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Développement d'outils pour l'étude des écoulements diphasiques dans les canaux d'une pile à combustible de type PEM

Abstract : Water management is a critical issue in the operation of proton exchange fuel cells (PEMFC). On one hand, the membrane must be sufficiently hydrated to allow the transport of protons from the anode side to the cathode side. But on the other hand, supersaturation of water vapour in the gas phase results in liquid water formation, which can be detrimental to the fuel cell operation. Liquid water can clog up the porous structure of the gas diffusion layer (GDL) and hinder the transport of gases in the catalyst layer. Liquid accumulation can also lead to the formation of water columns inside the gas flow channels, thus preventing the fuel gas from flowing into the reaction area.Micro-sensors have been designed to detect the presence of liquid water. Three of them were inserted inside the gas distribution channels of a 25 cm2 cell. The tests run with this equipped cell highlighted the link between the presence of liquid water and the variations of the cell voltage. Besides, existing correlations were used to calculate the pressure drop between the inlet and the outlet of the cathode channel due to two-phase flow during the cell operation. The results of this calculation were compared with experimental results. This part of the study highlighted the influence of the GDL and of the operating conditions on the flows inside the channels
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Delphine Conteau. Développement d'outils pour l'étude des écoulements diphasiques dans les canaux d'une pile à combustible de type PEM. Autre. Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine, 2011. Français. ⟨NNT : 2011INPL036N⟩. ⟨tel-01749451⟩

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