Investigation of PEMFC parameter effects on practical fuel cell system performance

2017-09-07T10:43:14Z (GMT) by Lei Mao Lisa Jackson Sarah Dunnett
With the fast development of the commercialization of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), especially for stationary power and automotive applications, the overall price of the PEMFC system must be controlled to a reasonable level, and the key is to keep the performance of the PEMFC system stable during its lifetime. Therefore, in the last few decades, the fault diagnosis of fuel cell systems and the prediction of its remaining useful lifetime (RUL) have received much more attention. Compared to the fault diagnosis of fuel cells, where a set of studies have been devoted to investigating the diagnostic approaches to fuel cell systems under various loading conditions, only limited research has been found into the RUL prediction of these system. Among the studies performed, fuel cells faults are not considered systematically in the prediction analysis, the fault effect is expressed only with collected measurements, thus the prediction is heavily reliant on the quality of measurements. The reason for not including faults in the prediction is that the influences of fuel cell faults in the system performance are not fully understood, especially the performance decay rate due to these faults. In this study, a parametric study will be performed to investigate the effects of fuel cell faults on the PEMFC system performance using selected parameters representing typical fuel cell faults. Two parameters related to fuel cell membrane faults, including membrane resistance and electrochemical surface area (ECSA) of the catalyst layer, are selected for the analysis. With a developed and validated PEMFC model, the relationship between fuel cell parameters and PEMFC voltage can be evaluated to study their influences on the system performance. Moreover, the evolution of these parameters with time will also be investigated using semi-empirical equations. From the results, the effect of fuel cell faults can be incorporated in the prediction analysis by updating performance decay rate, and RUL of PEMFC system can be determined with occurrence of single or multiple component faults.