Fluid Flow Analysis Across Micro Channels with Application to Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

  • Nabil Nasr Kenan

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Abstract

Sustainable and clean power sources are becoming a necessity in our lives because of the continuous increase in pollution and the depletion of fossil fuels. In this regard, the development of fuel cells has become increasingly important. However, there still remain a few technical issues that constrain fuel cells from becoming a major source of power especially in the automotive industry. The high operating cost and weight of the bipolar plates in the fuel cells is a major issue that has to be resolved. With the introduction of superplastic forming, innovative designs that can reduce the volume, and hence the weight, and increase the ef?ciency of the fuel cell can be sought after. This research is dedicated to simulating different designs that will improve the ?uid ?ow through the channels and overcome the mass transport limitations across the layers in the fuel cells and thus increase its ef?ciency. A three dimensional, steady state model of a single channel was developed to study the different designs. Channels of constant height and varying width, channels of constant width and varying height and channels with wall bumps were modeled and simulated. A channel converging in width gave approximately 10% improvement over the straight channels while a channel converging in height gave a 5% improvement. Channels with wall bumps increased the current density output of the fuel cell. Results show that the frequency and number of bumps along the channel are signi?cant factors in improving the current density output of the fuel cell.
Date of Award2011
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorMarwan Khraisheh (Supervisor)

Keywords

  • Fuel Cells
  • Fluid Fuel Reactors

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