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In this paper Fuel Cell Systems (FCS) based on H2/air Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) stacks of 2.5 and 12 kW were experimentally analyzed with the aim to elucidate the system design and management concerns to be considered for automotive application. The effects of the main operative conditions on stack performance were preliminarily examined, while the experimental analysis of the overall FCS permitted the energy losses related to the main system components to be specified. The possible strategies for control of air feeding, fuel purge, cooling and membrane humidification were discussed, with particular reference to the interaction between some specific devices, such as rotary vane compressor and membrane humidifier, whose characteristics were evidenced to be compatible with automotive applications because of low energy consumption and reliable FCS performance.
Date of Conference: 16-18 Oct. 2012