Using Multi-Scale Modeling to Understand Transports inside PEMFC Under Different Configurations

Thursday, 5 October 2017: 09:00
National Harbor 3 (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)
S. Shimpalee, P. Satjaritanun, J. W. Weidner (University of South Carolina), S. Hirano, Z. Lu (Ford Motor Company), A. Shum, I. V. Zenyuk (Tufts University), S. Ogawa, and S. Litster (Carnegie Mellon University)
The objective of this study is to use multi-scale/multi-dimensional model to enhance the development of a fuel cell stack and electrochemical cells with increasing in performance at high current densities. Experimental investigation of oxygen transport has been limited by an inability to resolve water saturation-dependent properties. This work shows the successful in development of a multi-scale calculation technique that incorporates detailed structure of each scale dimension in every component of a fuel cell and simultaneously performed a prediction. The effect of operating conditions under different types of flow-fields, gas diffusion layers, and compression pressures on the transports inside PEMFC will be the primary focus of this work.

Figure 1 gives the idea of multi-scale modeling approach at each component of the fuel cell. The flow-field bipoplar plates and MEA models are calculated using traditional CFD method with exisitng PEMFC model [1-3]. The micro-structure of gas diffusion layer (GDL) and/or microporous layer (MPL) are numerically predicted by Lattice Bolzmann method (LBM) [4-6]. Therfore, during the calcuation, the solutions of each iteration from CFD and LBM are required to simulteneously exchange for the next iteration until all solutions are converged, especially at the interfaces [7]. Figure 2 shows liquid water inside GDL and GDL w/ MPL from the simulation when the macroscopic model is combined with the microscopic model under baseline operation.


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