ISSN print edition: 0366-6352
ISSN electronic edition: 1336-9075
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Effect of interdigitated leaf channel design bipolar plate on the performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cell

Srinivasa Reddy Badduri, G. Naga Srinivasulu, S. Srinivasa Rao, V. Venkateswarlu, Ch. Karunakar, K. Sridhar, and A. V. S. Ramanuja Charyulu

Department of Mechanical Engineering, KITS Warangal, Warangal, India



Received: 16 April 2022  Accepted: 22 September 2022


Conventional flow fields like serpentine flow fields possess intrinsic issues of substandard water management, specifically close to the U-bends, improper reactant distribution as well as high pressure drop. To overcome these drawbacks of conventional flow field designs, researchers are introducing naturally inspired designs such as leaf and lung structures. The nutrient transport system is very efficient in the lungs of humans and plant leaves. The same kind of system could be implemented in the flow channel design of a fuel cell to attain uniform spreading of reactants and better liquid water removal from reaction sites. In this study, the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) performance built-in with interdigitated leaf channel design with curved edges is discussed. The influence of various operating conditions such as operating pressure, temperature, back pressure, humidification temperatures of anode and cathode on the PEMFC performance is explored. From the outcome, it is noticed that the best performance is obtained when PEMFC is activated at a temperature of 70 °C, 3 bar pressure, AHT and CHT being at 70 °C and 60 °C, respectively. The results of this experiment of interdigitated leaf channel design with curved edges (ILCDWCE) were compared with non-interdigitated leaf channel design (NILCD), single serpentine flow field design (SSFCD) and interdigitated leaf channel design (ILCD) at optimal operating conditions. The experimental results of ILCDWCE showed 12.5%, 23.52% and 34.04% higher power density compared to PEMFC having ILCD, NILCD and SSFCD, respectively. After considering the parasitic losses, the net power density generated for a PEMFC with ILCDWCE is 14.7% more when compared with ILCD, 23.55% more when compared with NILCD and 33.18% more when compared with SSFCD.

Keywords: Fuel cell; Flow channel; Interdigitated; Leaf channel; PEMFC

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-022-02517-1


Chemical Papers 77 (2) 1095–1106 (2023)

Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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