Effects of flow field design on the performance of a PEM fuel cell with metal foam as the flow distributor

Bin Tsang Tsai, Chung Jen Tseng, Zhong Sheng Liu, Chih Hao Wang, Chun I. Lee, Chang Chung Yang, Shih Kun Lo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this work, we report the improvements made on the PEM fuel cell with metal foam as the flow distributor. The comparison in polarization curve is made between the PEM unit cell with different metal foam flow field designs and the PEM unit cell with graphite bipolar plate as flow distributor. The experimental results show that after using improved metal foam flow field designs, the fuel cell's performance increases. Our results show that, in the PEM unit cell with single zone metal foam, the convection is weak at side corners. Dividing the metal foam into multiple regions and using multiple inlets effectively improves gas distribution. AC impedance measurement was also performed to study impedance characteristics. The Nyquist and Bode plots confirmed that Ohmic resistance, activation resistance, and mass transfer resistance of metal foam fuel cell are all smaller than that of conventional PEM unit cell.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13060-13066
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Volume37
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2012

Keywords

  • AC impedance
  • Flow distributor
  • Metal foam
  • Proton exchange membrane fuel cell

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