Fuel Cells, vol.17, no.6, pp.786-793, 2017 (SCI-Expanded)
© 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, WeinheimPolymer exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are promising energy converters due to their unique features with an application potential for many sectors. The performance of PEM fuel cells depends on a number of factors, one of which is suitable flow-field design. In this study, the effect of spiral flow-field design is investigated with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method. The model consists of the transport phenomena in a fuel cell. Electrochemical reactions, mass, heat, energy, species transport, and potential fields equations are solved by ANSYS-FLUENT. The polarization and power density curve, temperature, pressure, and distributions of the gases inside the flow-fields were obtained. The results were compared with the reference geometry. Although the spiral flow-field has considerable ohmic losses, the velocity and pressure distributions of the gases are found to be uniform. Furthermore, it is shown that the spiral flow-field reduces the pressure drop per unit length of the flow-field. When compared to other flow-field designs, the spiral flow-field is found to be quite efficient by means of auxiliary power consumption.