Combining Electrical and Pressure Measurements for Early Flooding Detection in a PEM Fuel Cell


Water flooding is one amongst the most causes of performance degradation for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (FCs), and its prompt detection is therefore necessary to ensure optimal FC operation. This paper aims at comparing the most common ways for flooding diagnosis, that are primarily based on electrical or gas pressure measurements. Their differences in terms of sensitivity to flooding are investigated, primarily specializing in their suitability for its early detection. In explicit, the differences between anodic and cathodic pressure drop measurements are highlighted, plus their relationship with the FC electrical output. The experimental results show that cathodic pressure measurements are the most convenient alternative for early flooding detection. Measurements have been performed on one cell, since it permits a better interpretation of the results, though the applicability of the considered methods to FC stacks for industrial applications is additionally mentioned.

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