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Advanced reliability analysis of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells using Petri-Net analysis and fuel cell modelling techniques

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journal contribution
posted on 20.04.2015 by Michael Whiteley, Ashley Fly, Johanna Leigh, Sarah Dunnett, Lisa Jackson
Reliability issues with fuel cells have held back the commercialisation of this new technology, and as such are required to be studied further. Current reliability standards for automotive applications require an operational life- time of 150,000 miles or 5,000 hours. These standards are hard to achieve; therefore in depth reliability analysis and degradation studies can help allude towards the key areas of improvement in fuel cell technology to meet these standards. Previous Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) work has shown that the multi-component system of a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) is inherently complex. Dependencies exist between multiple failure modes which discounts Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) as a feasible reliability modelling technique. Therefore, in this study, Petri-Net simulation and fuel cell modelling techniques have been adopted to develop an accurate degradation model. Operational parameters such as water content, temperature and current density and their effects on the occurrence of failure modes can be modelled through this technique. The work will improve previous fuel cell reliability studies by taking into consideration; operating parameters (water content, temperature), fuel cell voltage based on demand (drive cycles) and dependencies between failure modes.



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering

Published in

International Journal of Hydrogen Energy


WHITELEY, M. ... et al, 2015. Advanced reliability analysis of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells using Petri-Net analysis and fuel cell modelling techniques. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 40 (35), pp. 11550–11558.


© Elsevier


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhydene.2015.01.154




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