibull distribution function. In the network model, the mass transfer takes place in the pore-phase and the bulk heat transfer takes place in the both the solid-phase and liquid phase of the PTL. Previous studies have looked at the thermal and mass transport in the porous media considering the pore size distribution. In the present study, the sensitivity of the thermal and mass transport to the different arrangements of the solid-phase is carried out and the effect of different solid-phase distributions on the thermal and liquid transport in PTL of PEM fuel cell are discussed.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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