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Three-dimensional multiphase flow modeling of membrane humidifier for PEM fuel cell application

Seyed Ali Atyabi (Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran)
Ebrahim Afshari (Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran)
Mohammad Yaghoub Abdollahzadeh Jamalabadi (Department for Management of Science and Technology Development, Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Faculty of Civil Engineering, Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow

ISSN: 0961-5539

Article publication date: 27 August 2019

Issue publication date: 15 January 2020

Abstract

Purpose

In this paper, a single module of cross-flow membrane humidifier is evaluated as a three-dimensional multiphase model. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effect of volume flow rate, dry temperature, dew point wet temperature and porosity of gas diffusion layer on the humidifier performance.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, one set of coupled equations are continuity, momentum, species and energy conservation is considered. The numerical code is benchmarked by the comparison of numerical results with experimental data of Hwang et al.

Findings

The results reveal that the transfer rate of water vapor and dew point approach temperature (DPAT) increase by increasing the volume flow rate. Also, it is found that the water recovery ratio (WRR) and relative humidity (RH) decrease with increasing volume flow rate. In addition, all mixed results decrease with increasing dry side temperature especially at high volume flow rates and this trend in high volume flow rates is more sensible. Although the transfer rate of water vapor and DPAT increases with increasing the wet inlet temperature, WRR and RH reduce. Increasing dew point temperature effect is more sensible at the wet side is compared with the dry side. The humidification performance will be enhanced with increasing diffusion layer porosity by increasing the wet inlet dew point temperature, but has no meaningful effect on other operating parameters. The pressure drop along humidifier gas channels increases with rising flow rate, consequently, the required power of membrane humidifier will enhance.

Originality/value

According to previous studies, the three-dimensional numerical multiphase model of cross-flow membrane humidifier has not been developed.

Keywords

Citation

Atyabi, S.A., Afshari, E. and Abdollahzadeh Jamalabadi, M.Y. (2020), "Three-dimensional multiphase flow modeling of membrane humidifier for PEM fuel cell application", International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, Vol. 30 No. 1, pp. 54-74. https://doi.org/10.1108/HFF-03-2019-0263

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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