Applied Energy, Vol.216, 21-30, 2018
Real time adaptive efficient cold start strategy for proton exchange membrane fuel cells
Cold start of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) at sub-zero temperatures is perceived as one of the obstacles in their commercialization way in automotive application. This paper proposes a novel internal-based adaptive strategy for the cold start of PEMFC to control its operating current in real time in a way to maximize the generated heat flux and electrical power in a short time span. In this respect, firstly, an online parameter identification method is integrated into a semi-empirical model to cope with the PEMFC performances drifts during cold start. Subsequently, an optimization algorithm is launched to find the best operating points from the updated model. Finally, the determined operating point, which is the current corresponding to the maximum power, is applied to PEMFC to achieve a rapid cold start. It should be noted that the utilization of adaptive filters has escaped the attention of previous PEMFC cold start studies. The ultimate results of the proposed strategy are experimentally validated and compared to the most commonly used cold start strategies based on Potentiostatic and Galvanostatic modes. The experimental outcomes of the comparative study indicate the striking superior performance of the proposed strategy in terms of heating time and energy requirement.