Arbin Reports Fuel Cell Testing System Breakthrough

December 02, 2003 by Jeff Shepard

Arbin Instruments (College Station, TX) announced that it is currently in production of a 10kW integrated fuel cell testing system (FCTS) for a government institution to test proton-exchange membrane fuel cells. The system is complex with regards to the number of reactant gases that are involved, high flow-rate lines and high power electronic load as required by the customer.

On the fuel side are four gas hanging units for hydrogen gas and three reformate gases for fuel simulation. A gas mixer for the reformate gases is included. On the oxidant side is a gas-handling unit for air. A set of 300slpm humidification unit for the fuel line and a set of 600slpm humidification unit for the oxidant line are installed to humidify reactant gases prior to delivery into the fuel cell. Optional fuel cell stack cooling, as well as temperature-traced piping are also requested by the customer.

The electronic load unit consists of one channel configuration at 0V to 50V and 1,000A/100A current ranges for a maximum of 10kW discharge power. Water-cooled heatsinks are implemented to achieve this high-level power. A four-frequency ac impedance measurement module is included to measure the fuel cell's internal impedance. There are as many as 128 auxiliary voltage measurement channels included for individual cell's voltage and ac impedance measurements.