Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bench Test Rig

 

Background:

Hydrogen Fuel Cells!

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Controller Demonstration

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Polarisation Curve

You may have seen some previous posts (above) about my developmental test rig for hydrogen fuel cells.  Well I am pleased to say it has now finished the final stage of prototyping!

 

I have released the code on github and have tried to make it as user friendly as possible, however I would really appreciate some feedback! Even if you do not have a fuel cell, you can still run the code with an AdcPiV2 and a PiFaceDigitalIO; although it won't do a lot but you can check out the user interface!!  All code is in Python3 so pretty easy to work with.

 

Obviously this is a very specific project which many people cannot replicate however I thought it would be cool to show the hobbyist community that the rPi is being used in research as such an awesome solution to the rapid prototyping of electronics and control. In my opinion, the reason that the rPi is more popular in my area that BB and the like is the community support. If we can't figure out how to do something then the forums are awash with people wanting to help.  Many thanks to all of you!

 

Graphs:

Among the millions of graphs I have, here are a couple of ones that illustrate some stuff you may find interesting:

1. On the left, the profile is the "power demand." As you can see the fuel cell is slow to respond to demand, which is expected. More interestingly, the green "Raspi" line is the attopilot90 current and voltage sensor hooked up to an AdcPiV2, and the load bank is a `mucho expensivo' calibrated research device.  Looking pretty good for the rPi!

2. On the right is a similar graph but with mass flow rate of hydrogen.  This is calculated from a 0-5v analogue signal from a sensor, being fed into an Arduino 2560, which is then connected to the rPi over I2C.  I have also included a dynamic purge controller, hence the quicker reaction time.

6-hot2.pngFC Non regular use.png

 

Rig:

Here is the messy entanglement of wires which is the prototype rig.  Soon to be condensed down into a single rPi board which will plop straight onto the GPIO header.

2014-08-22 10.56.40.jpg2014-08-22 10.56.46.jpg

 

 

Hope you found this interesting and a bit different!

 

Simon

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Low Carbon Technologies Group

Aeronautical & Automotive Engineering

Loughborough University

United Kingdom