Modeling Fluid Transport In PEM Fuel Cells Using The Lattice-Boltzmann Approach
Free (open access)
L.-P. Wang & B. Afsharpoya
Three viscous flow problems relevant to fuel cell modeling are considered with the lattice Boltzmann approach. The first problem is a 3D viscous flow through a section of serpentine channel and the second is a 2D channel filled or partially filled with a porous medium. In the first case, attention is given to the implementation details such as inlet-outlet boundary conditions, nonuniform grid, and forcing. In the second case, the effects of multiple time scales and interface between the porous medium and clear channel are considered. In the third problem, these techniques are combined to simulate flow in a serpentine channel with GDL. Results are compared with other studies based on Navier-Stokes CFD and experimental observations. Keywords: lattice Boltzmann approach, simulation, fuel cells, serpentine channel, porous medium, pressure loss. 1 Introduction Fuel cells are electrochemical reactors generating electricity directly from oxidation reactions of fuels. Due to their high efficiency (typically twice of the energy conversion efficiency of internal combustion engines), near-zero emissions, low noise, and portability, fuel cells are being considered as a potentially viable energyconversion device for mobile, stationary, and portable power. The low operation temperature of the proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) makes it a preferred fuel-cell type for automotive applications. A PEMFC unit consists of two thin, porous electrodes (an anode and a cathode) separated by a membraneelectrode assembly. Reactants (e.g., hydrogen and air) are brought into the cell through flow distribution channels (Fig. 1(a)). Computational models of increas-
lattice Boltzmann approach, simulation, fuel cells, serpentine channel, porous medium, pressure loss.