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Scaling up Studies on PEMFC Using a Modified Serpentine Flow Field Incorporating Porous Sponge Inserts to Observe Water Molecules

Marappan, Muthukumar; Narayanan, Rengarajan; Manoharan, Karthikeyan; Vijayakrishnan, Magesh Kannan; Palaniswamy, Karthikeyan; Karazhanov, Smagul; Sundaram, Senthilarasu


Muthukumar Marappan

Rengarajan Narayanan

Karthikeyan Manoharan

Magesh Kannan Vijayakrishnan

Karthikeyan Palaniswamy

Smagul Karazhanov


Flooding of the cathode flow channel is a major hindrance in achieving maximum performance from Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC) during the scaling up process. Water accumulated between the interface region of Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) and rib of the cathode flow field can be removed by the use of Porous Sponge Inserts (PSI) on the ribs. In the present work, the experimental investigations are carried out on PEMFC for the various reaction areas, namely 25, 50 and 100 cm2. Stoichiometry value of 2 is maintained for all experiments to avoid variations in power density obtained due to differences in fuel utilization. The experiments include two flow fields, namely Serpentine Flow Field (SFF) and Modified Serpentine with Staggered provisions of 4 mm PSI (4 mm × 2 mm × 2 mm) Flow Field (MSSFF). The peak power densities obtained on MSSFF are 0.420 W/cm2, 0.298 W/cm2 and 0.232 W/cm2 compared to SFF which yields 0.242 W/cm2, 0.213 W/cm2 and 0.171 W/cm2 for reaction areas of 25, 50 and 100 cm2 respectively. Further, the reliability of experimental results is verified for SFF and MSSFF on 25 cm2 PEMFC by using Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS). The use of 4 mm PSI is found to improve the performance of PEMFC through the better water management.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 5, 2021
Online Publication Date Jan 8, 2021
Publication Date 2021
Deposit Date Jan 31, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jan 31, 2022
Journal Molecules
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 2
Article Number 286
Keywords proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC); scaling up; porous sponge; MSSFF; EIS; water management
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