FUEL CELL TEST STATION

LEAN CAT FCS-4M-100W

Specifications

ObrázekStanice

The Fuel Cell Testing Station operates with up to 100 W power range. The highly versatile system is suitable for research and development covering the broad Feld of fundamental and applied research of MEAs, GDLs, bipolar plates and catalysts. Moreover, an integrated pressure air output makes it possible to connect a pressure operated cell for gaskets evaluation. Four gas lines have electronic flow controllers and back pressure valves controlled by the station operation software permitting maximum control performance. System operation is fully automated and programmable using an integrated computer; however, it still makes it possible to change testing parameters in a step by step mode through a keyboard and/or a touch screen. The station makes it possible to perform durability tests where reliable data collection is necessary.

The advanced humidification system is equipped with automated water reservoir filling. The multi-range potentiostat has embedded cyclic voltammetry and an impedance analyzer as a basic configuration. The system is fully automated for safe, reliable and unattended operation in hydrogen safe area. The integrated computer is of an industrial standard for safe operation in hazardous environment. The remote control of all main station systems and solenoid valves makes the system suitable for multi- purpose operation in a closed area, e.g. in synchrotron hutches. It is even possible to interchange the anode and cathode without disconnecting the tested cell due to intermediate cell purging by nitrogen under the control of the automated safety process. 

However, if the customer doesn’t want this option, this feature can be mechanically disabled. For reinforced safety operation, a connection to the hydrogen sensor in the lab for security shut down is possible, in such a case the customer should supply the interface technical data necessary for connection. Installation of an internal hydrogen sensor inside the station rack is possible, too. The station is equipped with a computer controlled precision pump for direct methanol fuel cell operation. An additional heating system with temperature control of up to 1000 C is preinstalled for a possible SOFC testing. Methane line in addition to hydrogen line can be optional installed and remote switching between hydrogen and methane could be available free of charge.

The station is provided in two versions: Model 2110 mm containing integrated fuel cell working place and touch screen monitor and  model 1500 mm, see figure in Description of modules and customatiozation.

Technical parameters

Specification gas supply Value Accuracy/note
Gas flow - anode 0-1NL/min ±(0.8% of Reading + 0.2% of Full Scale)
Gas flow - cathode 0-2.5NL/min ±(0.8% of Reading + 0.2% of Full Scale)
Gas flow - nitrogen 0-0,5NL/min ±(0.8% of Reading + 0.2% of Full Scale)
Gas flow - CO or other 0-0,1NL/min ±(0.8% of Reading + 0.2% of Full Scale)
Operating gas preassure 1.1-3.5 BarA ± 50 mBar
Min. temperature of gasses 10 °C ± 1°C
Humidification    
Min. dew  point RT ± 1° stationary conditions
Max. dew point 95 °C ± 1° stationary conditions
Operation without humidification yes manual dry gas bypass
Temperature for humidification RT-95 °C  
Cell connectivity    
Heaters 2x 230V/10A ±10%; 50-60Hz
Thermocouples 2x TC of any standard (J,K,T,..)  
Gas pressure usable for a piston compressed cell 16* BarA ±50 mbar, *depends on supplying compressed air
Gas heating pipelines yes Heated inlet of gases to the cell
Electrode setups 2‑, 3‑, 4- and 5‑electrode setups Using a Working, Working Sense, Counter, Counter Sense, and Reference lead
Other values recorded on cell 2xTemperature, Piston pressure, Anode and cathode intlet pressure, Anode and cathode dew point if available
Interfacing OPTIONAL SOFC cell yes  
Potentiostat characterization    
Selectable feedback yes Working, Working Sense, Reference lead and Current
Standard working modes Const. Voltage; Const. Current Or other using formula: Const. Power, Const. Resistance
Advanced working modes Cyclic Voltammetry,  Linear sweep Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy  
Current ranges
±20 A
±2 A
±200 mA
±20 mA
± 0.1 % of range ± 0.2 % of value
± 0.1 % of range ± 0.2 % of value
± 0.1 % of range ± 0.2 % of value
± 0.1 % of range ± 0.2 % of value
Voltage range ±5 V ± 0.05 % of range ± 0.2 % of value
Useable maximum power 100 W 4-quadrant potentiostat up to ±20 A at a voltage range of ±5 V
Impedance spectroscopy    
Frequency range 10 μHz - 1 MHz  
Voltage AC Amlplitude Max 400 mV  
Current AC Amplitude Max 4 A  
PC control    
Integrated computer yes OS Windows 7/10
Monitor yes touch screen
Remote control yes Remote Desktop or TCP/IP server
Software with graphic interface yes Software with graphic interface
TCP/IP server yes Ready to be controlled by another software solution independent of platform
Security    
Connectivity to lab security system yes Connection to the hydrogen sensor in the lab for security shut down or internal hydrogen sensor in the testing rack is possible, customer should supply interface technical data necessary for connection.
Security shut down with hydrogen/nitrogen purging yes Automatically activated in case of safety event/ power loss
Manual shut down switch yes  
Exhaust system yes Closed gas outlet, can be connected to lab gas exhaust system
Station supply and exhaust    
Working gases
H2
N2
O2 and/or AIR
Additive
Methane
e.g. for CO for poisoning test optional
Technical inlets Compressed air (6 Bar) Deionized water for backpressure valve control barrel installed in the station
Methanol experiment option Methanol solution from external flask
Gas outlets Exhaust of H2 containing additive gas if in use
Power input 230VAC/16A  50-60Hz ±10%
Size Standard 33U rack Standard 45U rack 600x600x1500 mm 600x600x2110 mm
Weight 110 kg  

Scheme of automatization

The station is equipped with a Control Unit that contains all the necessary electronics. It includes power supplies, an industrial fan-less PC, I/O modules and terminal blocks for connecting peripherals (valves, heating elements, thermocouples, flow-controllers, gauges, ...), circuit-breakers and safety elements, etc. and it is controlled by our PLC solution using integrated industrial computer. The integrated computer runs the operating system MS Windows (Windows 7 32-bit or Windows 10 64-bit) and controls the automation and measurement equipment (potentiostat) using our software package.

There are two options how to control station.

  • Using PTC/IP server connection which is suitable for development and integration to customer’s SW solution and for bridge through different platforms.

  • Use our SW solution with user friendly interface (GUI) including data acquiring and basic data analyses which is usually runs in integrated industrial computer but optionally could run elsewhere on MS Windows.

The provided GUI software is capable of controlling the station automatically in various measurement modes and configurations and proceeds with potentiostat acquisition by many electrochemical methods including CV (Cyclic Voltammetry) and EIS (Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy). Screenshots showing software, CV and EIS features are attached below and in galery belllow. 

The automation behavior is defined by scripts and ini files in simple text format, so it can be altered by an advanced and informed user easily.

Remote control and monitoring is possible by simple proprietary text-oriented TCP/IP protocol. This allows for platform independent solution required by customer. This protocol can setup modes, start acquisitions, monitor all states and also control each peripheral device separately. Acquired large-volume data can be transferred by another TCP/IP connection or by standard file-sharing protocols. Alternatively, for both remote control and data transfer, REST/JSON protocol can be implemented.

description of modules and customatiozation

StationDrawing

Modular parts (see Fig. above)

  1. PLC Unit  with industrial computer (control, remote, safety procedures),

    A.1 Monitor – Integrated touchscreen for version 45 U.

  2. Potentiostat – full range operated EIS (up to 1MHZ), Electrochemistry analyses incl.

  3. Humidification system (rel.hum u-t 95°C, 3 lines simultaneously → An, Cat, N2, By-pass control)

  4. CELL - Place for customers` cell or LEANCAT cell (heaters, piston pressure, cooling connect.)

    1. Size 350 x 480 x 300 mm for version 45 U

    2. Size 170 x 480 x 300 mm for version 33 U

  5. Mass Flow controller system (H, O2, Air, N2 and additive for mixing)

  6. Back Pressure contro – all 4 lines, up-to 4 Bar

  7. Water management – fully automated water to refill humidificators

Customatization

We can customize the test station to meet your specific  demand.

Safety interlocks

  • Inlets and outlets safety interlocks

  • External hydrogen detector connectivity

  • Provides inner hydrogen detector as a option

  • Automatic safety purging by nitrogen at blackout.

Brochure

Check the brochure for more information about the product.

PDF version of this page

LeanCAT brochure - Landscape (PDF)

LeanCAT brochure (PDF)

References

reference

Equipment of the new Fuel Cell Testing Laboratory of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, 10 stations provided by LEANCAT Ltd have been installed and they are working properly.

 

 

Prof. RNDr. Ladislav Skrbek, DrSc | Vice Dean for Development, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University in Prague

 

European Commission: Less precious, more efficient hydrogen fuel cells (here).

 

 

 

 

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