Two-phase flow pressure drop measurement in PEM fuel cell flow channels

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Copyright © 2014 by ASME. Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells produce power with water and heat as inevitable byproducts. Accumulated liquid water within gas channel blocks the reactant flow and cause pressure drop along the gas channel. It is of extreme importance to accurately predict the liquid and gas two-phase flow pressure drop in PEM fuel cell flow channels. This pressure drop can be considered as an in-situ diagnostic tool that reveals information about the amount of liquid water accumulated within the flow channels. In this paper, the two-phase flow pressure drops are measured in ex-situ PEM fuel cell parallel flow channels. The pressure drops were measured for air mass fluxes of 2.4-6.3kg/m2s and water mass fluxes of 0.0071-1.28kg/m2s. These mass fluxes correspond to 2-5.33m/s and 7.14×10-6-0.0012m/s air and water superficial velocities, respectively. The measured two-phase flow pressure drops are then compared with different two-phase flow pressure drop models. Qualitative and quantitative comparison between the experimental results and existing models is provided in this work.

Publication Title

ASME 2014 12th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology, FUELCELL 2014 Collocated with the ASME 2014 8th International Conference on Energy Sustainability