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Method to improve reliability of a fuel cell system using low performance cell detection at low power operation

United States Patent

8,420,271
April 16, 2013
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A system and method for detecting a low performing cell in a fuel cell stack using measured cell voltages. The method includes determining that the fuel cell stack is running, the stack coolant temperature is above a certain temperature and the stack current density is within a relatively low power range. The method further includes calculating the average cell voltage, and determining whether the difference between the average cell voltage and the minimum cell voltage is greater than a predetermined threshold. If the difference between the average cell voltage and the minimum cell voltage is greater than the predetermined threshold and the minimum cell voltage is less than another predetermined threshold, then the method increments a low performing cell timer. A ratio of the low performing cell timer and a system run timer is calculated to identify a low performing cell.
Choi; Tayoung (Rochester, NY), Ganapathy; Sriram (Rochester, NY), Jung; Jaehak (Pittsford, NY), Savage; David R. (Webster, NY), Lakshmanan; Balasubramanian (Pittsford, NY), Vecasey; Pamela M. (Honeoye Falls, NY)
GM GLobal Technology Operations LLC (Detroit, MI)
12/ 502,961
20110014535
July 14, 2009
GOVERNMENT CONTRACT The U.S. Government may have a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of Government Contract/Project awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy.