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Control Method to Reduce Degradation in Fuel Cell System at Start-up

Article of Honda R&D Technical Review Vol.24 No.2


In the fuel cell system, the anode electrode is supplied with sufficient hydrogen during generation, but when the system is stopped, the inflow of air from the exterior replaces the hydrogen with air. When the system is started with air replacing hydrogen at the anode electrode, corrosion of the catalyst at the cathode electrode occurs.
This paper proposes a method that helps to prevent corrosion of the catalyst by discharging corrosion current to external circuits at start-up. New measurement tools including measurements of electrical potential, corrosion current, and gas analysis were applied to the fuel cell system in developing the control system. Using these tools, the internal environment of the fuel cell stack was clarified, and a method of discharge at the optimal timing with consideration of hydrogen starvation was developed. The ability of the developed start-up discharge method to control corrosion at the cathode electrode was verified by measurements of potential, corrosion current, and quantity of CO2 generated, and durability tests using an actual fuel cell system confirmed the effectiveness of the system.


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Author (organization or company)

Koichiro FURUSAWA(Automobile R&D Center)、Kentaro NAGOSHI(Automobile R&D Center)、Satoshi TANIMOTO(Automobile R&D Center)

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