Patents by Inventor Swaminatha P. Kumaraguru

Swaminatha P. Kumaraguru 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).

  • Patent number: 10811713
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides a method for manufacturing an integrated MEA, the method includes the following steps: (1) providing a substrate having an AA region and a WVT region; (2) coating a hydrophobic microporous layer across the substrate; (3) coating a catalyst layer onto the hydrophobic microporous layer in the AA region; (4) coating a first fuel cell membrane ionomer layer onto the catalyst layer in the AA region and onto the hydrophobic microporous layer in the WVT region; (5) optionally applying a membrane support layer to the first fuel cell membrane ionomer layer in the AA region and the WVT region; (6) optionally applying a coating of second fuel cell membrane ionomer layer thereby forming a coated substrate; and (7) assembling the coated substrate to a companion coated substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2020
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Mark F. Mathias, Balasubramanian Lakshmanan, Swaminatha P. Kumaraguru, Scott C. Moose
  • Patent number: 10784527
    Abstract: A controller-executed method for conditioning a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) in a fuel cell for use in a fuel cell stack includes humidifying a fuel inlet to the stack to a threshold relative humidity level, and maintaining a current density and cell voltage of the fuel cell at a calibrated current density level and hold voltage level, respectively, via the controller in at least one voltage recovery stage. The recovery stage has a predetermined voltage recovery duration. The method includes measuring the cell voltage after completing the predetermined voltage recovery duration, and executing a control action with respect to the fuel cell or fuel cell stack responsive to the measured cell voltage exceeding a target voltage, including recording a diagnostic code via the controller indicative of successful conditioning of the MEA. A fuel cell system includes the fuel cell stack and controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2020
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Swaminatha P. Kumaraguru, Jingxin Zhang, Nagappan Ramaswamy, Pinkhas A. Rapaport
  • Patent number: 10680266
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides a method for manufacturing an integrated MEA, the method includes the following steps: (1) providing a substrate having an AA region and a WVT region; (2) simultaneously coating a microporous layer, a catalyst layer, and a first membrane ionomer layer onto the substrate; (3) applying an optional membrane support layer to the first membrane ionomer layer in the AA region and the WVT region; (4) applying an optional second membrane ionomer layer; (5) heating treating a coated substrate; and (6) assembling the coated substrate to a companion coated substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2020
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Mark F. Mathias, Balasubramanian Lakshmanan, Swaminatha P. Kumaraguru, Scott C. Moose
  • Publication number: 20200067104
    Abstract: A method of forming a catalyst layer for a fuel cell includes electrospinning a first solution of an ionomer, a binder, and a first solvent to form a porous mat having an interior and an exterior and including a plurality of ionomer nanofibers intertwined with one another to define a plurality of pores within the interior. A portion of the plurality of ionomer nanofibers define the exterior and have an internal surface facing the interior and an external surface facing away from the interior. The method also includes electrospraying a second solution of a catalyst and a second solvent onto the porous mat such that the catalyst is disposed on each external surface and is not embedded within the plurality of pores to thereby form the catalyst layer. A catalyst layer and a fuel cell are also described.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 24, 2018
    Publication date: February 27, 2020
    Applicant: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Swaminatha P. Kumaraguru, Mehul M. Vora, Ellazar V. Niangar
  • Publication number: 20190252705
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides a method for manufacturing an integrated MEA, the method includes the following steps: (1) providing a substrate having an AA region and a WVT region; (2) simultaneously coating a microporous layer, a catalyst layer, and a first membrane ionomer layer onto the substrate; (3) applying an optional membrane support layer to the first membrane ionomer layer in the AA region and the WVT region; (4) applying an optional second membrane ionomer layer; (5) heating treating a coated substrate; and (6) assembling the coated substrate to a companion coated substrate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 15, 2018
    Publication date: August 15, 2019
    Inventors: Mark F. Mathias, Balasubramanian Lakshmanan, Swaminatha P. Kumaraguru, Scott C. Moose
  • Patent number: 10381653
    Abstract: An electrode ink composition that forms a fuel cell catalyst layer with reduced mudcracking is provided. The ink composition includes a solvent, a platinum group metal-containing catalyst composition dispersed in the solvent, a primary polymer dispersed within the solvent, the primary polymer being an ionomer, and a secondary polymer dispersed within the solvent, the secondary polymer interacting with the primary polymer via a non-covalent interaction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2019
    Assignee: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Roland J. Koestner, Swaminatha P. Kumaraguru, Irina A. Kozhinova
  • Publication number: 20190237787
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides a method for manufacturing an integrated MEA, the method includes the following steps: (1) providing a substrate having an AA region and a WVT region; (2) coating a hydrophobic microporous layer across the substrate; (3) coating a catalyst layer onto the hydrophobic microporous layer in the AA region; (4) coating a first fuel cell membrane ionomer layer onto the catalyst layer in the AA region and onto the hydrophobic microporous layer in the WVT region; (5) optionally applying a membrane support layer to the first fuel cell membrane ionomer layer in the AA region and the WVT region; (6) optionally applying a coating of second fuel cell membrane ionomer layer thereby forming a coated substrate; and (7) assembling the coated substrate to a companion coated substrate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 29, 2018
    Publication date: August 1, 2019
    Inventors: Mark F. Mathias, Balasubramanian Lakshmanan, Swaminatha P. Kumaraguru, Scott C. Moose
  • Publication number: 20190190040
    Abstract: A controller-executed method for conditioning a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) in a fuel cell for use in a fuel cell stack includes humidifying a fuel inlet to the stack to a threshold relative humidity level, and maintaining a current density and cell voltage of the fuel cell at a calibrated current density level and hold voltage level, respectively, via the controller in at least one voltage recovery stage. The recovery stage has a predetermined voltage recovery duration. The method includes measuring the cell voltage after completing the predetermined voltage recovery duration, and executing a control action with respect to the fuel cell or fuel cell stack responsive to the measured cell voltage exceeding a target voltage, including recording a diagnostic code via the controller indicative of successful conditioning of the MEA. A fuel cell system includes the fuel cell stack and controller.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 19, 2017
    Publication date: June 20, 2019
    Applicant: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Swaminatha P. Kumaraguru, Jingxin Zhang, Nagappan Ramaswamy, Pinkhas A. Rapaport
  • Patent number: 10158128
    Abstract: Disclosed are fuel cell stack break-in procedures, conditioning systems for performing break-in procedures, and motor vehicles with a fuel cell stack conditioned in accordance with disclosed break-in procedures. A break-in method is disclosed for conditioning a membrane assembly of a fuel cell stack. The method includes transmitting humidified hydrogen to the anode of the membrane assembly, and transmitting deionized water to the cathode of the membrane assembly. An electric current and voltage cycle are applied across the fuel cell stack while the fuel cell stack is operated in a hydrogen pumping mode until the fuel cell stack is determined to operate at a predetermined threshold for a fuel cell stack voltage output capability. During hydrogen pumping, the membrane assembly oxidizes the humidified hydrogen, transports protons from the anode to the cathode across the proton conducting membrane, and regenerates the protons in the cathode through a hydrogen evolution reaction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2018
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Jingxin Zhang, Nagappan Ramaswamy, Balasubramanian Lakshmanan, Swaminatha P. Kumaraguru
  • Publication number: 20180261858
    Abstract: Disclosed are fuel cell stack break-in procedures, conditioning systems for performing break-in procedures, and motor vehicles with a fuel cell stack conditioned in accordance with disclosed break-in procedures. A break-in method is disclosed for conditioning a membrane assembly of a fuel cell stack. The method includes transmitting humidified hydrogen to the anode of the membrane assembly, and transmitting deionized water to the cathode of the membrane assembly. An electric current and voltage cycle are applied across the fuel cell stack while the fuel cell stack is operated in a hydrogen pumping mode until the fuel cell stack is determined to operate at a predetermined threshold for a fuel cell stack voltage output capability. During hydrogen pumping, the membrane assembly oxidizes the humidified hydrogen, transports protons from the anode to the cathode across the proton conducting membrane, and regenerates the protons in the cathode through a hydrogen evolution reaction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 7, 2017
    Publication date: September 13, 2018
    Applicant: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Jingxin Zhang, Nagappan Ramaswamy, Balasubramanian Lakshmanan, Swaminatha P. Kumaraguru
  • Publication number: 20180254489
    Abstract: An electrode ink composition that forms a fuel cell catalyst layer with reduced mudcracking is provided. The ink composition includes a solvent, a platinum group metal-containing catalyst composition dispersed in the solvent, a primary polymer dispersed within the solvent, the primary polymer being an ionomer, and a secondary polymer dispersed within the solvent, the secondary polymer interacting with the primary polymer via a non-covalent interaction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 2, 2017
    Publication date: September 6, 2018
    Inventors: ROLAND J. KOESTNER, SWAMINATHA P. KUMARAGURU, IRINA A. KOZHINOVA
  • Patent number: 9899691
    Abstract: System and methods for detecting anode contamination in a fuel cell system are presented. In certain embodiments, a high frequency resistance response of a fuel cell system may be measured at a plurality of frequencies. In some embodiments, the rate of change of high frequency resistance response over time may differ at varied frequencies based on an amount of anode contamination in the fuel cell system. Accordingly, systems and methods disclosed herein may compare high frequency resistance responses taken at a plurality of measured frequencies to detect anode contamination and initiate associated recovery procedures in the fuel cell system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Assignee: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Donald H. Keskula, Mark P. Adams, Kenneth L. Kaye, Swaminatha P. Kumaraguru, Jingxin Zhang
  • Patent number: 9647279
    Abstract: System and methods for reducing carbon corrosion in a fuel cell system are presented. Particularly, the disclosed systems and methods may be utilized in connection with preventing the formation of a propagating H2-Air interface within the fuel cell system. In certain embodiments, the disclosed systems and methods may utilize an electrochemical pump disposed in a cathode loop of the fuel cell system configured to remove oxygen that intrudes into the fuel cell system. In further embodiments, pumps may be included in an anode and a cathode loop of the fuel cell system that may allow for circulation of certain gases to prevent the formation of an H2-Air front with the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Swaminatha P. Kumaraguru, Jeffrey A. Rock, Balasubramanian Lakshmanan
  • Publication number: 20170025693
    Abstract: System and methods for detecting anode contamination in a fuel cell system are presented. In certain embodiments, a high frequency resistance response of a fuel cell system may be measured at a plurality of frequencies. In some embodiments, the rate of change of high frequency resistance response over time may differ at varied frequencies based on an amount of anode contamination in the fuel cell system. Accordingly, systems and methods disclosed herein may compare high frequency resistance responses taken at a plurality of measured frequencies to detect anode contamination and initiate associated recovery procedures in the fuel cell system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 23, 2015
    Publication date: January 26, 2017
    Inventors: DONALD H. KESKULA, MARK P. ADAMS, KENNETH L. KAYE, SWAMINATHA P. KUMARAGURU, JINGXIN ZHANG
  • Patent number: 9437889
    Abstract: A system and method for limiting voltage cycling of a fuel cell stack during a stand-by mode by providing power from a battery to the stack while the stack is turned off. The method includes monitoring the voltage of each of the fuel cells in the fuel cell stack and determining an average cell voltage of the fuel cells in the fuel cell stack. The method also determines whether the average cell voltage of the fuel cells in the fuel cell stack has fallen below a predetermined voltage value and, if so, applies a voltage potential to the fuel cell stack to increase the average cell voltage above the predetermined voltage value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2016
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Robert J. Moses, Balasubramanian Lakshmanan, Daniel T. Folmsbee, Daniel I. Harris, Swaminatha P. Kumaraguru
  • Publication number: 20160064741
    Abstract: A method of making a membrane electrode assembly for a fuel cell, a membrane electrode assembly, a fuel cell and a fuel cell system. The method includes preferentially adsorbing an ionomer and electrocatalyst mixture onto the surface of a porous fuel cell substrate by appropriate treatment of the mixture prior to or contemporaneous with placement of the mixture onto the substrate. This promotes retention of the ionomer-coated electrocatalyst at or near the surface of the substrate where catalytic activity between it and a proton exchange membrane is designed to take place. Retention of the ionomer-coated electrocatalyst near these interfacial regions by the present invention is preferable to having the ionomer and electrocatalyst be significantly absorbed into the substrate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 2, 2014
    Publication date: March 3, 2016
    Inventors: Swaminatha P. Kumaraguru, Roland J. Koestner, Irina Kozhinova
  • Publication number: 20150325872
    Abstract: System and methods for reducing carbon corrosion in a fuel cell system are presented. Particularly, the disclosed systems and methods may be utilized in connection with preventing the formation of a propagating H2-Air interface within the fuel cell system. In certain embodiments, the disclosed systems and methods may utilize an electrochemical pump disposed in a cathode loop of the fuel cell system configured to remove oxygen that intrudes into the fuel cell system. In further embodiments, pumps may be included in an anode and a cathode loop of the fuel cell system that may allow for circulation of certain gases to prevent the formation of an H2-Air front with the system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 12, 2014
    Publication date: November 12, 2015
    Applicant: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: SWAMINATHA P. KUMARAGURU, JEFFREY A. ROCK, BALASUBRAMANIAN LAKSHMANAN
  • Publication number: 20140072893
    Abstract: A system and method for limiting voltage cycling of a fuel cell stack during a stand-by mode by providing power from a battery to the stack while the stack is turned off. The method includes monitoring the voltage of each of the fuel cells in the fuel cell stack and determining an average cell voltage of the fuel cells in the fuel cell stack. The method also determines whether the average cell voltage of the fuel cells in the fuel cell stack has fallen below a predetermined voltage value and, if so, applies a voltage potential to the fuel cell stack to increase the average cell voltage above the predetermined voltage value.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 12, 2012
    Publication date: March 13, 2014
    Applicant: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Robert J. Moses, Balasubramanian Lakshmanan, Daniel T. Folmsbee, Daniel I. Harris, Swaminatha P. Kumaraguru
  • Patent number: 7629285
    Abstract: A process for synthesis of a catalyst is provided. The process includes providing a carbon precursor material, oxidizing the carbon precursor material whereby an oxygen functional group is introduced into the carbon precursor material, and adding a nitrogen functional group into the oxidized carbon precursor material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2009
    Assignee: University of South Carolina
    Inventors: Branko N. Popov, Jog-Won Lee, Nalini P. Subramanian, Swaminatha P. Kumaraguru, Hector R. Colon-Mercado, Vijayadurga Nallathambi, Xuguang Li, Gang Wu
  • Publication number: 20080161183
    Abstract: A process for synthesis of a catalyst is provided. The process includes providing a carbon precursor material, oxidizing the carbon precursor material whereby an oxygen functional group is introduced into the carbon precursor material, and adding a nitrogen functional group into the oxidized carbon precursor material.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 31, 2007
    Publication date: July 3, 2008
    Applicant: UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA
    Inventors: Branko N. Popov, Jong-Won Lee, Nalini P. Subramanian, Swaminatha P. Kumaraguru, Hector R. Colon-Mercado, Vijayadurga Nallathambi, Xuguang Li, Gang WU