Pressure drop on the cathode side of a PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) fuel cell stack has been studied and used as a diagnostic tool. Since the Reynolds number at the beginning of the flow field channel was <250, the flow through the channel is laminar, and the relationship between the pressure drop and the flow rate is linear. Some departure from linearity was observed when water was either introduced in the stack or produced inside the stack in the electrochemical reaction. By monitoring the pressure drop in conjunction with the cell resistance in an operational fuel cell stack, it was possible to diagnose either flooding or drying conditions inside the stack.
Observation of Pressure Drop Behavior in an Operating Fuel Cell Stack
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Barbir, F, Gorgun, H, & Wang, X. "Observation of Pressure Drop Behavior in an Operating Fuel Cell Stack." Proceedings of the ASME 2005 Power Conference. ASME 2005 Power Conference. Chicago, Illinois, USA. April 5–7, 2005. pp. 899-903. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/PWR2005-50074
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