Study of the Effect of Gas Channels Geometry on the Performance of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell
This study focuses on the effect of gas channels geometry on the performance of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. A set of empirical tests are accomplished to study these effects. The cross section of the gas channel is changed from square to inverse trapezoid, that is, the bottom width of the channel is kept fixed at 1mm while the width of the top of the channel is increased with the discontinuity of 0.2mm from 1mm to 1.6mm. Results show that the best performance is obtained for the inverse trapezoid channel with the 1.2mm width in the top section of channel. Moreover to verify the experimental test results, a 3-D finite volume method in-house code is brought up to solve the conservation equations. Hereafter, the nozzle shape gas channel efficacy is investigated experimentally and the obtained results are verified by numerical results. The obtained results determine that, at an equable voltage, this new configuration of the channels enhances the current density output by cells as compared to the primary model (i.e., gas channel with square cross section area). This finding may be due to the increase of reactant velocity in the channel.