Based on use of multi-dimensional models, this investigation simulates the performance of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell by varying the channel pattern. In the one-dimensional model, the porosity of the gas diffusion layer is 0.3. The model reveals the water vapor distribution of the fuel cell and demonstrates that the amount of water vapor increases linearly with the reduction reaction adjacent to the gas channel and the gas diffusion layer. Secondly, four novel tapered gas channels are simulated by a two-dimensional model. The model considers the distributions of oxygen, the pressure drop, the amount of water vapor distribution and the polarization curves. The results indicate that as the channel depth decreases, the oxygen in the tapered gas channel can be accelerated and forced into the gas diffusion layer to improve the cell performance. The three-dimensional model is employed to simulate the phenomenon associated with four novel tapered gas channels. The results also show that the best performance is realized in the least tapered gas channel. Finally, an experimentally determined mechanism is found to be consistent with the results of the simulation.
- multi-dimensional models
- pressure drop
- proton exchange membrane fuel cell
- tapered gas channels