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The cooling of PEFC with pentane boiling in minichannels: A study of flow instabilities using neutron radiography visualization
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Mechanics, Fluid Physics.
2007 (English)In: Heat Transfer Engineering, ISSN 0145-7632, E-ISSN 1521-0537, Vol. 28, no 1, 49-57 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC) operate best at a steady temperature of about 80 degrees C and have a very low heat flux compared to other heat transfer applications. Two-phase pentane cooling of bipolar plates is studied in order to optimize fuel cell cooling in transport applications. High-speed visualizations of boiling pentane in a circular steel tube (D-i = 1.1 mm, D-o = 2 mm) have been performed in a Neutrograph instrument at the Institut Laue-Langevin in Grenoble, France. The heat and mass flux were both very low and appropriate for cooling of PEFC. The spatial resolution of the images is approximately 0.15 mm and the maximum frequency is 154 Hz. In the images, the liquid-vapor differentiation is clearly visible. Time resolved measurements of the outer pipe wall temperature, synchronized with the images, show that at low mass flow rates, the pipe wall is high above the saturation temperature and the pipe filled with vapor and liquid slugs. At higher flow rates, the wall is superheated when filled with liquid, and at saturation temperature during boiling when exposed to a liquid-vapor mixture. An irregular switch between these two states was observed. The superheated wall is shown to be consistent with the superheated liquid in the pipe in both stable and time-dependent states. Unfortunately, the strong gamma-radiation produced by the neutrons has a substantial effect on the onset of boiling, which is why comparisons with non-irradiated systems might be difficult. Simplified steady and time-dependent models are proposed to explain the measured wall temperature instabilities and superheat.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 28, no 1, 49-57 p.
Keyword [en]
pressure-drop, heat-transfer, 2-phase flow
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-16300DOI: 10.1080/01457630600985667ISI: 000243122200009ScopusID: 2-s2.0-33845917079OAI: diva2:334342
QC 20100525Available from: 2010-08-05 Created: 2010-08-05Bibliographically approved

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