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

M. Akbari, A. Tamayol, M. Bahrami

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 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)
Title of host publicationWHEC 2012 Conference Proceedings - 19th World Hydrogen Energy Conference
PublisherElsevier Ltd
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781627483179
StatePublished - 2012
Event19th World Hydrogen Energy Conference, WHEC 2012 - Toronto, ON, Canada
Duration: Jun 3 2012Jun 7 2012

Publication series

NameEnergy Procedia
ISSN (Print)1876-6102


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

  • Energy(all)

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