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A Reliability-Based Strategy for the Analysis of Single Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

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DOI: 10.4236/epe.2019.118019    151 Downloads   296 Views


The development of power conversion systems based on fuel cells has been demanding reliability studies since the requirements associated with cost and durability of these technological products have become fundamental to their acceptance by the energy market. The experimental part of the reliability study presented in this work consisted of performing life tests with single proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The proposed reliability analysis methodology covered the application of qualitative and quantitative techniques. In the qualitative approach, a Failure Mode and Effect Analysis was developed in order to identify and evaluate all potential failures associated with the operation of fuel cells. In the quantitative approach, a statistical analysis was applied to the sample data generated in long-term steady-state tests of these devices. A two-parameter exponential distribution was fitted to data and the maximum likelihood estimate for the mean time to failure (MTTF) of the fuel cells was calculated. It is important to point out that the tests performed under the scope of this study were the first long-term experiments performed with the fuel cells produced in the laboratories of IPEN-CNEN/SP, Brazil. Although the results indicated that fuel cell performance and durability were still at a level below the targets normally established for similar commercial devices, the improvement of the main components of PEMFCs has been the objective of several projects developed at the institute. Thus, the main benefit brought by this study is the proposed methodology, which can be implemented as part of a reliability growth analysis of the fuel cells and can be integrated into the design process of these devices.

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de Oliveira, P. , Andrea, V. , Santiago, E. , Lopes, T. , de Andrade, D. and Linardi, M. (2019) A Reliability-Based Strategy for the Analysis of Single Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells. Energy and Power Engineering, 11, 303-319. doi: 10.4236/epe.2019.118019.

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