Time-Saving System for Fuel Cell Testing

A flexible system for testing and modelling fuel cells has been developed by Advanced Measurements using National Instrument’s LabVIEW™ graphical development environment and PXI/CompactPCI™ hardware.

CALGARY, Alberta, CA, 2001-09-05 [SolarAccess.com] A flexible system for testing and modelling fuel cells has been developed by Advanced Measurements using National Instrument’s LabVIEW™ graphical development environment and PXI/CompactPCI™ hardware. The Canadian company, Advanced Measurements, has used its system to develop fuel cell test stands for Global Thermoelectric, a developer of fuel cell technology. The company is testing fuel cells that electrochemically generate electricity without producing nitrous and sulfur oxide emissions, to determine how the technology might power homes and automobiles. Designing fuel cells that meet the unique power demands of automobiles and other applications requires a flexible test system that fuel cell developers can use to shorten their development times, according to Steve Conquergood, president of Advanced Measurements. “We can deliver a turnkey fuel cell test stand in 10 to 12 weeks that is fully customized to customers’ specifications.” “Once installed, customers can use the equipment to evaluate fuel cell designs,” he adds. “They also have a direct path to building production test systems used to mass produce fuel cell products.” The rack mounted system has “significantly increased our fuel cell test capability and accelerated development to help us meet an aggressive schedule for market deployment,” explains Martin Perry of Global Thermoelectric. The test system measures fuel cell characteristics such as voltages, current, humidity, temperature and gas flows into a fuel cell, as well as controls all aspects of the test environment. “Precise control of test conditions is critical to finding ways to improve fuel cell performance, increase efficiency and reduce operating costs,” says Conquergood.
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