The design and evaluation of a water delivery system for evaporative cooling of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell
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An investigation was performed to demonstrate system design for the delivery of water required for evaporative cooling of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The water delivery system uses spray nozzles capable of injecting water directly and uniformly to the nickel metal foam flow-field (element for distributing the reactant gases over the surface of the electrodes) on the anode side from which water can migrate to the cathode side of the cell via electroosmotic drag. For an effective overall cooling, water distribution over the surface of the nickel foam has to be uniform to avoid creation of hotspots within the cell. A prototype PEMFC structure was constructed modeled after a 35 kW electrical output PEMFC stack. Water was sprayed on the nickel metal foam flow-field using two types of nozzle spray, giving conical fog type flow and flat fan type flow. A detailed investigation of the distribution pattern of water over the surface of the nickel metal flow field was conducted. The motive behind the investigation was to determine if design parameters such as type of water flow from nozzles, vertical location of the water nozzles above the flowfield, area of the nozzles, or operating variables such as reactant gas flow had any effect on water distribution over the surface of the Ni-metal foam flow field. It was found that the design parameters (types of flow, area and location of the nozzle) had a direct impact on the distribution of water in the nickel metal foam. However, the operating variable, reactant gas flow, showed no effect on the water distribution pattern in the Ni-foam.
Al-Asad, Dawood Khaled Abdullah (2006). The design and evaluation of a water delivery system for evaporative cooling of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from