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Fuel Cell Dynamics in Transit Applications


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Suggested Citation:
Swan, David H., Blake E. Dickinson, Murali P. Arikara, Manohar K. Prabhu (1994) Fuel Cell Dynamics in Transit Applications. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Presentation Series UCD-ITS-RP-94-34

Proceedings, The 12th International Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS-12). Vol. 1, Sessions 1A-2D

This paper presents experimental data on the dynamic response of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system. By varying the electrical load to the USABC Dynamic Stress Test (DST) standard the fuel cell underwent a load pattern similar to what electric vehicle batteries are now subjected. The fuel cell system used was a Ballard Power Systems' 35 cell stack with 232 cm2 of active electrode area per cell employing Nafion-I 117 electrolyte membrane. The primary objective of the experiment was to determine the influence dynamic load and cathode air compression would have on the fuel cell efficiency. Intelligent air compressor control was found to be critical to maximize net efficiency. This paper represents part of a series of experiments that are now being conducted at UC Davis to establish dynamic response characteristics of fuel cells and fuel cell hybrids for transportation applications.