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Simulation of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell degradation using an integrated petri net and 0D model

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journal contribution
posted on 14.11.2019, 13:41 authored by M Whiteley, Sarah DunnettSarah Dunnett, Lisa JacksonLisa Jackson
Establishing accurate predictions for the reliability of fuel cell operation is critical for comparative performance evaluation of these new with existing power generation mechanisms. Fuel cells, in particular polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEMFCs), are an emerging technology to potential replace internal combustion engines with the benefits of reducing carbon emissions. Current issues relate to modelling of the degradation mechanisms limiting subsequent accurate reliability prediction. Though common reliability techniques such as Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) have been used to further the understanding of the failure modes within the fuel cell system and Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) used to quantify the likelihood of a reduction in performance via voltage drop due to failures, modelling system level reliability and degradation still needs more research. The inherent complexity of a PEMFC system assembly, harbouring dependencies between multiple failure modes, limits the accuracy of FTA. This paper presents a comprehensive Petri-Net model integrated with a 0-D fuel cell performance model of the fuel cell system to develop a more accurate degradation model. The results show the applicability of this novel hybrid method for reliability analysis, in this instance with application to PEMFCs, but with merit for application in other degradation domains.


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) (EP/G037116/1)

Doctoral Training Centre in Hydrogen Fuel Cells and Their Applications



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering

Published in

Reliability Engineering & System Safety




Elsevier BV


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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© Elsevier Ltd

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This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Reliability Engineering & System Safety and the definitive published version is available at

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Prof Lisa Jackson Deposit date: 13 November 2019

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