Currently, fuel cells are increasingly used in industrial installations, means of transport, and household applications as a source of electricity and heat. The paper presents the results of experimental tests of a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) at variable load, which characterizes the cell’s operation in real installations. A detailed analysis of the power needed for operation fuel cell auxiliary devices (own needs power) was carried out. An analysis of net and gross efficiency was carried out in various operating conditions of the device. The measurements made show changes in the performance of the fuel cell during step changing or smooth changing of an electric load. Load was carried out as a change in the current or a change in the resistance of the receiver. The analysis covered the times of reaching steady states and the efficiency of the fuel cell system taking into account auxiliary devices. In the final part of the article, an analysis was made of the influence of the fuel cell duration of use on obtained parameters. The analysis of the measurement results will allow determination of the possibility of using fuel cells in installations with a rapidly changing load profile and indicate possible solutions to improve the performance of the installation.
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