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PEM fuel cell modelling with and without current collector plates???

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Old   May 15, 2013, 14:28
Default PEM fuel cell modelling with and without current collector plates???
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Can anyone help me tell the difference between a PEM fuel cell model including and not including anode/cathode bi-polar plates?

One advantage I can see of not having the BBPs is that I can reduce the element number and this makes the meshing process much simpler.

However, when I take off the BPPs, of course I have to specify the anode potential (0 V) and cathode potential (0.7 V) at the GDL/flow channel interface.

Only the GDL surface that is exposed to the environment (external boundary, previously underneath the current collectors) can be specified this potentiostatic condition not the portion that is hidden directly beneath the flow channel (FLUENT treats this portion as INTERIOR, hence we cannot touch it)

After comparing the current density obtained from the 2 cases, the results are different. I guess there is something to do with the GDL surface hidden beneath the flow channel, am I right?

What about some literature? Seems like most of them have excluded the current collectors, where exactly did they apply the potentiostatic condition on? Please, could you guys help? Any input would be much appreciated, thanks.


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Old   May 15, 2013, 15:55
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A-A Azarafza
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I have the same question while working on PEM fuel cell. but as I'm modeling only a single channel, so I just ignored that idea, There's no difference for me to consider BP or not. But as you mentioned there are a couple of papers and thesis applied that opinion (Ignoring using BP)?????
If you get anything I'll be appreciate if you let me know.
Thank you in advance
Regard yours
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Old   October 10, 2013, 11:12
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Tom Tranter
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Hey did you find an answer to this question?
I normally keep the bipolar plate in the mesh but reduce the number of elements above the flow channel to speed things up. I would say removing it gives a less uniform current density at the terminal.

p.s I'm studying fuel cells too so add me as a contact if you like
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