Investigation of Spiral Flow-Field Design on the Performance of a PEM Fuel Cell

B. Ibrahimoglu, M. Z. Yilmazoglu*, Sanser Celenk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Polymer exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are promising energy converters due to their unique features with an application potential for many sectors. The performance of PEM fuel cells depends on a number of factors, one of which is suitable flow-field design. In this study, the effect of spiral flow-field design is investigated with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method. The model consists of the transport phenomena in a fuel cell. Electrochemical reactions, mass, heat, energy, species transport, and potential fields equations are solved by ANSYS-FLUENT. The polarization and power density curve, temperature, pressure, and distributions of the gases inside the flow-fields were obtained. The results were compared with the reference geometry. Although the spiral flow-field has considerable ohmic losses, the velocity and pressure distributions of the gases are found to be uniform. Furthermore, it is shown that the spiral flow-field reduces the pressure drop per unit length of the flow-field. When compared to other flow-field designs, the spiral flow-field is found to be quite efficient by means of auxiliary power consumption.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFuel Cells
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)786-793
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Gas Flow-Field
  • Numerical Fuel Cell
  • PEM Fuel Cell
  • Spiral Flow-Field


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