Numerical Simulations of Coupled Flow and Heat Transfer Distributions in a Bipolar Plate of the PEM Electrolysis Cell

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Hydrogen is expected to play an important role as an energy carrier of the future. Hydrogen may be used as fuel in almost every application where fossil fuels are being used today, but without harmful emissions. However, hydrogen is not an energy source, and it does not occur in nature in its elemental or molecular form. Three-dimensional CFD modeling and experimental measurements of a simplified bipolar plate of the PEM electrolysis cell were performed. The computed pressure drop and temperature distribution agree very well with the measurements. The results show that the maximum temperature appears in the fluid channels and near the exit header section, but not in the exit port. The velocity distribution in the fluid channels is very non-uniform over the test plate. A minimum of the peak values of mainstream velocity component in the channels develops in the middle of the plate. The maximum of these peak values appears in the channel near the exit tube.


Computational fluid dynamics; Computer simulations; Electrolysis; Flow (Dynamics); Heat – Transmission; Heat transfer; Hydrogen as fuel; Proton exchange membranes; Proton exchange membrane fuel cells


Fluid Dynamics | Heat Transfer, Combustion | Mechanical Engineering | Oil, Gas, and Energy


Conference Held: Jacksonville, Florida, USA, August 10–14, 2008


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