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Energies 2019, 12(1), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12010152

Fault Characterization of a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Stack

Department of Energy Technology, Aalborg University, 9220 Aalborg Øst, Denmark
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Received: 12 December 2018 / Revised: 27 December 2018 / Accepted: 31 December 2018 / Published: 2 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fuel Cell Systems Design and Control)
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Abstract

In this paper, the main faults in a commercial proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stack for micro-combined heat and power ( μ -CHP) application are investigated, with the scope of experimentally identifying fault indicators for diagnosis purposes. The tested faults were reactant starvation (both fuel and oxidant), flooding, drying, CO poisoning, and H2S poisoning. Galvanostatic electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) measurements were recorded between 2 kHz and 0.1 Hz on a commercial stack of 46 cells of a 100- cm 2 active area each. The results, obtained through distribution of relaxation time (DRT) analysis of the EIS data, show that characteristic peaks of the DRT and their changes with the different fault intensity levels can be used to extract the features of the tested faults. It was shown that flooding and drying present features on the opposite ends of the frequency spectrum due the effect of drying on the membrane conductivity and the blocking effect of flooding that constricts the reactants’ flow. Moreover, it was seen that while the effect of CO poisoning is limited to high frequency processes, above 100 Hz, the effects of H2S extend to below 10 Hz. Finally, the performance degradation due to all the tested faults, including H2S poisoning, is recoverable to a great extent, implying that condition correction after fault detection can contribute to prolonged lifetime of the fuel cell. View Full-Text
Keywords: fuel cells; electrochemical impedance spectroscopy; distribution of relaxation times; fault; diagnosis fuel cells; electrochemical impedance spectroscopy; distribution of relaxation times; fault; diagnosis
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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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Simon Araya, S.; Zhou, F.; Lennart Sahlin, S.; Thomas, S.; Jeppesen, C.; Knudsen Kær, S. Fault Characterization of a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Stack. Energies 2019, 12, 152.

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