Document Type : Original Article


1 National Institute of Technology Warangal

2 Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Warangal-506004, Telangana, India

3 Department of mechanical Engineering, NIT Andhra Pradesh, Tadepalligudem, AP, India



Fuel cells have been identified as a promising technology to meet future electric power requirements. Out of various fuel cells, Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC) has been staged up as they can operate at low temperatures and also have high power density. In this article, the flow field design of a Single Serpentine Flow Field (SSFF) has been modified to L-Serpentine Flow Field (LSFF) in order to reduce thermal and water management problems in PEMFC. A numerical study was conducted on 441 mm2 active area at 700C and 3 atm operating conditions, to evaluate various flow characteristics by comparing LSFF with SSFF, and it was observed that temperature and species flux distribution in LSFF enhanced significantly. The modification of the flow field yielded remarkable improvements in various aspects. These enhancements included a more uniform distribution of membrane water content, an impressive 8% increase in O2 consumption, a remarkable 22% improvement in product evacuation demonstrated by the H2O species profile, attributed to a 40% reduction in product travel distance. Additionally, a noteworthy 10% increase in power density was achieved. Despite a slight increase in pressure drop due to the additional bends and turns in the modified flow field, the impact on power density remained insignificant. These findings highlight the immense potential of the modified flow field to significantly enhance performance.


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