Dynamics of Water Crossover in Fuel Cell and Application to Freeze Driveaway Reliability 2020-01-0853
Reliable drive away from frozen condition is one of the challenging design and control problem for fuel cell vehicles. Different approaches for warm-up from frozen conditions have been developed by OEMs, e.g. low voltage inefficient operation, or use of coolant heaters. However, most methods result in water generation in the fuel cell which risk icing and blocking the valves and rendering them nonfunctional till they thaw. One such valve is the anode drain valve which is needed to remove water that crosses over across the membrane to anode side. This work discusses characterization of dynamics of water buildup in anode subsystem via experiments on full scale systems, and development of an online estimator to detect onset of anode water crossover via open loop model and closed loop feedback. Building on this understanding, a control approach is prototyped for warm up and drive-away even with a frozen valve. This approach is demonstrated via repeated starts at -30C with “simulated” nonfunctional frozen valve.
Manish Sinha, Biju Edamana, Michael Cartwright