Affordable Access

Publisher Website

Pressure and flow distribution in internal gas manifolds of a fuel-cell stack

Journal of Power Sources
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0378-7753(02)00615-8
  • Fuel-Cell
  • Stack
  • Manifold
  • Gas Pressure
  • Flow Distribution
  • Computer Science
  • Design
  • Mathematics


Abstract Gas-flow dynamics in internal gas manifolds of a fuel-cell stack are analyzed to investigate overall pressure variation and flow distribution. Different gas-flow patterns are considered in this analysis. Gas-flow through gas channels of each cell is modeled by means of Darcy’s law where permeability should be determined on an experimental basis. Gas-flow in manifolds is modeled from the macroscopic mechanical energy balance with pressure-loss by wall friction and geometrical effects. A systematic algorithm to solve the proposed flow model is suggested to calculate pressure and flow distribution in fuel-cell stacks. Calculation is done for a 100-cell molten carbonate fuel-cell stack with internal manifolds. The results show that the pressure-loss by wall friction is negligible compared with the pressure recovery in inlet manifolds or loss in outlet manifolds due to mass dividing or combining flow at manifold–cell junctions. A more significant effect on manifold pressure possibly arises from the geometrical manifold structure which depends on the manifold size and shape. The geometrical effect is approximated from pressure-loss coefficients of several types of fittings and valves. The overall pressure and flow distribution is significantly affected by the value of the geometrical pressure-loss coefficient. It is also found that the flow in manifolds is mostly turbulent in the 100-cell stack and this way result in an uneven flow distribution when the stack manifold is incorrectly, designed.

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.