A fule cell is an electrochemical energy conversion device. It produces electricity from external supplies of fuel. Generally the reactants flow in and reaction products flow out while the electrolyte remains in the cell. To create enough voltage, the cells layered and combined in series and parallel circuits to form a fuel cell stack. The number of cells varies with design as different systems using the fulel cell need different values of voltage. However, problems will occur when any of the cells is not functioning as expected since the channels are clogged by the reacting remainders which may cause the whole fuel cell stack faulty. Therefore a system designed to monitor the voltage of each cell from time to time is necessary. The main objective of the project is to design a fuel cell monitoring system with a computer interface.
The system is Micro Controller-Based (MCB) and it works with fuel cells connected using wiring connected to the graphite collector plates. It is designed with its own DC power supply and can monitor a maximum of 256 cells with multiplexer. It can work individually and show the fuel cell status on the LCD, in the meantime, it can show the reading of the voltages in value and bar figure of the fuel cells when connected to a computer using a RS232 cable, in addition, the bar figure can be clicked and the monitoring data history of the related cell can be displayed as shown in the figure below.
A 19-cell testing result displayed on the monitor with voltage values, bar figures and curves
- Proton exchange membrane fuel cell
- local control
- remote control