Non Prismatic Air-Breathing Fuel Cells: Concept, Design and Manufacturing


This paper details the research into Axis Symmetric Architecture (ASA) Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells, which are fuel cells that possess a non-prismatic cylindrical architecture as compared to the traditional flat plate designs. The paper elucidates the advantages on the ASA designs versus flat plate designs, including increased fuel flow characteristics, reduced sealing area, reduced weight characteristics and increased power densities (power/weight ratios). Finite element analysis will show improvements to flow characteristics on both the cathode and anode side along with a study of the flow channel cross-sections. The ASA design facilitates natural convective flow to promote improved reactant availability and the prototypes created show the ease of manufacture and assembly. ASA's unlike traditional fuel cells do not require bulky clamping plates and extensive fastening mechanisms and hence lead to prototypes with reduced size, weight and cost.

Meeting Name

ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC/CIE 2015 (2015: Aug. 2-5, Boston, MA)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Second Department

Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Availability; Channel Flow; Computer Aided Design; Design; Electrodes; Finite Element Method; Fuel Cells; Gas Fuel Purification; Manufacture; Cathode and Anode; Clamping Plates; Cylindrical Architecture; Flow Charac-Teristics; Fuel-Flow Characteristics; Natural Convective Flow; Power Densities; Traditional Fuels; Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC)

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2015 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

05 Aug 2015