WIT Press


EVALUATION OF MODELS OF THE EFFECTIVE THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY OF POROUS MATERIALS RELEVANT TO FUEL CELL ELECTRODES



Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/CMEM-V1-N4-440-455

Volume

Volume 1 (2013), Issue 4

Pages

15

Page Range

440 - 455

Author(s)

B. SUNDÉN & J. YUAN

Abstract

Small scale solid particles with fluid-filled pores are applied in various porous structures in energy systems, such as fuel cells, for the objectives to enhance the catalytic reaction activities and improve the fuel utilization efficiency or/and reduce the pollutants. In addition to the catalytic reactions, heat transfer processes in fuel cell porous electrodes are strongly affected by the small scale and complex porous structures. In this paper, the thermal energy equation commonly used for continuum models at porous-averaging level is highlighted, with the purpose to provide a general overview of the validity and limiting conditions for its application. Models for effective thermal conductivity are reviewed and discussed. It is found that both the rarefaction and tortuosity effects on reduction of effective thermal conductivity may be significant, and these should be evaluated based on detailed information of operating parameters, pore size distributions and topologic structures. Comments and suggestions are presented for the better understanding and implementation of the continuum heat transfer models for fuel cell electrodes.

Keywords

Catalytic reaction, effective thermal conductivity, heat transfer, Knudsen number, modeling, multi-phase flow