Design and Operational Characteristics of Automotive PEM Fuel Cell Stacks 2000-01-0011
The paper presents current status in development of automotive fuel cell stacks at Energy Partners. The design and operational characteristics of a 20 kW hydrogen/air fuel cell stack are discussed in a greater detail. The stack was tested on a laboratory test stand to obtain polarization curves, cell to cell consistency, and simulated modified Federal Highway Cycle performance. The stack was then installed in Virginia Tech's hybrid electric vehicle. Data was collected with the stack inside the vehicle and compared to the laboratory results. System considerations, such as temperature, water management, humidification, reactant stoichiometry, and monitoring and control strategy necessary for proper fuel cell operation are reviewed.
Another, reformate tolerant, automotive fuel cell stack is being developed. The stack is designed to generate 60–65 kW and is being developed as a part of the gasoline powered integrated reformer/fuel cell system. The design and operational characteristics of the proof-of-concept prototype is presented. System issues, such as efficiency, size and weight, neutral water balance, and capability to operate at extreme ambient temperatures have are addressed.