A study of the dynamic behaviour of water transport and power output
optimisation in a waved and hybrid flow field channel of a miniature
PEMFC design using CFD.

Performance of a PEMFC greatly depends on its design features such as flow field patterns, size, and
internal geometries. Prominent aspects used to evaluate the performance of a PEMFC are efficiency of
water transport management as well as magnitude of power output, flow velocity, power density and
current density. Various designs studied in research have a common goal towards achieving
optimisation of performance but there is a huge gap where miniature hybrid waved models are not
studied extensively. To contribute towards closing this gap, this research aims to study the water
transport management, power output and performance of a miniature hybrid waved flow field design
PEMFC. The most crucial factor is the water management as flooding is a common problem during
PEMFC operations that leads to pressure drops and power loss. In accordance with this, two research
questions have been derived. Firstly, how does miniaturisation and hybridisation of the flow field
design affect the water transport behaviour and power output ? Secondly, does the miniaturisation and
hybridisation of flow fields optimise the performance of PEMFC ? The methodology of the project is
to create a 30 mm ∗ 30 mm waved serpentine-parallel flow field, 70 mm ∗ 70 mm waved parallel flow
field, and 70 mm ∗ 70 mm waved serpentine-parallel flow field are created in SOLIDWORKS and
analysed in ANSYS FLUENT module to yield the theoretical results. Together with the data of a
similar model from previous research, all designs are comparatively analysed. The data generated is in
the form of IR-free I-V curves, mass distribution profile, flow velocity profile, polarisation and power
density curves. Based on the understanding of the previous literature it is expected that optimised
water management, enhanced power output and efficient performance would be achieved in the
miniature waved serpentine-parallel flow field PEMFC design. It is anticipated that miniature hybrid
waved design would distribute the mass flow better, increase reactant flow of water closer to the
outlets, increase surface area contact ratio of reactants, increase velocity of reactant flow and exhibit
lower pressure drop.