Pressure data for various flow channels in proton exchange membrane(PEM) fuel cell
Micro flow channels in flow plates of fuel cells have become much narrower and longer to improve reactant flow distribution leading to increase of pumping power. Therefore it is very important to minimize the pressure drops in the flow channel because increased pumping power reduces overall efficiency. We investigated pressure drops in a micro flow channel at the anode and cathode compared to pressure losses for cold flow in straight, bended and serpentine channels. The results show that friction factors for cold flow channels could be used for parallel and bended flow channel designs for fuel cells. Pressure drop in the serpentine flow channel is the lowest among all flow channels due to bypass flow across the gas diffusion layer under reactive flow condition, although its pressure drop is highest for a cold flow condition. So the effect of bypass flow for serpentine flow channels should be considered when designing flow channels
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