Water transport visualization and two-phase pressure drop measurements in a simulated PEMFC cathode minichannel

John Borrelli
Satish Kandlikar
Thomas Trabold
Jon Owejan

Third international conference on microchannels and minichannels, June 13-15, 2005. The complete proceedings are available at www.asme.org . Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.


Two-phase flow and water transport in a 1.08 mm hydraulic diameter by 25-cm long gas-transport minichannel are investigated. High-speed side-view images are obtained of water droplets moving through gas diffusion media (GDM) and into a gas channel. This system simulates water transport and the flow of air and water in a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) cathode gas channel. Advancing and receding contact angles and departure droplet diameters are measured with respect to superficial gas velocity for two GDM samples. Pressure drop is measured and compared to two-phase pressure drop correlations for three different water flow and five different airflow rates, and channel-water and GDM-water interactions are described.