Thermal assessment of convective heat transfer in air- Cooled PEMFC stacks: An experimental study

M. Akbari, A. Tamayol, M. Bahrami

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This study presents an experimental stack-level thermal and hydrodynamic assessment of a model air-cooled PEM fuel cell. To mimic the heat generation inside the MEA, rubber heater films are used. Pressure drop along the stack channels and temperature distribution on the bipolar plate surface are measured for the channel Reynolds number range of 200-500 and the stack input power range of 100-250 W. Tests are performed with and without gas diffusion layers (GDL) to investigate the effect of GDL and its surface characteristics on the pressure drop and heat transfer. Our results indicate that, with the existing length of bipolar plates, a major part of plate minichannel is filled with the developing region. This leads to a higher heat transfer rates, thus more uniform stack temperature can be obtained with the penalty of higher fan power. The minimum measured temperature difference is about 10°C and the values become more pronounced when the Reynolds number decreases. The existence of the GDL is observed to have negligible effect on the pressure drop.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event19th World Hydrogen Energy Conference, WHEC 2012 - Toronto, ON, Canada
Duration: Jun 3 2012Jun 7 2012


Other19th World Hydrogen Energy Conference, WHEC 2012
CityToronto, ON


  • Air-cooled
  • Convective heat transfer
  • Gas diffusion layer
  • PEM fuel cells
  • Thermal management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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