0
Research Papers: Multiphase Flows

Effect of Gas Diffusion Layer Surface Wettability Gradient on Water Behavior in a Serpentine Gas Flow Channel of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

[+] Author and Article Information
Sneha Malhotra

Department of Chemical Engineering,
IIT Roorkee,
Roorkee 247667, India

Sumana Ghosh

Department of Chemical Engineering,
IIT Roorkee,
Roorkee 247667, India
e-mail: ghoshfch@iitr.ac.in

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received October 16, 2017; final manuscript received February 27, 2018; published online April 19, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Shizhi Qian.

J. Fluids Eng 140(8), 081302 (Apr 19, 2018) (9 pages) Paper No: FE-17-1667; doi: 10.1115/1.4039520 History: Received October 16, 2017; Revised February 27, 2018

Water removal and behavior, in proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) gas flow channel has been investigated in this work. Single serpentine gas flow channel has been simulated. Hydrodynamics of water drops in a serpentine channel are studied as a function of nature of gas diffusion layer (GDL) surface wettability. In one case, the surface becomes gradually hydrophobic starting from 90 deg to 170 deg. In this second case, the value of contact angle reduces to 10 deg. A three-dimensional model has been developed by using cfd software. Two different drop of diameter 0.2 mm and 0.4 mm are simulated for all the cases. It is observed that, water coverage is always lesser for a gradual hydrophobic surface. Also at low air velocity and gradual hydrophobic GDL surface results in lesser pressure drop as well as water coverage.

FIGURES IN THIS ARTICLE
<>
Copyright © 2018 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.

References

Anderson, R. , Mauricio, B. , Xiaotao, B. , and Wilkinson, D. P. , 2012, “ Anode Water Removal and Cathode Gas Diffusion Layer Flooding in a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell,” Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 37(21), pp. 16093–16103. [CrossRef]
Quan, P. , Zhou, B. , Sobiesiak, A. , and Liu, Z. , 2005, “ Water Behavior in Serpentine Micro-Channel for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Cathode,” J. Power Sources, 152(1–2), pp. 131–145. [CrossRef]
Banerjee, R. , and Kandlikar, S. G. , 2014, “ Liquid Water Quantification in the Cathode Side Gas Channels of a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Through Two-Phase Flow Visualization,” J. Power Sources, 247, pp. 9–19. [CrossRef]
Bozorgnezhad, A. , Shams, M. , Kanani, H. , Hasheminasab, M. , and Ahmadi, G. , 2015, “ The Experimental Study of Water Management in the Cathode Channel of Single-Serpentine Transparent Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell by Direct Visualization,” Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 40(6), pp. 2808–2832. [CrossRef]
Chen, Y.-S. , and Peng, H. , 2009, “ Studying the Water Transport in a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell by Neutron Radiography and Relative Humidity Sensors,” ASME J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol., 6(3), p. 031016. [CrossRef]
Gopalan, P. , and Kandlikar, S. G. , 2014, “ Modeling Dynamic Interaction Between an Emerging Water Droplet and the Sidewall of a Trapezoidal Channel,” Colloids Surf. A, 441, pp. 262–274. [CrossRef]
Hartnig, C. , Manke, I. , Kuhn, R. , Kardjilov, N. , Banhart, J. , and Lehnert, W. , 2008, “ Cross-Sectional Insight in the Water Evolution and Transport in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells,” Appl. Phys. Lett., 92(13), p. 134106.
Iranzo, A. , Pierre, B. , Johannes, B. , and Antonio, S. , 2015, “ Investigation of the Liquid Water Distributions in a 50 cm2 PEM Fuel Cell: Effects of Reactants Relative Humidity, Current Density, and Cathode Stoichiometry,” Energy, 82, pp. 914–921. [CrossRef]
Iranzo, A. , Boillat, P. , Biesdorf, J. , Tapia, E. , Salva, A. , and Guerra, J. , 2014, “ Liquid Water Preferential Accumulation in Channels of PEM Fuel Cells With Multiple Serpentine Flow Fields,” Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 39(28), pp. 15687–15695. [CrossRef]
Manke, I. , Hartnig, C. , Grünerbel, M. , Lehnert, W. , Kardjilov, N. , Haibel, A. , Hilger, A. , Banhart, J. , and Riesemeier, H. , 2007, “ Investigation of Water Evolution and Transport in Fuel Cells With High Resolution Synchrotron X-Ray Radiography,” Appl. Phys. Lett., 90(17), p. 174105.
Manke, I. , Hartnig, C. , Kardjilov, N. , Messerschmidt, M. , Hilger, A. , Strobl, M. , and Banhart, J. , 2008, “ Characterization of Water Exchange and Two-Phase Flow in Porous Gas Diffusion Materials by Hydrogen-Deuterium Contrast Neutron Radiography,” Appl. Phys. Lett., 92(24), p. 244101. [CrossRef]
Li, H. , Tang, Y. , Wang, Z. , Shi, Z. , Wu, S. , Song, D. , Zhang, J. , Fatih, K. , Zhang, J. , Wang, H. , Liu, Z ., Abouatallah, R. , and Mazza, A. , 2008, “ A Review of Water Flooding Issues in the Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell,” J. Power Sources, 178(1), pp. 103–117. [CrossRef]
Dutta, S. , Shimpalee, S. , and Van Zee, J. W. , 2000, “ Three-Dimensional Numerical Simulation of Straight Channel PEM Fuel Cells,” J. Appl. Electrochem., 30(2), pp. 135–146. [CrossRef]
Cai, Y. H. , Hu, J. , Ma, H. P. , Yi, B. L. , and Zhang, H. M. , 2006, “ Effects of Hydrophilic/Hydrophobic Properties on the Water Behavior in the Micro-Channels of a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell,” J. Power Sources, 161(2), pp. 843–848. [CrossRef]
Cai, Y. , Yang, T. , Sui, P. C. , and Xiao, J. , 2016, “ A Numerical Investigation on the Effects of Water Inlet Location and Channel Surface Properties on Water Transport in PEMFC Cathode Channels,” Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 41(36), pp. 16220–16229. [CrossRef]
Molaeimanesh, G. R. , and Akbari, M. H. , 2016, “ Role of Wettability and Water Droplet Size During Water Removal From a PEMFC GDL by Lattice Boltzmann Method,” Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 41(33), pp. 14872–14884. [CrossRef]
Jiao, K. , and Zhou, B. , 2008, “ Effects of Electrode Wettabilities on Liquid Water Behaviours in PEM Fuel Cell Cathode,” J. Power Sources, 175(1), pp. 106–119. [CrossRef]
Jiao, K. , Zhou, B. , and Quan, P. , 2006, “ Liquid Water Transport in Straight Micro-Parallel-Channels With Manifolds for PEM Fuel Cell Cathode,” J. Power Sources, 157(1), pp. 226–243. [CrossRef]
Jiao, K. , Zhou, B. , and Quan, P. , 2006, “ Liquid Water Transport in Parallel Serpentine Channels With Manifolds on Cathode Side of a PEM Fuel Cell Stack,” J. Power Sources, 154(1), pp. 124–137. [CrossRef]
Song, M. , Kim, H.-Y. , and Kim, K. , 2014, “ Effects of Hydrophilic/Hydrophobic Properties of Gas Flow Channels on Liquid Water Transport in a Serpentine Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell,” Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 39(34), pp. 19714–19721. [CrossRef]
Kim, J. H. , Lee, G. G. , and Kim, W. T. , 2017, “ Comparison of Liquid Water Dynamics in Bent Gas Channels of a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell With Different Channel Cross Sections in a Channel Flooding Situation,” Energies, 10(12), p. 748. [CrossRef]
Greenspan, H. P. , 1978, “ On the Motion of a Small Viscous Droplet That Wets a Surface,” J. Fluid Mech., 84(1), pp. 125–143. [CrossRef]
Chaudhury, M. K. , and Whitesides, G. M. , 1992, “ How to Make Water Run Uphill,” Science, 256(5063), pp. 1539–1541. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Daniel, S. , and Chaudhury, M. K. , 2002, “ Rectified Motion of Liquid Drops on Gradient Surfaces Induced by Vibration,” Langmuir, 18(9), pp. 3404–3407. [CrossRef]
Daniel, S. , Sircar, S. , Gliem, J. , and Chaudhury, M. K. , 2004, “ Ratcheting Motion of Liquid Drops on Gradient Surfaces,” Langmuir, 20(10), pp. 4085–4092. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Suda, H. , and Yamada, S. , 2003, “ Force Measurements for the Movement of a Water Drop on a Surface With a Surface Tension Gradient,” Langmuir, 19(3), pp. 529–531. [CrossRef]
ANSYS, 2013, ANSYS FLUENT Theory Guide, ANSYS, Inc., Canonsburg, PA.
Patankar, S. V. , 1980, Numerical Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow, Hemisphere, Washington, DC.
Iliev, S. D. , 1997, “ Static Drops on an Inclined Plane: Equilibrium Modeling and Numerical Analysis,” J. Colloid Interface Sci., 194(2), pp. 287–300. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Zhenyu, S. , Zhanqiang, L. , Hao, S. , and Xianzhi, Z. , 2016, “ Prediction of Contact Angle for Hydrophobic Surface Fabricated With Micro-Machining Based on Minimum Gibbs Free Energy,” Appl. Surf. Sci., 364, pp. 597–603. [CrossRef]

Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Computational domain

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Meshed geometry and convergence details: (a) meshed geometry and (b) residual plot

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Comparison of stationary drop on hydrophilic and hydrophobic surface with literature: (a) hydrophilic surface with contact angle 83 deg and (b) hydrophilic surface with contact angle 139 deg

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Comparison of experimental and numerical phase contours

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Deformation of single drop of 0.035 mm3 with time in serpentine channel with surface A, at Ug 10 m/s

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Time variation of the phase contour for the drop of 0.035 mm3 at modified GDL surfaces at Ug 10 m/s: (a) surface A and (b) surface B

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Phase contours at different GDL at time 2.5 ms for Ug 10 m/s and drop volume 0.035 mm3: (a) surface A, (b) surface B, and (c) surface C

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Deformation of single drop of 0.27 mm3 with time in serpentine channel with surface A at Ug 10 m/s: (a) surface A and (b) surface B

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Time variation of the phase contour for the drop of 0.27 mm3 at modified GDL surfaces at Ug 10 m/s: (a) surface A and (b) surface B

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

In situ water content as a function of time for different GDL surfaces at 10 m/s: (a) drop volume 0.035 mm3 and (b) drop volume 0.27 mm3

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Average pressure as a function of axial position for different GDL surfaces at 4.5 ms and Ug 10 m/s: (a) drop volume 0.035 mm3 and (b) drop volume 0.27 mm3

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Time-averaged water content as a function of inlet gas velocity with GDL surfaces as parameter: (a) drop volume 0.035 mm3 and (b) drop volume 0.27 mm3

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

Transition of drop from modified surfaces to side wall at Ug 3 m/s for drop volume of 0.035 mm: (a) surface A and (b) surface B

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 14

Time-averaged pressure as a function of inlet gas velocity with GDL surfaces as parameter: (a) drop volume 0.035 mm3 and (b) drop volume 0.27 mm3

Tables

Errata

Discussions

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In