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3rd Thermal and Fluids Engineering Conference (TFEC)

ISSN: 2379-1748


Mehdi Mortazavi
Multiscale Thermal Fluids Laboratory, Western New England University, Springfield, MA, 01119, USA

Seyed A. Niknam
Western New England University, Springfield, MA, 01119, USA

DOI: 10.1615/TFEC2018.mph.021681
pages 1667-1680

KEY WORDS: liquid-gas two-phase flow, pressure drop, PEM fuel cell, minichannel


In this paper, the liquid-gas two-phase flow pressure drop signatures are analyzed for minichannels. The twophase flow pressure drops are measured in a 2mm×1mm flow channel supplied with air and liquid water. The ranges of air and water flow rates represent operating conditions of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. As a PEM fuel cell operates, chemical energy is converted into electrical energy with water and heat as byproducts. The produced water can pass through the gas diffusion layer (GDL), a porous layer in PEM fuel cell, and emerges on its surface within the flow channel. This causes liquid-gas two-phase flow in flow channels. In this study, liquid-gas two-phase flow pressure drops are measured in an ex-situ PEM fuel cell test section. The experimentally measure pressure drops are compared with three models of two-phase flow pressure drop. Comparing 108 experimentally measured pressure drop data points with models proposed by Saisorn and Wongwises [29], English and Kandlikar [24], and Mishima and Hibiki [28] revealed that the latter showed the best prediction capability with a mean absolute percentage error as low as 10%. Moreover, in this study the distribution of pressure signatures are plotted and analyzed.

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