Patents by Inventor Gary M. Robb

Gary M. Robb has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20200119371
    Abstract: A hybrid bipolar plate assembly for a fuel cell includes a formed cathode half plate and a stamped metal anode half plate. The stamped metal anode half plate is unnested with and affixed to the formed cathode half plate. Each of the half plates has a reactant side and a coolant side, a feed region, and a header with a plurality of header apertures. The coolant side of the formed cathode half plate need not correspond with cathode flow channels formed on the opposite reactant side. The coolant side of the stamped metal anode half plate has lands corresponding with anode channels formed on the opposite oxidant side. The lands define a plurality of coolant channels on the coolant side of the stamped metal anode half plate and abut the coolant side of the formed cathode half plate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 10, 2019
    Publication date: April 16, 2020
    Inventors: Zhijun Gu, Steve Goebel, Chen Jie, Gary M. Robb
  • Patent number: 10522855
    Abstract: A method for creating an oxygen depleted gas in a fuel cell system, including operating a fuel cell stack at a desired cathode stoichiometry at fuel cell system shutdown to displace a cathode exhaust gas with an oxygen depleted gas. The method further includes closing a cathode flow valve and turning off a compressor to stop the flow of cathode air.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2019
    Assignee: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Thomas W. Tighe, Steven G. Goebel, Gary M. Robb, Abdullah B. Alp, Balasubramanian Lakshmanan, Joseph N. Lovria
  • Publication number: 20160365592
    Abstract: A system and method of producing electrical power from a solid waste stream is provided. The system includes a low tar gasification generator that receives a feedstock stream, such as a solid waste stream. The feedstock stream is gasified to produce a first gas stream that includes hydrogen, at least one contaminant and at least one diluent. At least one clean-up process is performed on the first gas stream to remove the at least one contaminant and generate a second gas stream. Electrical power is generated by a solid oxide fuel cell in response to receiving the second gas stream. The solid oxide fuel cell outputting an anode exhaust gas stream. A portion of the anode exhaust gas is vented to reduce the level of diluent in the second gas stream.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 14, 2015
    Publication date: December 15, 2016
    Inventors: Matthew H. Fronk, Steven G. Goebel, Courtney E. Reich, Gary M. Robb
  • Publication number: 20160365593
    Abstract: A system and method of producing syngas from a solid waste stream is provided. The system includes a low tar gasification generator that gasifies the solid waste stream to produce a first gas stream. A process module cools the first gas stream and removes contaminants, such as metals, sulfur and carbon dioxide from the first gas stream to produce a second gas stream having hydrogen. The second gas stream is received by a power module that generates electrical power from the second gas stream. The process module may include one or more heat exchangers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 15, 2015
    Publication date: December 15, 2016
    Inventors: Matthew H. Fronk, Steven G. Goebel, Courtney E. Reich, Gary M. Robb
  • Patent number: 9368816
    Abstract: A fuel cell system including a fuel cell stack having a plurality of fuel cells, each of the fuel cells including an electrolyte membrane disposed between an anode and a cathode, an anode supply manifold in fluid communication with the anodes of the fuel cells, the anode supply manifold providing fluid communication between a source of hydrogen and the anodes, an anode exhaust manifold in fluid communication with the anodes of the fuel cells, and a fan in fluid communication with the anodes of the fuel cells, wherein the fan controls a flow of fluid through the anodes of the fuel cells after the fuel cell system is shutdown.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2016
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Thomas A. Greszler, Gary M. Robb, John P. Salvador, Balasubramanian Lakshmanan, Hubert Gasteiger
  • Patent number: 9343760
    Abstract: A system and method for reconditioning a fuel cell stack to recover stack voltage loss. The method includes first operating the fuel cell stack in a wet condition where the humidity level in the stack is above 100% to provide liquid water at the cell electrodes. The method then applies a low voltage potential to the stack that causes contaminants to be released from the catalyst surface of the cell electrodes. This step can include starving the cathode side of oxygen for a limited period of time. The method then causes water to flow through the stack so that the contaminants are flushed out of the stack. The process can be performed during vehicle operation where small amounts of voltage would be recovered or during vehicle service where a relatively large amount of voltage could be recovered.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2016
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Gary M. Robb, Daniel T. Folmsbee
  • Publication number: 20160043417
    Abstract: A method for creating an oxygen depleted gas in a fuel cell system, including operating a fuel cell stack at a desired cathode stoichiometry at fuel cell system shutdown to displace a cathode exhaust gas with an oxygen depleted gas. The method further includes closing a cathode flow valve and turning off a compressor to stop the flow of cathode air.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 19, 2015
    Publication date: February 11, 2016
    Inventors: THOMAS W. TIGHE, STEVEN G. GOEBEL, GARY M. ROBB, ABDULLAH B. ALP, BALASUBRAMANIAN LAKSHMANAN, JOSEPH N. LOVRIA
  • Patent number: 8906570
    Abstract: A fuel cell system including a fuel cell stack having a plurality of fuel cells, the fuel cell stack including an anode supply manifold and an anode exhaust manifold, a first valve in fluid communication with at least one of the anode supply manifold and the anode exhaust manifold, wherein the first valve includes an inlet for receiving a fluid flow and an outlet for exhausting a fluid, a sensor for measuring at least a fluid pressure at the inlet and the outlet of the first valve, wherein the sensor generates a sensor signal representing the pressure measurement, and a processor for receiving the sensor signal, analyzing the sensor signal, and determining a composition of a fluid in the fuel cell system based upon the analysis of the sensor signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2014
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Patrick Frost, Daniel I Harris, Manish Sinha, Gary M. Robb
  • Publication number: 20140170512
    Abstract: A system and method for recovering fuel cell stack voltage loss through humidification control. The method includes determining a rate of contamination addition to a surface of a fuel cell electrode in the fuel cell stack and determining a rate of contamination removal from the surface of the fuel cell electrode. The method compares the rate of contamination addition to the rate of the contamination removal to determine whether contaminant surface coverage of the electrode is increasing or decreasing and, if increasing, determines whether the amount of contamination of the electrode is above a predetermined value, where, if so, stack reconditioning through wet stack operation may be performed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 19, 2012
    Publication date: June 19, 2014
    Applicant: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Daniel T. Folmsbee, Gary M. Robb
  • Patent number: 8748051
    Abstract: A fuel cell system is disclosed with a fuel cell stack having a plurality of fuel cells, the fuel cell stack including an external electrical circuit adapted to control current from the fuel cell stack, a sensor for measuring at least one of an environmental condition affecting the fuel cell stack and a characteristic of the fuel cell stack, wherein the sensor generates a sensor signal representing a measurement of the sensor, and a processor for receiving the sensor signal, analyzing the sensor signal, and controlling an adaptive load applied to the external electrical circuit based upon the analysis of the sensor signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2014
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Gary M. Robb, Steven G. Goebel, Daniel I. Harris
  • Publication number: 20140141348
    Abstract: A system and method for reconditioning a fuel cell stack to recover stack voltage loss. The method includes first operating the fuel cell stack in a wet condition where the humidity level in the stack is above 100% to provide liquid water at the cell electrodes. The method then applies a low voltage potential to the stack that causes contaminants to be released from the catalyst surface of the cell electrodes. This step can include starving the cathode side of oxygen for a limited period of time. The method then causes water to flow through the stack so that the contaminants are flushed out of the stack. The process can be performed during vehicle operation where small amounts of voltage would be recovered or during vehicle service where a relatively large amount of voltage could be recovered.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 16, 2012
    Publication date: May 22, 2014
    Applicant: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Gary M. Robb, Daniel T. Folmsbee
  • Patent number: 8697303
    Abstract: A method for controlling cathode air flow at system start-up by controlling a stack by-pass valve. The method includes determining a concentration of hydrogen in a cathode side of the fuel cell stack. The method also includes determining a volumetric flow rate through a cathode compressor, determining a volumetric flow rate through the cathode side and determining a fraction of volumetric flow rate through the cathode side to the total flow through the compressor. The method determines a modeled hydrogen outlet concentration from the fuel cell stack based on the volumetric flow rate through the compressor, the fraction of volumetric flow rate through the compressor to the total flow through the compressor and the concentration of hydrogen in the cathode side. The method uses a desired fraction of volumetric flow rate through the cathode side and the total flow through the compressor to determine the position of the by-pass valve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Daniel I. Harris, Joseph Nicholas Lovria, Matthew C. Kirklin, Gary M. Robb
  • Patent number: 8679696
    Abstract: A fluid distribution insert adapted to be received within an inlet header of a fuel cell assembly is disclosed. The fluid distribution insert includes a hollow insert with a first end and a second end. An inlet is formed at the first end of the hollow insert in fluid communication with a source of a reactant gas and adapted to receive the reactant gas therein. A plurality of outlets is formed intermediate the first end and the second end. A plurality of flow channels is formed in the hollow insert providing fluid communication between the inlet and the outlets to deliver the fluid to a plurality of fuel cells of the fuel cell assembly, wherein a total flow volume and flow resistance of each of the flow channels is substantially the same to provide for a substantially simultaneous delivery of the reactant gas to the fuel cells.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Todd D. Bogumil, Steven G. Goebel, Gary M. Robb, Clipson M. Class
  • Publication number: 20140038073
    Abstract: A fuel cell system including a fuel cell stack having a plurality of fuel cells, each of the fuel cells including an electrolyte membrane disposed between an anode and a cathode, an anode supply manifold in fluid communication with the anodes of the fuel cells, the anode supply manifold providing fluid communication between a source of hydrogen and the anodes, an anode exhaust manifold in fluid communication with the anodes of the fuel cells, and a fan in fluid communication with the anodes of the fuel cells, wherein the fan controls a flow of fluid through the anodes of the fuel cells after the fuel cell system is shutdown.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 10, 2013
    Publication date: February 6, 2014
    Applicant: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Thomas A. Greszler, Gary M. Robb, John P. Salvador, Balasubramanian Lakshmanan, Hubert Gasteiger
  • Patent number: 8586255
    Abstract: A method for filling a fuel cell system with a fuel during start-up is disclosed, the method including the steps of providing a fuel cell stack having a plurality of fuels cells, each fuel cell having an active area, the fuel cell stack including an anode supply manifold and an anode exhaust manifold, the anode supply manifold and in fluid communication with a source of fuel; providing an anode sub-system in fluid communication with an anode side of the fuel cell stack; and supplying the fuel to the fuel cell stack substantially uniformly and substantially simultaneously to compress any fluids in the fuel cell stack into a volume between an end of each active area adjacent to the anode exhaust manifold and an outlet of the anode sub-system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2013
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Gary M. Robb, Steven G. Goebel, Daniel I. Harris
  • Patent number: 8580445
    Abstract: A fuel cell system including a fuel cell stack having a plurality of fuel cells, each of the fuel cells including an electrolyte membrane disposed between an anode and a cathode, an anode supply manifold in fluid communication with the anodes of the fuel cells, the anode supply manifold providing fluid communication between a source of hydrogen and the anodes, an anode exhaust manifold in fluid communication with the anodes of the fuel cells, and a fan in fluid communication with the anodes of the fuel cells, wherein the fan controls a flow of fluid through the anodes of the fuel cells after the fuel cell system is shutdown.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2013
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Thomas A. Greszler, Gary M. Robb, John P. Salvador, Balasubramanian Lakshmanan, Hubert Gasteiger
  • Patent number: 8470491
    Abstract: A fluid distribution insert adapted to be received within an inlet header of a fuel cell assembly. The fluid distribution insert includes a hollow insert with a first end and a second end. An inlet is formed at the first end of the hollow insert in fluid communication with a source of a reactant gas and adapted to receive the reactant gas therein. An outlet is formed intermediate the first end and the second end. The outlet is adapted to deliver the reactant gas to a plurality of fuel cells of the fuel cell assembly, wherein the hollow insert delivers the reactant gas to the fuel cells in a substantially simultaneous and uniform manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2013
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Daniel P. Miller, Anthony G. Chinnici, Steven G. Goebel, Daniel J. Darga, Gary M. Robb, Clipson M. Class
  • Patent number: 8450025
    Abstract: A fuel cell system that enables an assisted anode purge upon start-up is provided. The fuel cell system includes a fuel cell stack having a plurality of fuel cells with anodes and cathodes. The fuel cell stack has an anode supply manifold and an anode exhaust manifold in fluid communication with the anodes. The fuel cell system further includes a suction device in fluid communication with at least one of the anode supply manifold and the anode exhaust manifold. The suction device adapted to selectively draw a partial vacuum on the fuel cell stack during a start-up of the fuel cell system. Methods for starting the fuel cell system are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2013
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Joe C. Machuca, Charles Mackintosh, Gary M. Robb, Steven G. Goebel
  • Patent number: 8440359
    Abstract: A method for filling a fuel cell system with a fuel during start-up is disclosed, the method including the steps of providing a fuel cell stack having a plurality of fuels cells, each fuel cell having an active area, the fuel cell stack including an anode supply manifold and an anode exhaust manifold, the anode supply manifold and in fluid communication with a source of fuel; providing an anode sub-system in fluid communication with an anode side of the fuel cell stack; and supplying the fuel to the fuel cell stack substantially uniformly and substantially simultaneously to compress any fluids in the fuel cell stack into a volume between an end of each active area adjacent to the anode exhaust manifold and an outlet of the anode sub-system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2013
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Gary M. Robb, Steven G. Goebel, Daniel I. Harris
  • Patent number: 8232014
    Abstract: A method for reducing the probability of an air/hydrogen front in a fuel cell stack is disclosed that includes closing anode valves for an anode side of the fuel cell stack to permit a desired quantity of hydrogen to be left in the anode side upon shutdown and determining a schedule to inject hydrogen during the time the fuel cell stack is shutdown. The pressure on an anode input line is determined and a discrete amount of hydrogen is injected into the anode side of the stack according to the determined schedule by opening anode input line valves based on the determined pressure along the anode input line so as to inject the hydrogen into the anode side of the stack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2012
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: David A. Arthur, Dieter Kaimann, Thomas W. Tighe, Steven G. Goebel, John P. Salvador, Gary M. Robb, Daniel I. Harris, Joseph Nicholas Lovria, Balasubramanian Lakshmanan, Daniel T. Folmsbee