Gas-liquid phenomena with dynamic contact angle in cathode of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

Xichen Wang, University of Windsor


Fundamental understanding of liquid water behaviours in the cathode of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) contributes to the investigation of the liquid water management in PEMFCs. In this work, a three-dimensional two-phase flow model using volume of fluid method (VOF) with dynamic contact angle (DCA) is developed through user defined function (UDF) codes and validated by comparing the simulation results with experimental results available from the literature. An improvement is proposed and implemented for the Hoffman function to calculate local DCAs. By employing this methodology, gas-liquid phenomena inside the cathode of PEMFCs with porous layer and different gas flow field designs are studied and compared with the numerical models without consideration of DCA, namely with static contact angles (SCA).