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Title: Numerical simulation of liquid water behavior in microchannel with a 90° bend
Authors: Alrahmani, Mosab
Chen, Rui
Ibrahim, Salah S.
Keywords: Proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC)
Gas diffusion layer
Fluid mechanics
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: © ASME
Citation: ALRAHMANI, M., CHEN, R. and IBRAHIM, S., 2013. Numerical simulation of liquid water behavior in microchannel with a 90° bend. In: 2011 13th ASME International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology, Minneapolis, USA, 14-19 July, V001T03A006.
Abstract: Water management is an effective way of improving Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell performance and durability. Changing the wettability of gas channel walls and gas diffusion layer (GDL) is one way of controlling the water management in a fuel cell for its influence on the liquid water dynamic behavior. The objective of this study is to investigate liquid water dynamic behavior in a microchannel with a 90° bend and different surface wettability combinations through 3-D numerical simulation. Volume-of-fluid (VOF) method was employed to track the fluid-fluid interface in the multiphase flow. The simulated microchannel has a square cross-section with a dimension of 0.25 mm and a total length of 1.5 mm. Water is introduced to the channel via two pores in the bottom surface representing a GDL while air flows from one end to another. The air and water velocities used are in the order of magnitude of a high current density fuel cell. Nine different combinations of wall/GDL wettability are investigated. The results show that liquid water takes less time to leave the channel in a hydrophilic GDL compared to moderate and hydrophobic GDL regardless of wall wettability. Furthermore, the GDL wettability shows more significant impact on liquid water behavior compared to the wall wettability; however, wall wettability has a slight but considerable impact.
Version: Published
DOI: 10.1115/FuelCell2013-18161
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/15647
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1115/FuelCell2013-18161
ISBN: 9780791855522
Appears in Collections:Closed Access (Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering)

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