Standard Article

Interdigitated flow field design

Fuel Cell Technology and Applications

Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells and systems (PEMFC)

Bipolar plate materials and flow field design

  1. T. V. Nguyen,
  2. W. He

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470974001.f303031

Handbook of Fuel Cells

Handbook of Fuel Cells

How to Cite

Nguyen, T. V. and He, W. 2010. Interdigitated flow field design. Handbook of Fuel Cells. .

Author Information

  1. University of Kansas, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Lawrence, KS, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


When interdigitated gas distributors are used in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), fluids entering the fuel cell are forced to flow through the electrode porous backing layers. This through-the-electrode convection increases the transport rates of the reactants and products to and from the catalyst layers, and the shear force of gas flow minimizes electrode flooding by reducing the amount of liquid water that is entrapped in the porous electrodes. To investigate the effects of the gas and liquid water hydrodynamics on the performance of an air cathode of a PEMFC employing an interdigitated gas distributor, a two-dimensional, two-phase, multi-component transport model was developed. The predictive capability of the model was validated against experimental results obtained at multiple operating conditions. The model was also used to investigate the effects of two flow field design parameters on the cathode performance.


  • proton exchange membrane fuel cell;
  • interdigitated flow field;
  • two phase flow modeling;
  • liquid water transport