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Fuel cell system shutdown with anode pressure control

United States Patent

July 2, 2002
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A venting methodology and pressure sensing and vent valving arrangement for monitoring anode bypass valve operating during the normal shutdown of a fuel cell apparatus of the type used in vehicle propulsion systems. During a normal shutdown routine, the pressure differential between the anode inlet and anode outlet is monitored in real time in a period corresponding to the normal closing speed of the anode bypass valve and the pressure differential at the end of the closing cycle of the anode bypass valve is compared to the pressure differential at the beginning of the closing cycle. If the difference in pressure differential at the beginning and end of the anode bypass closing cycle indicates that the anode bypass valve has not properly closed, a system controller switches from a normal shutdown mode to a rapid shutdown mode in which the anode inlet is instantaneously vented by rapid vents.
Clingerman; Bruce J. (Palmyra, NY), Doan; Tien M. (Columbia, MD), Keskula; Donald H. (Webster, NY)
General Motors Corporation (Detroit, MI)
09/ 510,188
February 22, 2000
GOVERNMENT SUPPORT The Government of the United States of America has certain rights in this invention pursuant to Agreement No. DE-AC02-90CH10435 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy.