Patents Assigned to Ballard Power Systems Inc.
  • Patent number: 10895604
    Abstract: Systems and methods to provide a low voltage interface coupleable between an energy storage device or a DC power source (e.g., fuel cell stack, battery) and one or more AC signal diagnostic systems. The low voltage interface reduces a voltage of the DC power source and supplies the reduced voltage to the one or more AC signal diagnostic systems without affecting the results of the measurements obtained by the one or more AC signal diagnostic systems. Such functionality provides a safer method for performing advanced analysis (e.g., EIS, frequency analysis) while utilizing lower cost and/or smaller components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 19, 2021
    Assignees: Ballard Power Systems Inc., Simon Fraser University
    Inventors: Jacob W. Devaal, Hooman Homayouni, Farid Golnaraghi
  • Patent number: 10892509
    Abstract: A fuel cell stack assembly is disclosed comprising: a fuel cell stack comprising a first end plate, a second end plate, and a plurality of fuel cells interposed between the first and the second end plates; and a compression band which urges the first end plate towards the second end plate along a first face of the fuel cell stack and also along an opposing second face of the fuel stack in a stacking direction thereof in at least two passes on each face of fuel cells stack, thereby applying a compressive force upon the plurality of fuel cells in the fuel cell stack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 12, 2021
    Assignee: BALLARD POWER SYSTEMS INC.
    Inventors: David Myers, George Skinner, Emerson R. Gallagher
  • Patent number: 10581099
    Abstract: Methods for detecting a hydrogen leak and quantifying a rate of the same in a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell stack are provided, as well as a fuel cell diagnostic apparatus that diagnoses a hydrogen leak in a fuel cell stack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2020
    Assignees: BALLARD POWER SYSTEMS INC., SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: Ghassan Hassan Mousa, Jacob William De Vaal, Farid Golnaraghi
  • Patent number: 9735435
    Abstract: A flow field plate comprises a first flow field; an opposing second flow field; and at least one flow channel formed in the first flow field, the at least one flow channel comprising: a first side and an opposing second side separated by an open-faced top and a bottom; and a first side channel formed in a portion of the open-faced top and in a portion of the first side along a continuous length of the at least one flow channel, the first side channel comprising a first side wall and a first bottom wall; wherein the first side wall of the first side channel and the first bottom wall of the first side channel form an obtuse angle in cross-section; and a depth of the bottom of the at least one flow channel is greater than a depth of the bottom wall of the first side channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2017
    Assignee: Ballard Power Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey Dean Glandt, Bevan Hoskyn Moss, Daniel Brent Mackay
  • Patent number: 9461328
    Abstract: The bootstrap start-up system (42) achieves an efficient start-up of the power plant (10) that minimizes formation of soot within a reformed hydrogen rich fuel. A burner (48) receives un-reformed fuel directly from the fuel supply (30) and combusts the fuel to heat cathode air which then heats an electrolyte (24) within the fuel cell (12). A dilute hydrogen forming gas (68) cycles through a sealed heat-cycling loop (66) to transfer heat and generated steam from an anode side (32) of the electrolyte (24) through fuel processing system (36) components (38, 40) and back to an anode flow field (26) until fuel processing system components (38, 40) achieve predetermined optimal temperatures and steam content. Then, the heat-cycling loop (66) is unsealed and the un-reformed fuel is admitted into the fuel processing system (36) and anode flow (26) field to commence ordinary operation of the power plant (10).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2016
    Assignee: Ballard Power Systems Inc.
    Inventor: Michael T Lines
  • Patent number: 9455456
    Abstract: An anode exhaust recycle turbocharger (100) has a turbocharger turbine (102) secured in fluid communication with a compressed oxidant stream within an oxidant inlet line (218) downstream from a compressed oxidant supply (104), and the anode exhaust recycle turbocharger (100) also includes a turbocharger compressor (106) mechanically linked to the turbocharger turbine (102) and secured in fluid communication with a flow of anode exhaust passing through an anode exhaust recycle loop (238) of the solid oxide fuel cell power plant (200). All or a portion of compressed oxidant within an oxidant inlet line (218) drives the turbocharger turbine (102) to thereby compress the anode exhaust stream in the recycle loop (238). A high-temperature, automotive-type turbocharger (100) replaces a recycle loop blower-compressor (52).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2016
    Assignee: Ballard Power Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Kazuo Saito, Tommy Skiba, Kirtikumar H. Patel
  • Patent number: 9401524
    Abstract: A fuel cell stack formed of repeating cell units is provided wherein each cell unit includes a fuel cell having an anode side and a cathode side; an anode side frame; a cathode side frame; a bipolar plate having an anode side interconnect adjacent to the anode side frame and a cathode side interconnect adjacent to a cathode side frame of an adjacent cell unit; a cathode side seal between the fuel cell and the cathode side frame; and an anode side seal between the fuel cell and the anode side frame, wherein at least one of the anode side interconnect, cathode side interconnect, anode side seal and cathode side seal are compliant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 26, 2016
    Assignee: Ballard Power Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Sunil G. Warrier, Jean Yamanis, James R. Maus, Benoit Olsommer
  • Patent number: 9240598
    Abstract: In solid polymer fuel cells employing framed membrane electrode assemblies, a conventional anode compliant seal is employed in combination with a cathode non-compliant seal to provide for a thinner fuel cell design, particularly in the context of a fuel cell stack. This approach is particularly suitable for fuel cells operating at low pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 19, 2016
    Assignee: Ballard Power Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Keith M. Martin, Samira Barakat, Emerson R. Gallagher
  • Publication number: 20150318560
    Abstract: An object of the present invention is to provide a production method which can increase the activity of a catalyst particle comprising a core particle and an outermost layer, the core particle comprising at least one of palladium and a palladium alloy, and the outermost layer comprising at least one of platinum and a platinum alloy and covering the core particle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 7, 2012
    Publication date: November 5, 2015
    Applicants: TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA, BALLARD POWER SYSTEMS INC.
    Inventors: Keiichi KANEKO, Naoki TAKEHIRO, Takumi TANIGUCHI, Tatsuya ARAI, Noriyuki KITAO, Makoto ADACHI, Hiroko KIMURA
  • Patent number: 9147894
    Abstract: A system and method satisfies temperature and pressure requirements of solid oxide fuel cell system 10 in a manner that increases the overall efficiency and decreases the overall weight of system 10. The system and method include a secondary blower 30 for boosting air stream pressure level sufficient for operation of a reformer 12 that is designed to minimize pressure drop; an integrated heat exchanger 18 for recovering heat from exhaust 36 and comprising multiple flow fields 18A, 18B, 18C for ensuring inlet temperature requirements of a solid oxide fuel cell 14 are met; and a thermal enclosure 46 for separating hot zone 48 components from cool zone 50 components for increasing thermal efficiency of the system and better thermal management.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 29, 2015
    Assignee: Ballard Power Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Robert J. Braun, Sean C. Emerson, Justin R. Hawkes, Ellen Y. Sun, Jean Yamanis, Tobias H. Sienel, Balbir Singh Bal, Stuart Anthony Astley, Thomas D. Radcliffe, James T. Beals, Walter H. Borst, Jr., May L. Corn, Louis Chiappetta, Jr., John T. Costello, Robert R. Hebert, Thomas Henry Vanderspurt
  • Patent number: 9120683
    Abstract: An electrochemical device includes a ceramic electrode, a metallic interconnect, and a ceramic bond material that bonds the ceramic electrode and the metallic interconnect together. The ceramic material includes manganese-cobalt-oxide that is electrically conductive such that electric current can flow between the ceramic electrode and the metallic interconnect.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2015
    Assignee: Ballard Power Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Jean Yamanis, Dustin Frame, Lei Chen, Ellen Y. Sun
  • Publication number: 20150244003
    Abstract: An exemplary fuel cell component comprises a reactant distribution plate including a plurality of channels configured for facilitating gas reactant flow such that the gas reactant may be used in an electrochemical reaction for generating electricity in a fuel cell. Each of the channels has a length that corresponds to a direction of reactant gas flow along the channel. A width of each channel is generally perpendicular to the length. A depth of each channel is generally perpendicular to the width and the length. At least one of the width or the depth has at least two different dimensions at a single lengthwise location of the channel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 7, 2012
    Publication date: August 27, 2015
    Applicant: Ballard Power Systems Inc.
    Inventor: Robert Mason Darling
  • Publication number: 20150229202
    Abstract: A controller (11a) of a DC/DC converter (10a) responsive to power output of a fuel cell power plant (13) operates under a control strategy which determines if fuel cell voltage exceeds a limit, and if so, provided neither fuel cell output current nor DC/DC converter output current is excessive, causes an increase in DC/DC converter duty cycle to thereby increase power demanded from the fuel cell stack. This eliminates the need for conventional voltage limiting to protect fuel cells from corrosion. Digital control loops and state machines are illustrated.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 21, 2012
    Publication date: August 13, 2015
    Applicant: Ballard Power Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Subbarao Varigonda, Daniel F. Orlowski
  • Publication number: 20150221962
    Abstract: An exemplary method of cooling a fuel cell includes directing coolant through a coolant supply channel near at least one reactant flow channel. The coolant supply channel extends from a coolant inlet spaced from a reactant inlet to a coolant outlet. The coolant supply channel includes a first portion starting at the coolant inlet and a second portion near the reactant inlet. The first portion facilitates coolant flow from the coolant inlet directly toward the second portion. The second portion includes a plurality of channel sections that collectively facilitate coolant flow in a plurality of directions along the second portion near the reactant inlet. The coolant supply channel includes a third portion between the second portion and the coolant outlet.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 20, 2012
    Publication date: August 6, 2015
    Applicant: Ballard Power Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Jonathan Daniel O'Neill, Sushant S. Bhadange
  • Publication number: 20150214560
    Abstract: An exemplary fuel cell component includes a plate having a plurality of channels. At least a first one of the channels is configured differently than others of the channels so that the first channel provides a first cooling capacity to a selected portion of the plate. The others of the channels provide a second, lesser cooling capacity to at least one other portion of the plate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 30, 2012
    Publication date: July 30, 2015
    Applicant: Ballard Power Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Sushant S. Bhadange, Jeffrey G. Lake
  • Patent number: 9083016
    Abstract: An anode exhaust recycle turbocharger (100) has a turbocharger turbine (102) secured in fluid communication with a compressed oxidant stream within an oxidant inlet line (218) downstream from a compressed oxidant supply (104), and the anode exhaust recycle turbocharger (100) also includes a turbocharger compressor (106) mechanically linked to the turbocharger turbine (102) and secured in fluid communication with a flow of anode exhaust passing through an anode exhaust recycle loop (238) of the solid oxide fuel cell power plant (200). All or a portion of compressed oxidant within an oxidant inlet line (218) drives the turbocharger turbine (102) to thereby compress the anode exhaust stream in the recycle loop (238). A high-temperature, automotive-type turbocharger (100) replaces a recycle loop blower-compressor (52).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2015
    Assignee: Ballard Power Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Kazuo Saito, Tommy Skiba, Kirtikumar H. Patel
  • Publication number: 20150188150
    Abstract: An exemplary flow field includes a plurality of flow channel portions. There are n inlet portions configured for introducing a fluid into the flow field. A plurality of first pass portions direct fluid flow in a first direction. A plurality of second pass portions direct fluid flow in a second direction that is generally parallel to and opposite to the first direction. A plurality of third pass portions direct fluid flow in the first direction. n outlet portions are configured to allow fluid to exit the flow field. n is an integer and a number of the portions in at least one plurality of pass portions is a non-integer multiple of n.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 28, 2012
    Publication date: July 2, 2015
    Applicant: BALLARD POWER SYSTEMS INC.
    Inventors: Jonathan Daniel O'Neill, Christopher John Carnevale
  • Publication number: 20150171452
    Abstract: An exemplary fuel cell electrode assembly includes a membrane. A first electrode is on the first side of the membrane. A second electrode is on a second side of the membrane. A first gas diffusion layer is adjacent the first electrode. At least a portion of the first gas diffusion layer is at least partially impregnated by a first plastic material that bonds the portion of the first gas diffusion layer to the first electrode. A second gas diffusion layer is adjacent the second electrode. At least a portion of the second gas diffusion layer is at least partially impregnated by a second plastic material that bonds the second gas diffusion layer to the second electrode. A third plastic material is between at least one of the gas diffusion layers and the adjacent electrode for electrically isolating the first gas diffusion layer from the second gas diffusion layer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 10, 2012
    Publication date: June 18, 2015
    Applicant: Ballard Power Systems Inc.
    Inventor: Thomas F. Vicino, JR.
  • Publication number: 20150140470
    Abstract: A microporous layer for use in a fuel cell includes a first carbon black having carboxyl groups at a concentration less than 0.1 mmol per gram of carbon, a hydrophobic additive and a hydrophilic additive. A method for producing a membrane electrode assembly includes preparing a microporous layer ink, applying the microporous layer ink to a first side of a gas diffusion substrate, sintering the gas diffusion substrate to form a gas diffusion layer having a first side with a microporous layer, and thermally bonding the first side of the gas diffusion layer to an electrode layer. The microporous layer ink includes a suspension medium, a first carbon black having carboxyl groups at a concentration less than 0.1 mmol per gram of carbon, a hydrophobic additive and a hydrophilic additive.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 19, 2012
    Publication date: May 21, 2015
    Applicant: Ballard Power Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Siddique Ali Khateeb Razack, Robert Mason Darling
  • Patent number: 9029031
    Abstract: A fuel cell stack (10) is operated with a low air utilization which is very low when the stack is providing low current density, and is operated with air utilization increasing as a function of current density above a predetermined current density.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2015
    Assignee: Ballard Power Systems Inc.
    Inventor: Robert M. Darling