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Sensors 2017, 17(7), 1600; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17071600

Hardware/Software Data Acquisition System for Real Time Cell Temperature Monitoring in Air-Cooled Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells

1
Department of Electronic, Computer Science and Automatic Engineering, University of Huelva, Engineering High School, Crta. Huelva- Palos de la Fra, 21919 Palos de la Fra, Huelva, Spain
2
Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Informazione, Universita’ Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 May 2017 / Revised: 5 July 2017 / Accepted: 7 July 2017 / Published: 9 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofuel Cells)
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Abstract

This work presents a hardware/software data acquisition system developed for monitoring the temperature in real time of the cells in Air-Cooled Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells (AC-PEFC). These fuel cells are of great interest because they can carry out, in a single operation, the processes of oxidation and refrigeration. This allows reduction of weight, volume, cost and complexity of the control system in the AC-PEFC. In this type of PEFC (and in general in any PEFC), the reliable monitoring of temperature along the entire surface of the stack is fundamental, since a suitable temperature and a regular distribution thereof, are key for a better performance of the stack and a longer lifetime under the best operating conditions. The developed data acquisition (DAQ) system can perform non-intrusive temperature measurements of each individual cell of an AC-PEFC stack of any power (from watts to kilowatts). The stack power is related to the temperature gradient; i.e., a higher power corresponds to a higher stack surface, and consequently higher temperature difference between the coldest and the hottest point. The developed DAQ system has been implemented with the low-cost open-source platform Arduino, and it is completed with a modular virtual instrument that has been developed using NI LabVIEW. Temperature vs time evolution of all the cells of an AC-PEFC both together and individually can be registered and supervised. The paper explains comprehensively the developed DAQ system together with experimental results that demonstrate the suitability of the system. View Full-Text
Keywords: data acquisition; polymer electrolyte fuel cell; real time cell temperature monitoring; virtual instrument; Arduino data acquisition; polymer electrolyte fuel cell; real time cell temperature monitoring; virtual instrument; Arduino
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Segura, F.; Bartolucci, V.; Andújar, J.M. Hardware/Software Data Acquisition System for Real Time Cell Temperature Monitoring in Air-Cooled Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells. Sensors 2017, 17, 1600.

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