Detection and Isolation of PEM Fuel Cell Low Flow Induced Faults

A.M. Niroumand, W. Mérida, and M. Saif (Canada)


PEM fuel cell, flow rate, fault, diagnostic


In this work, a signal-based diagnostic methodology is introduced that can isolate PEM fuel cell low anode and cathode flow rates during real time operation of the system. The methodology is based on calculating symptoms of the faults, and comparing them versus thresholds measured prior to real time operation. The novelty with the methodology is in using cell voltage oscillations, imposed by a small signal oscillation on the cathode output pressure, to isolate cathode flooding. Furthermore, it is shown that the fixed reference cathode stoichiometry commonly used in the literature for isolating cathode starvation is not reliable and result in false alarms, and an adaptive scheme is proposed. It is also shown that a fixed stoichiometry scheme can be used to reliably isolate anode starvation.

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