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Numerical prediction of humidification process in planar porous membrane humidifier of a PEM fuel cell system to evaluate the effects of operating and geometrical parameters

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In present study, a numerical model is employed to investigate the effects of different operating parameters and channel geometry on the performance of membrane humidifier. Simulations are performed by a commercial CFD code and based on user defined functions. Three-dimensional counter-flow humidifier model for a gas-to-gas case is considered. Results show that an increase in porosity or permeability leads to better humidification. Moreover, increase in inlet temperature of dry and wet channels as well as inlet mass flowrate of water vapor would enhance humidifying process. On the other hand, by reduction in inlet mass flowrate of gas channel and thickness of the porous medium in membrane, better humidifier performance would be achieved. To investigate the geometric parameters, three different channel types including stepped, sinusoidal and zigzag are considered. It is found that stepped geometry has the best performance in humidifying.

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a :

Water vapor activity

C :

Total concentration of species i

D :


D 0 :

Diffusivity at standard condition

P :

Pressure (Pa)

S u :

Source term of momentum equation

T :

Temperature (K)

u :

Mixture velocity (m s−1)

W m,dry :

Membrane dry equivalent mass

ρ m,dry :

Membrane dry density (kg m−3)

ε :

Porosity in porous media

λ :

Membrane water content

μ :

Mixture viscosity (kg m−1 s−1)

ρ :

Mixture density (kg m−3)

κ :

Permeability (m2)

i :

Species i of fluids

M :



Effective properties

W :

Wet side


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Correspondence to Seyed Soheil Mousavi Ajarostaghi.

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Hashemi-Valikboni, S.Z., Ajarostaghi, S.S.M., Delavar, M.A. et al. Numerical prediction of humidification process in planar porous membrane humidifier of a PEM fuel cell system to evaluate the effects of operating and geometrical parameters. J Therm Anal Calorim 141, 1687–1701 (2020).

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