Optimal Design of Bipolar-Plates for a PEM Fuel Cell
고분자 전해질 연료전지용 분리판 최적 설계
Optimal flow-field design of bipolar-plates for a commercial class PEM(polymer electrolyte membrane) fuel cell stack was carried out on the basis of three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics(CFD) simulation. A three-dimensional CFD model originally developed by Shimpalee et al., has been utilized for performing large-scale simulation of a single fuel cell consisting of bipolar-plates gas diffusion layers, and a membrane-electrode-assembly(MEA). The CFD model is able to predict the current density, pressure drops, gas velocities, vapor and liquid water contents, temperature distributions, etc. inside a single fuel cell. Depending on simulation results from the CFD modeling of a PEM fuel cell, several flow-fields of bipolar-plates were designed and verified. The final design of the bipolar-plate has been chosen from the simulations and experimental tests and showed the best performance as expected from the simulation results under a normal operating condition. Thus, the CFD simulation approach to design the optimal flow-field of the bipolar-plates was successful. The final design was adopted as the best flow-field to build a commercial scale PEM fuel cell stack, the performance of which shows about 42% higher than that of the older bipolar-plate design.