Comprehensive analysis of galvanostatic charge method for fuel cell degradation diagnosis
Abstract Cyclic voltammetry and linear sweep voltammetry are the most commonly used diagnosis methods to estimate the internal statement of fuel cell stack. However, both methods can only be applied in a single fuel cell. There is a lack of suitable in situ diagnosis methods for a multi-burl fuel cell stack. The galvanostatic charge method (GSC) is a very convenient in situ diagnosis method, which can be applied to a multi-burl fuel cell stack to calculate the electrochemical active surface area (ECSA), double-layer capacitance, and hydrogen crossover current. However, there are not enough experiments to analyze the adaption of GSC or apply this method to analyze fuel cell degradation process. In this study, we conducted experiments to validate the accuracy of GSC under different test conditions, and proposed a new correction algorithm to improve the accuracy. Next, this method was applied to analyze the performance degradation process of a four-cell stack. The experimental results showed that the estimated GSC parameters exactly coincide with the standard values. Additionally, for the degradation analysis of a four-cell stack, the GSC results showed that the ECSA reduction of cell four is the direct reason for performance degradation. Moreover, the assumptions of ECSA reduction and carbon corrosion were validated by material experiments. About 5° decrease in the contact angle of the gas diffusion layer (GDL) in the cathode catalyst was observed in the worst cell. Highlights A correction algorithm has been proposed to improve the accuracy of GSC. The accuracy of GSC has been validated under different test conditions. Some useful rules have been concluded for the real application of GSC. GSC is applied to analyze the degradation reasons of a four-cell stack.
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