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Nonlinear Thermal Modelling and Control of a PEM Fuel Cell Stack

[+] Author Affiliations
Jason R. Kolodziej

General Motors, Honeoye Falls, NY

Paper No. FUELCELL2005-74040, pp. 381-387; 7 pages
  • ASME 2005 3rd International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • 3rd International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA, May 23–25, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Nanotechnology Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3764-5 | eISBN: 0-7918-3757-2
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


The purpose of this paper is to present a nonlinear control method for accurately maintaining coolant temperature within a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack by controlling coolant flow rate. Due to the current sensitive nature of the membrane and a strict relative humidity requirement it is critical to precisely control the internal temperature of the fuel cell. First, an optimization-based parameter identification is applied to determine unknown coefficients to the nonlinear thermal model of the fuel cell stack. The stack is modelled according to a lumped parameter Continuous-flow Stirred Tank Reactor (CSTR) form. The paper then presents a nonlinear disturbance rejection control technique to accomplish the necessary temperature control. Experimental data from a 17-cell fuel cell stack is used for both the modelling and control portions of this work.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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