Visualization of the gas flow in fuel cell bipolar plates using molecular flow seeding and micro-particle image velocimetry
Main components of proton exchange membrane fuel cells are bipolar plates that electrically connect the electrodes and provide a gas flow to the membrane. We investigate the flow in the channel structures of bipolar plates. Flow seeding is used to visualize the propagating and mixing gas stream. It is shown that a part of the gas is transported perpendicularly to the channel structure. An analysis of the diffusion compared with the convection shows different transport behavior for both flow directions. Additionally, the convective flow field is investigated in detail near the channel wall using Micro-PIV in a Reynolds-number-scaled liquid fluid system. For a more exact comparison of the experimental setups, flow seeding in both gas and liquid systems is performed.
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