Document Type : Original Article


Department of Aerospace Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Imam Ali University, Kargar Street, Tehran, Iran.


Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) produce high power density efficiently and in a pollution-free way. Therefore, it is employed in UAVs. Flow fields play key role in the performance of PEMFC-powered UAVs. In this study, a novel flow field named modified combined was introduced and investigated by a three-dimensional and two-phase PEMFC model. In the flow field main channels are tapered aiming to reinforce the performance. The study consists of two steps. In the first stage, modified combined was compared with parallel, serpentine, interdigitated, and combined. The results showed that in the modified combined compared with simple combined, pressure drop decreased 22.6%. Modified combined demonstrated suitable oxygen distribution and appropriate management and the specific power of modified combined is the highest value among all flow fields. Finally, the effect of atmospheric conditions on the performance of the PEMFC with modified combined flow field was studied and two equations were presented to predict the performance at 0.4V and 0.7V at the different altitudes of flight. The findings unveiled the point that in the cruise phase of the flight, low voltage is more suitable for PEMFC-driven UAV with modified combined flow field. All in all, modified combined flow field and low voltage are recommended to be utilized in PEMFCs as propulsion system of UAVs.


Main Subjects

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