Development and Evaluation of a Test Apparatus for Fuel Cells


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Virginia Tech


The development of a test apparatus for proton exchange membrane fuel cells is presented. The design of the prototype device is provided in detail along with a description of the apparatus. The evaluation of the functionality and effectiveness of the device included measurement of a polarization curve for a 5-cell, 1 kW stack. An effective test apparatus is imperative for stack performance testing, model evaluation, and investigation of new fuel cell technology. This apparatus was designed to measure and control the mass flow rates of the reactant gases, gas pressures, gas temperatures, gas relative humidity, stack temperature, stack current, and the coolant water flow rate. Additionally, the test apparatus can measure the stack voltage, coolant water resistivity, coolant water temperature change across the stack, and the coolant water pressure drop across the stack. The apparatus was shown to provide adequate control of all necessary variables for stack performance evaluation.



Test Apparatus, Fuel Cell, Experimental, PEM