Document Type: Research Paper
Fuel Cell Technology Research Laboratory, Malek Ashtar University of Technology
Department of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Islamic Azad University, Jouybar, Iran
Contact resistance among the components of a polymer exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) has a crucial effect on cell performance. The geometry of the endplate plays an essential role in the contact pressure distribution over the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) and the amount of contact resistance between plates. In this work, the effects of endplate geometry on the contact pressure distribution over the MEA have been explored through computational simulations using ABAQUS software. A new geometry for the endplate has been proposed and was then compared to flat endplates. Geometrical parameters of an endplate having a curvature (bomb-shaped endplate) were considered, and the effects of these parameters on the contact pressure distribution over the MEA were investigated. Through the simulations, a 3D model of the fuel cell was developed. The simulation results showed good performances for the designed endplate and uniform contact pressure distribution on the fuel cell active area. Finally, a single fuel cell was manufactured and assembled using the simulation parameters, and experimental tests were conducted using pressure measurement film to evaluate the design.