A lung-inspired approach to scalable and robust fuel cell design

Title: A lung-inspired approach to scalable and robust fuel cell design
Author(s): Trogadas, P
Cho, JIS
Neville, TP
Marquis, J
Wu, B
Brett, DJL
Coppens, MO
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: A lung-inspired approach is employed to overcome reactant homogeneity issues in polymer electrolyte fuel cells. The fractal geometry of the lung is used as the model to design flow-fields of different branching generations, resulting in uniform reactant distribution across the electrodes and minimum entropy production of the whole system. 3D printed, lung-inspired flow field based PEFCs with N = 4 generations outperform the conventional serpentine flow field designs at 50% and 75% RH, exhibiting a 20% and 30% increase in performance (at current densities higher than 0.8 A cm2) and maximum power density, respectively. In terms of pressure drop, fractal flow-fields with N = 3 and 4 generations demonstrate 75% and 50% lower values than conventional serpentine flow-field design for all RH tested, reducing the power requirements for pressurization and recirculation of the reactants. The positive effect of uniform reactant distribution is pronounced under extended current-hold measurements, where lung-inspired flow field based PEFCs with N = 4 generations exhibit the lowest voltage decay (B5 mV h1). The enhanced fuel cell performance and low pressure drop values of fractal flow field design are preserved at large scale (25 cm2), in which the excessive pressure drop of a large-scale serpentine flow field renders its use prohibitive.
Publication Date: 25-Oct-2017
Date of Acceptance: 11-Oct-2017
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/52422
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C7EE02161E
ISSN: 1754-5692
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
Start Page: 136
End Page: 143
Journal / Book Title: Energy and Environmental Science
Volume: 11
Copyright Statement: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence
Keywords: Science & Technology
Physical Sciences
Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Chemistry, Multidisciplinary
Energy & Fuels
Engineering, Chemical
Environmental Sciences
Chemistry
Engineering
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
PROTON-EXCHANGE MEMBRANE
ELECTROCHEMICAL ENERGY-CONVERSION
ACTIVE WATER MANAGEMENT
FLOW-FIELD DESIGN
PEMFC PERFORMANCE
BIPOLAR PLATES
ELECTROLYTE
TRANSPORT
CHANNELS
SCALE
MD Multidisciplinary
Energy
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering
Dyson School of Design Engineering



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