Numerical analysis of reactant transport in the novel tubular polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

Document Type: Research Paper


1 School of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 School of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Imam Hossein, Tehran, Iran

3 School of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran


In present work, numerical analysis of three novel PEM fuel cells with tubular geometry was conducted. Tree different cross section was considered for PEM, namely: circular, square and triangular. Similar boundary and operational conditions is applied for all the geometries. At first, the obtained polarization curve for basic architecture fuel cells was validated with experimental data and then results of novel tubular three architectures were compared with basic conventional geometry. The results showed that for one case in V=0.4 volt, circular and square tubular models gives up to 27.5 and 8 percent outlet current density more than base model, whereas in triangular model predicts the decrease of 14.37 percent compared to the base model. Because square tubular and in particular circular tubular models doesn’t have sharp edges, uniform reaction could take place in allover the catalyst layer of cathode and anode electrodes and therefore the distribution of the hydrogen, oxygen and water is uniform. Also circular geometry due to use of all the reaction surface and lacking of dead zones produces higher power outputs. The temperature distribution in lateral direction in the reaction zone for three configurations indicates that maximum temperature for circular tubular has the lowest values in comparison to two other cases that is resulting from uniform surface reaction for this geometry. The results presented in this paper can be used for designing novel architecture of fuel cells.


Main Subjects

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