What are the main functions of the control system?
In a fuel cell vehicle, the primary function of a control and monitoring system is to ensure that the fuel cell system operates in accordance to the actual vehicle power demand, but at the same it also has to identify damaging operating conditions in real-time (e.g. membrane drying, fuel/air starvation, excess water...), before they can cause damage or limit the efficiency of the fuel cell. A further function is to provide data that can be used to determine the maintenance scheduling or activate accommodation/reconfiguration remedies.
A full-functioning control system that operates automatically is able to increase the efficiency of a fuel cell stack by 5% and its lifetime by 10%. The control system allows to assess the state of the fuel cell is composed of software, hardware and sensor technology. The control hardware must be robust and adapted for automotive applications.
What are the development goals for the control system?
The INN-BALANCE project objective is to deliver on a comprehensive and improved BoP control unit that will allow a real-time diagnosis of the fuel cell state of operation and health. INN-BALANCE will design advanced diagnosis and control strategies, validate and integrate them with a tailored low-cost hardware and eventually design an economical sensor system that provides accurate information on operating variables.
Altogether, INN-BALANCE will optimize the control system in such way that redundant information circles are eradicated and maintenance costs are reduced, while life-time and reliability of the fuel cells are increased.