Numerical simulation of laminar flow development with heat and mass transfer in PEM fuel cell flow channels having oxygen and hydrogen suction at one channel wall



Numerical simulation has been carried out of the fluid flow, heat and mass transfer for the developing laminar flow in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell cathode and anode flow channels, respectively. Each flow channel is considered to be composed of two parallel walls, one porous (simulating electrode surface) and one non-porous, or impermeable, wall (simulating bipolar plate surface). Various flow situations have been analyzed, and the local and the averaged friction coefficient, Nusselt number for heat transfer and Sherwood number for mass transfer are determined for various flow conditions corresponding to different stoichiometries, operating current densities and operating pressures of the cell. The effect of suction or injection (blowing) wall boundary condition has also been investigated, corresponding to the oxygen consumption in the cathode and hydrogen consumption in the anode. Correlations for the averaged friction coefficient, Nusselt and Sherwood numbers are developed, which can be useful for PEM fuel cell modeling and design calculations. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.