Process Or Means For Control Of Operation Patents (Class 429/428)
  • Patent number: 10847819
    Abstract: An apparatus for preventing moisture condensation includes a fuel cell stack and an enclosure in which the fuel cell stack is disposed. A heater and a temperature sensor are provided in the enclosure. A controller is configured to control the heater to be turned on when an insulation resistance between the fuel cell stack and the enclosure is less than a preset resistance value. The controller controls the heater not to be turned on when a surface temperature of the enclosure measured by the temperature sensor exceeds a preset temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2020
    Assignees: Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Jung Han Yu, Jung Do Suh, Ju Han Kim, Duck Whan Kim, Se Joon Im, Young Woo Noh
  • Patent number: 10777827
    Abstract: A technique that suppresses excessive water drainage from a fuel cell is provided. A water drainage device that drains water from inside of a fuel cell includes: a purge gas supply system; an operation unit; a water drainage controller; and a water content acquirer. The operation unit receives a water drainage command from a water drainage switch configured to control execution of a purge process by the purge gas supply system. When the water content obtained by the water content acquirer is equal to or lower than a predetermined value, the water drainage controller performs either one of: (i) invalidating the received water drainage command; and (ii) changing a processing condition of the purge process to decrease an amount of water drained by the purge process, compared with an amount of water drainage when the obtained water content is higher than the predetermined value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2020
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Tomohiro Ogawa, Ryosuke Oya, Tomohiko Kaneko, Mitsuhiro Nada, Yoshiaki Naganuma
  • Patent number: 10511042
    Abstract: A fuel cell unit includes a fuel cell and a converter. A fuel cell has single cells laminated in a given direction. A converter has a plurality of combinations of a reactor electrically connected with the fuel cell and a power module electrically connected with the reactor. At least either a direction in which first reactors among the reactors are arrayed or a direction in which first power modules among the power modules are arrayed is parallel with a laminating direction of the single cells.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2019
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Koji Katano, Hiroyuki Sekine
  • Patent number: 10468700
    Abstract: A membrane-electrode assembly for water electrolysis including a proton-exchange membrane, a first catalyst layer, a second catalyst layer, a first gas diffusion layer, a second gas diffusion layer and a first sensor chip. The proton-exchange membrane is disposed between an inner side of the first catalyst layer and an inner side of the second catalyst layer. The first gas diffusion layer is disposed on an outer side of the first catalyst layer. The second gas diffusion layer is disposed on an outer side of the second catalyst layer. The first sensor chip is sandwiched between the first catalyst layer and the first gas diffusion layer to sense an environmental change where water electrolysis takes place.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2019
    Assignees: YUAN ZE UNIVERSITY, HOMYTECH CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Chi-Yuan Lee, Chia-Hung Chen, Guo-Bin Jung, Yu-Chun Chiang, Chin-Lung Hsieh, Yun-Min Liu
  • Patent number: 10424799
    Abstract: An object is to suppress drying of a fuel cell during continuous operation with high load. There is provided a fuel cell system including a fuel cell. The fuel cell system comprises an impedance detector that is configured to detect an impedance of the fuel cell; and a current limiter that is configured to limit an output current of the fuel cell with a limiting rate. The current limiter changes the limiting rate, based on the detected impedance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 24, 2019
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Imanishi, Tsuyoshi Maruo, Takashi Yamada
  • Patent number: 10411276
    Abstract: A device in which an environmental air flow is monitored by a monitoring element and in which a natural gas flow is interrupted by a shut-off element on recognition of an insufficient environmental air flow. To allow a continuous operation of the fuel cell battery the monitoring element is short-circuited by a bridging device and that its operability can thus be checked without the environmental air flow having to be interrupted. This allows a permanent operation of the fuel cell battery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2019
    Assignee: HEXIS AG
    Inventors: Roland Denzler, Ralf Kober, Thomas Gamper
  • Patent number: 10312538
    Abstract: A fuel cell system for a vehicle includes: a fuel cell; a plurality of loads that consumes power generated by the fuel cell and includes a vehicle driving motor; a secondary battery configured to be charged with excess power when an amount of power generated by the fuel cell is greater than an amount of power consumed by the loads and to discharge shortage power when the amount of power generated by the fuel cell is less than the amount of power consumed by the loads; and a control unit configured to control the amount of power generated by the fuel cell such that an amount of charging-discharging power of the secondary battery is maintained at a predetermined value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2019
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Takao Watanabe, Shinji Aso, Akihiro Kamiya, Tomoya Ogawa, Junichi Matsuo
  • Patent number: 10267862
    Abstract: A fuel cell system comprises: a fuel cell formed of a plurality of cells stacked therein, each cell generating electric power through an electrochemical reaction between a fuel gas and an oxidant gas; a cell monitor capable of detecting a group voltage for each group wherein each group is composed of two or more cells; and an estimation device that estimates a minimum cell voltage. The estimation device comprises a maximum cell voltage estimation part that estimates a maximum cell voltage, and the estimation device estimates the minimum cell voltage by using an estimated value of the maximum cell voltage and a minimum group-average voltage, where an average voltage of a group having the lowest voltage value among the group voltages is defined as the minimum group-average voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2019
    Assignee: TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Masashi Toida, Yoshiaki Naganuma
  • Patent number: 10199668
    Abstract: A fuel cell system includes: a processing unit configured to perform an activation process of temporarily reducing a cathode potential of a single fuel cell to a target potential for a duration time at a processing frequency; a cationic impurity amount estimating unit configured to estimate an amount of cationic impurities included in an electrolyte membrane of the single fuel cell; and a process degree determining unit configured to determine, when the amount of cationic impurities is large, a degree of the activation process which is higher than that determined when the amount of cationic impurities is small by performing at least one action among actions of changing conditions of the activation process, the actions including an action of reducing the target potential, an action of increasing the duration time, and an action of increasing the processing frequency. The processing unit performs the activation process to the determined degree.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2019
    Assignee: TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Shinji Jomori
  • Patent number: 10158136
    Abstract: A fuel cell system comprising: a power generation controller that controls a value subject to control, which is a value exhibiting a power generating state by a fuel cell and is a value that is affected by alternating current applied to the fuel cell, to approach a target value; a dead zone setter that sets a dead zone with the target value as a reference; and, a stopper that stops the control by the power generation controller when the value subject to control is contained in the dead zone.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2018
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yohei Okamoto, Yutaka Tano, Mitsuhiro Nada, Tomohiko Kaneko
  • Patent number: 10153504
    Abstract: There is provided a fuel cell system. This fuel cell system comprises a fuel cell configured to generate electric power using reactive gases; a voltage sensor configured to measure a voltage output from the fuel cell; a converter configured to boost an input voltage that is input from the fuel cell; and a controller configured to control the converter. In the case where the voltage output from the fuel cell to the converter is to be boosted after a changeover of an operating state of the fuel cell system from an intermittent operation to an ordinary operation, when a duty ratio D1 calculated by Mathematical Formula I is greater than a duty ratio D2 calculated by Mathematical Formula II, the controller causes the converter to boost the voltage output from the fuel cell at the duty ratio D2. [ Math .
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2018
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yuji Kakeno, Yutaka Tano, Shinji Aso
  • Patent number: 9941531
    Abstract: A method for cooling a fuel cell (3) using a liquid cooling medium, wherein of the starting materials supplied to the fuel cell and the products discharged from the fuel cell, at least one is gaseous during at least one of the operating conditions. The cooling medium is conveyed through the fuel cell (3) by a coolant conveying device (11). The power consumption of the coolant conveying device (11) is compared to predefined reference values in order to detect gas in the liquid cooling medium by a deviation of the power consumption from the predefined reference values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2018
    Assignee: Daimler AG
    Inventor: Clemens Schwab
  • Patent number: 9889763
    Abstract: There is provided a control method of an external power supply system configured to supply power to the outside from a fuel cell and a secondary battery mounted on a vehicle. When a failure is detected in a sensor that measures an electric power supplied to the outside from an electric power line to which the fuel cell and the secondary battery are connectable, (a) if a decrease in a state of charge of the secondary battery is detected, external power supply is performed by increasing a generated power of the fuel cell so as to stop the decrease in the state of charge, and (b) if an increase in a state of charge of the secondary battery is detected, external power supply is performed by decreasing the generated power of the fuel cell so as to stop the increase in the state of charge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2018
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yasuo Matsubara, Kenji Umayahara
  • Patent number: 9880226
    Abstract: A system and method for monitoring the conductivity of a cooling fluid flowing in a fuel cell system on a vehicle including a chassis. The fuel cell system includes a fuel cell stack electrically coupled to a stack bus and a battery electrically coupled to a propulsion bus. The method includes operating the fuel cell system, measuring a first isolation resistance at the first power level, measuring a first stack voltage, and measuring a first battery voltage. The method also includes operating the fuel cell system at a second power level, and measuring a second isolation resistance, measuring a second stack voltage, and measuring a second battery voltage. The method calculates a stack coolant resistance using the first and second isolation resistances, the first and second stack voltages, and the first and second battery voltages, which is then used to calculate the cooling fluid conductivity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2018
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventor: Robert S. Foley
  • Patent number: 9793562
    Abstract: When a first timing at which a fuel gas is injected to a fuel gas supply flow path by an injector and a second timing at which water residing on a circulation flow path is discharged by controlling rotating speed of a circulation pump coincide with each other, a controller performs either: (i) a first process of operating the circulation pump at a preset RPM without injecting the fuel gas to the fuel gas supply flow path by the injector; or (ii) a second process of injecting the fuel gas to the fuel gas supply flow path by the injector and operating the circulation pump at an RPM lower than the preset RPM.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2017
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Kazuo Yamamoto, Hiroyuki Imanishi
  • Patent number: 9692073
    Abstract: To provide a membrane/electrode assembly excellent in the power generation characteristics even under low or no humidity conditions or under high humidity conditions, and an electrolyte material suitable for a catalyst layer of the 5 membrane/electrode assembly, an electrolyte material is used which comprises a polymer (H) having a unit (A) which has an ion exchange group and in which all hydrogen atoms (excluding H+ of the ion exchange group) bonded to carbon atoms are substituted by fluorine atoms, a unit (B) which has a 5-membered ring and in which all hydrogen atoms bonded to carbon 10 atoms are substituted by fluorine atoms, and a unit (C) which has neither an ion exchange group nor a ring structure, has an ether bond, and has an ether equivalent of at most 350 as established by the following formula (I) and in which all hydrogen atoms bonded to carbon atoms are substituted by fluorine atoms: Ether equivalent=the molecular weight of the monomer forming the unit (C)/the 15 number of ether bonds in the mo
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2017
    Assignee: Asahi Glass Company, Limited
    Inventors: Satoru Hommura, Susumu Saito, Tetsuji Shimohira, Atsushi Watakabe
  • Patent number: 9563483
    Abstract: Computing devices receive power from multiple fuel cells, consuming natural gas and outputting electrical energy natively consumable by the computing devices. The fuel cells are sized to provide power to a set of computing devices, such as a rack thereof. The computing devices of a failed fuel cell can receive power from adjacent fuel cells. Additionally, the fuel cells and computing devices are positioned to realize thermal symbiotic efficiencies. Controllers instruct the computing devices to deactivate or throttle down power consuming functions during instances where the power consumption demand is increasing faster than the power being sourced by fuel cells, and instruct the computing devices to activate or throttle up power consuming functions during instances where the power consumption demand is decreasing faster than the power being sourced by the fuel cells. Supplemental power sources, supplementing the fuel cells' inability to quickly change power output, are not required.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2017
    Assignee: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Gregory Joseph McKnight, Shaun L. Harris, Sean M. James
  • Patent number: 9520602
    Abstract: Various hot box fuel cell system components are provided, such as heat exchangers, steam generator and other components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 11, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2016
    Assignee: BLOOM ENERGY CORPORATION
    Inventors: Swaminathan Venkataraman, Vlad Kalika, David Weingaertner
  • Patent number: 9470428
    Abstract: A power generation system of the present invention comprises: a power generation unit (1); a casing (2) that accommodates the power generation unit (1); a ventilator (3) that ventilates the interior of the casing (2); a first gas flow passage (5), arranged inside the casing (2), for a flow therethrough of gas which flows as the ventilator (3) operates; and a second gas flow passage (6), arranged inside the casing (2), for a flow therethrough of combustion exhaust gas from the power generation unit (1), wherein within the casing (2), the second gas flow passage (6) merges into the first gas flow passage (5).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2016
    Assignee: Panasonic Intellectual Property Management Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Akinori Yukimasa, Shigeki Yasuda, Junji Morita, Atsutaka Inoue, Hiroshi Tatsui
  • Patent number: 9461320
    Abstract: Systems, methods, and devices of the various embodiments enable electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (“EIS”) to be performed on electrochemical devices, such as fuel cell stack segments, by power electronics connecting the electrochemical devices in parallel to a common load and/or bus. In an embodiment, the power electronics may compensate for any ripple generated during EIS such that no ripple is realized at the common load and/or bus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2016
    Assignee: BLOOM ENERGY CORPORATION
    Inventors: Arne Ballantine, Ranganathan Gurunathan, Prasad Pmsvvsv, Anilkumar Vishnuvarjula
  • Patent number: 9231261
    Abstract: A system and method is provided for minimizing the degradation of a fuel cell after shutdown by forcing remaining air out of a fuel cell system. Upon fuel cell shutdown, the flow of air to the cathode of the fuel cell can be kept at a low rate. The flow of cathode exhaust gases along an exhaust conduit is substantially restricted while the pressure of the supply air supplied is increased. As a result, the pressure of the cathode exhaust gases in the exhaust conduit increases. The voltage of the fuel cell can be to deplete the oxygen in the supply air. The pressure of the supply air is decreased to a pressure lower than the pressure of the cathode exhaust gas in the exhaust conduit such that the cathode exhaust gas flows backward through the system to push out any remaining air.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2016
    Assignees: Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company
    Inventor: Richard Fellows
  • Patent number: 9228751
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a humidity controlling ventilator which takes in air through the use of an air blowing fan, and controls the humidity of the taken air via an adsorption heat exchanger prior to supplying it to the room. In the invention, the air blowing fan is controlled so as to make an air volume flow rate approach a predetermined target volume flow rate. To do this, the invention calculates the fan's air volume flow rate based on a specific volume of air downstream of the adsorption heat exchanger and an air mass flow rate of the fan. The calculated value is fed to an air blow controller that is configured to control the fan such that the calculated air volume flow rate approaches the predetermined target air volume flow rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2016
    Assignee: DAIKIN INDUSTRIES, LTD.
    Inventors: Gakuto Sakai, Akihiro Eguchi, Tomohiro Yabu
  • Patent number: 9070909
    Abstract: A stack for a fuel cell system, including: a membrane electrode assembly, a separator that includes a fuel passage that supplies a fuel to an anode electrode of the membrane electrode assembly and an oxidant passage that supplies an oxidant to a cathode electrode of an adjacent membrane electrode assembly, a first manifold that is formed by connecting first penetration holes that penetrate the separator in a stacking direction and that is connected to the fuel passage, a second manifold that is formed by connecting second penetration holes that penetrate the separator in the stacking direction and that is connected to the oxidant passage and a baffle that is disposed in at least one of the first manifold and the second manifold. The baffle has a membrane structure to control the fluid flow inside of the at least one of the first manifold and the second manifold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2015
    Assignee: SAMSUNG SDI CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Jin-Hwa Lee, Chi-Seung Lee, Seong-Jin An, Sang-Il Han, Kah-Young Song
  • Patent number: 9038772
    Abstract: A hybrid silencer in a fuel cell system includes an expansion chamber connected to a predetermined apparatus of the fuel cell system, where the expansion chamber reduces acoustic noise of a fluid discharged from the predetermined apparatus, a water-absorber disposed inside the expansion chamber, where the water-absorber absorbs a liquid component of a fluid which flows into the expansion chamber; and a perforated silencer which discharges the fluid from which the liquid component is removed by the water-absorber while reducing acoustic noise of the fluid discharged therefrom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: Samsung SDI Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Jin-suck Heo, Won-ho Lee, Hye-jung Cho, Jong-rock Choi
  • Patent number: 9040206
    Abstract: Provided is a method for shutting down an indirect internal reforming SOFC, in which a hydrocarbon-based fuel is reliably reformed, and the oxidative degradation of the anode can be prevented by a reformed gas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: JX NIPPON OIL & ENERGY CORPORATION
    Inventor: Susumu Hatada
  • Patent number: 9034170
    Abstract: Electrode configurations for electric-field enhanced performance in catalysis and solid-state devices involving gases are provided. According to an embodiment, electric-field electrodes can be incorporated in devices such as gas sensors and fuel cells to shape an electric field provided with respect to sensing electrodes for the gas sensors and surfaces of the fuel cells. The shaped electric fields can alter surface dynamics, system thermodynamics, reaction kinetics, and adsorption/desorption processes. In one embodiment, ring-shaped electric-field electrodes can be provided around sensing electrodes of a planar gas sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: University of Florida Research Foundation, Inc.
    Inventors: Bryan M. Blackburn, Eric D. Wachsman, Frederick Martin Van Assche, IV
  • Patent number: 9034530
    Abstract: A system and method for increasing the temperature of a fuel cell stack quickly, especially at cold stack start-up. The method includes determining whether the fuel cell stack is below a first predetermined temperature threshold, and, if so, starting a cooling fluid flow through the stack and engaging a shorting circuit across the stack to short circuit the stack and cause the stack to operate inefficiently. The method then determines a desired heating rate of the fuel cell stack and calculates a cathode airflow to the fuel cell stack based on the desired heating rate. The method reduces the flow of cathode air to the stack if a minimum cell voltage is below a predetermined minimum cell voltage threshold and disengages the shorting circuit and applies vehicle loads to the stack when the stack temperature reaches a predetermined second temperature threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Derek R Lebzelter, Balasubramanian Lakshmanan, Frederick T. Wagner
  • Patent number: 9034531
    Abstract: The current invention is a fuel cell controller that includes a first control loop, where the first control loop is disposed to adjust a fuel cell current to regulate a hydrogen output pressure from the fuel cell to a pressure target valve, and further includes a second control loop disposed to adjust a hydrogen flow rate from a hydrogen generator to match a DC/DC power output to a power target value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: Ardica Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Tibor Fabian, Tobin J. Fisher, Daniel Braithwaite
  • Patent number: 9029030
    Abstract: A voltage boost converter includes: a main voltage boost portion that has a first switch and a first coil, and that raises output voltage of a direct-current power source by using counter electromotive force of the coil caused by the switch performing a switching action on the coil; and a subsidiary voltage boost portion which has a capacitor that adjusts potential difference between two poles of the switch by amount of electricity stored, and which reduces switching loss of the switch by adjusting the amount of electricity in the capacitor during the switching action, and which has a second switch and a second coil. The second coil is formed by winding a wire around at least a portion of a core formed of a magnetic body. The core is provided with a gap formed of a non-magnetic body. A core region formed of a magnetic body is adjacent to the gap.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2015
    Assignees: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha, National University Corporation Yokohama National University
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Imanishi, Kota Manabe, Nobuyuki Kitamura, Takahiko Hasegawa, Atsuo Kawamura, Yukinori Tsuruta
  • Patent number: 9029029
    Abstract: A fuel cell system, and a method of controlling an operation of a plurality of fuel cells. The fuel cell system controls the operation of the plurality of fuel cells according to a power consumed in a load and the performance of the plurality of fuel cells, thereby increasing a power conversion efficiency of the plurality of fuel cells while preventing considerable performance degradation of the plurality of fuel cells. The fuel cell system includes: a plurality of fuel cells; a control unit controlling an operation of the plurality of fuel cells according to a power consumed in a load and the performance of the plurality of fuel cells; and a converter converting a power output by at least one of the plurality of fuel cells into a power according to the control of the control unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2015
    Assignee: Samsung SDI Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Lei Hu, Young-Jae Kim, Hye-Jung Cho
  • Patent number: 9017885
    Abstract: The object of this invention is to provide a fuel supply system capable of reducing the quantity of a fuel to be discharged from a plurality of fuel tanks connected in parallel is provided. The fuel supply system includes a plurality of the fuel tanks for storing a fuel, on-off valves provided individually for the fuel tanks, and a control unit which controls the opening and closing of the on-off valves. The control unit changes the number of the on-off valves to be simultaneously opened according to a situation. The control unit may reduce the number of the on-off valves to be simultaneously opened after a failure is detected or at the time of maintenance of the fuel supply system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Naoki Kanie
  • Patent number: 9017889
    Abstract: A method for providing calibration and synchronization pulses in a pulse width modulation (PWM) signal including cell voltage measurement pulses, where the calibration pulses are four calibration pulses having a pattern of a narrow width high voltage pulse followed by a wide width low voltage pulse followed by a narrow width high voltage pulse followed by a wide width low voltage pulse that has a very low probability of occurring in a practical fuel cell system. The method modulates a combined sequence of the voltage measurement signals and the calibration pulses using an inverted saw tooth wave to provide the PWM signal, where a width of the pulses representing the voltage signals are proportional to a width of the pulses representing the calibration pulses.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: David J. Reed, Kenneth L. Kaye, Derek R. Lebzelter, Kevin Sampson
  • Patent number: 9020799
    Abstract: A method a system and method for optimizing the power distribution between a fuel cell stack and a high voltage battery in a fuel cell vehicle. The method includes defining a virtual battery hydrogen power for the battery that is based on a relationship between a battery power request from the battery and an efficiency of the battery and defining a virtual stack hydrogen power for the fuel cell stack that is based on a relationship between a stack power request from the fuel cell stack and an efficiency of the fuel cell stack. The virtual battery hydrogen power and the virtual stack hydrogen power are converted into polynomial equations and added together to provide a combined power polynomial equation. The combined power polynomial equation is solved to determine a minimum of the fuel cell stack power request by setting a derivative of the virtual stack hydrogen power to zero.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventor: Oliver Maier
  • Patent number: 9012101
    Abstract: The patent relates to fuel cell systems and controlling fuel cell systems. One fuel cell system includes at least one fuel cell stack that includes multiple different serially arranged cells. The system also includes at least one component configured to effect an operating environment of the at least one fuel cell stack. The system further includes a controller configured to operate the at least one component at a primary control point relating to one or more parameters of the operating environment. The controller is further configured to temporarily adjust the at least one component to a secondary control point relating to the one or more parameters. The controller can then re-adjust the at least one component to the primary control point. The fuel cell system can achieve greater overall performance than can be obtained without the adjusting and re-adjusting.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Assignee: ReliOn, Inc.
    Inventors: Dinesh S. Yemul, Scott A. Spink, David R Lott, Lijun Bai
  • Patent number: 9012099
    Abstract: The present invention concerns an electrochemical system (100) including a stack of series connected electrochemical units (102). The system is controlled by a control circuit (104) and includes a plurality of differential amplifiers (114), each connected by two inputs to the terminals of an electrochemical unit, in order to supply a voltage representative of the potential difference present between the terminals of said electrochemical unit. Each representative voltage is sent to a control unit (106) arranged for converting said representative voltage into a numerical value transmitted to the control circuit. The system further includes, between each differential amplifier and the control unit, a buffer means (116) controlled by the control circuit. The buffer means is capable of saving the voltage representative of the potential difference present between the terminals of the electrochemical unit to which it is connected. The voltage is saved simultaneously by all of the buffer means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Assignee: Belenos Clean Power Holding AG
    Inventor: Antoine Toth
  • Patent number: 9012100
    Abstract: Provided is a fuel cell system including: a wetness detecting section for detecting a wetness of a fuel cell stack; a target SR setting section for setting a target SR of the fuel cell stack based on the wetness; a smallest SR setting section for setting, based on a load, a smallest SR necessary to prevent flooding of the fuel cell stack; and an SR control section for performing control so that an actual SR becomes temporarily larger than the smallest SR when the target SR is smaller than the smallest SR.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Assignee: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Fumio Kagami, Takahiro Fujii
  • Publication number: 20150099204
    Abstract: A fuel cell assembly according to an exemplary aspect of the present disclosure includes, among other things, a first fuel cell stack in series with a variable resistor and a second fuel cell stack in parallel with the first fuel cell stack and in series with a contactor. A resistance level of the variable resistor is adjusted in response to deactivating the contactor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 4, 2014
    Publication date: April 9, 2015
    Applicant: Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation
    Inventor: Jonathan Daniel O'Neill
  • Patent number: 8996182
    Abstract: There are provided a fuel cell system capable of reducing power consumption by inhibiting an unnecessary operation of a DC-DC converter, and a power control method therefor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hiroaki Mori, Kenji Umayahara
  • Patent number: 8993196
    Abstract: In a fuel cell system including a fuel cartridge and a fuel supply module, the fuel cartridge includes at least two ports, wherein a first port from among the at least two ports is a fuel inlet port and a second port from among the at least two ports is a fuel outlet port. The fuel cartridge may also include a fuel pouch or the fuel cartridge itself may be the fuel pouch. The fuel supply module may include a fuel circulation structure that circulates the fuel before the fuel is supplied to the stack. The fuel cell system may be equipped with an electronic apparatus and serve as a source of power.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Samsung SDI Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Young-soo Joung, Hye-jung Cho, Sang-ho Yoon
  • Patent number: 8993184
    Abstract: A fuel cell system is provided that includes a fuel cell stack, an air pump, a first convertor, a motor, and an ECU for controlling the air pump and the first convertor based on the target voltage and the switching voltage of the single cell. The ECU executes the first mode such that the actual voltage of the single cell corresponds to the target voltage, when the target voltage is equal to or less than the switching voltage, while the ECU executes the second mode such that the actual voltage of the single cell is kept at the switching voltage, when the target voltage is more than the switching voltage. Further, the ECU executes the second mode thereby to change the actual current of the single cell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Shuichi Kazuno, Hibiki Saeki
  • Publication number: 20150086890
    Abstract: A fuel cell system according to the present invention comprises a control apparatus which performs performance restoration processing for a catalyst layer by decreasing the output voltage of a fuel cell to a predetermined voltage. When an oxide film formed on the catalyst layer during power generation of the fuel cell contains, in addition to a first oxide film that can be removed by decreasing the output voltage of the fuel cell to a first oxide film removal voltage, a second oxide film that can be removed by decreasing the output voltage of the fuel cell to a second oxide film removal voltage which is lower than the first oxide film removal voltage, the control apparatus estimates the amount of the second oxide film and performs performance restoration processing with a set voltage being equal to or lower than the second oxide film removal voltage only when it determines that the estimated amount exceeds a predetermined amount A.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 1, 2012
    Publication date: March 26, 2015
    Applicant: TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Kotaro Ikeda, Masaaki Matsusue, Yumi Inoue
  • Patent number: 8986901
    Abstract: A fuel cell system includes an air supply flow path configured to supply the air to a fuel cell, a reed valve provided in the air supply flow path, an air exhaust flow path configured to allow the air discharged from the fuel cell to flow therethrough, a pressure regulating valve provided in the air exhaust flow path and configured to adjust back pressure of the air supplied to the fuel cell, a bypass flow path configured to connect an upstream section of the air supply flow path upstream of the reed valve with the air exhaust flow path, and a bypass valve provided in the bypass flow path and configured to open and close the bypass flow path. The fuel cell system reduces the opening of the pressure regulating valve with supplying the air to the fuel cell in the closed position of the bypass valve, so as to increase the pressure of the air upstream of the pressure regulating valve, and subsequently opens the bypass valve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Koji Katano
  • Patent number: 8990034
    Abstract: A health monitoring system for a fuel cell stack using current fuel cell architecture to enable the electronic control unit (ECU) to continue to monitor the health of the fuel cell stack despite a component failure. The system uses an embedded measurement module (EMM) connected to a group of fuel cells in the fuel cell stack to monitor the health of that group of fuel cells. The EMM produces a pulse width modulation signal that is sent to the ECU. A total voltage value for the group of fuel cells is embedded into the calibration signal or end of frame sequence. The ECU uses an algorithm to determine a missing voltage of at least one fuel cell in the event of the component failure of that fuel cell by adding up the cumulative value for each fuel cell reporting their voltage and subtracting that value from the total voltage value found in the end of frame sequence.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Jeffrey A. Rock, David J. Reed, Kenneth L. Kaye
  • Patent number: 8986898
    Abstract: The disclosure is directed at a method and apparatus for controlling fuel cell operating conditions. The apparatus includes a set of sensors for monitoring the fuel cell operating conditions and a processing unit, in communication with the set of sensors for determining when the fuel cell operating conditions are outside of an acceptable range. When it is determined that the fuel cell operating conditions are outside of the acceptable range, an electrolyzer is activated to electrolyze waste liquid water or water vapor to assist in controlling the fuel cell operating conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Assignee: BlackBerry Limited
    Inventors: David Gerard Rich, Taha Shabbir Husain Sutarwala
  • Patent number: 8980491
    Abstract: The disclosed embodiments relate to the design of a portable and cost-effective fuel cell system for a portable computing device. This fuel cell system includes a fuel cell stack which converts fuel into electrical power. It also includes a fuel source for the fuel cell stack and a controller which controls operation of the fuel cell system. The fuel system also includes an interface to the portable computing device, wherein the interface comprises a power link that provides power to the portable computing device, and a bidirectional communication link that provides bidirectional communication between the portable computing device and the controller for the fuel cell system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Bradley L. Spare, Vijay M. Iyer, Jean L. Lee, Gregory L. Tice, Michael D. Hillman, David I. Simon
  • Patent number: 8980486
    Abstract: A fuel cell system 10 removes water retaining in a cathode catalyst layer 217 in a fuel cell 20, after a start-up of the fuel cell 20 and before feed of coolant to the fuel cell 20.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Sho Usami, Yasushi Araki, Kazunori Shibata, Shuya Kawahara, Tomohiro Ogawa
  • Patent number: 8980487
    Abstract: The progress of activation of a fuel cell is appropriately transmitted in accordance with the rise of the temperature of the fuel cell, and an estimated time till the completion of the activation is displayed with higher accuracy. To realize this, the current percentage of a fuel cell temperature is displayed on a gauge (G) which displays, as a starting point, the temperature of the fuel cell at the start of the activation and which displays, as an end point, the temperature of the fuel cell at the completion of the activation. The percentage of the temperature is displayed as the estimated time till the completion of the activation, whereby an adverse effect due to a low accuracy in the case of the estimation of the time is eliminated. When the fuel cell is activated for a failure check, the percentage of an actually elapsed time with respect to a time required to complete the failure check may be displayed on the gauge (G).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Kenji Umayahara, Atsushi Imai
  • Patent number: 8980490
    Abstract: A fuel cell system of the present invention includes: a fuel cell supplied with fuel gas and oxidizing gas to generate electricity; a fuel gas supply unit supplying the fuel gas to the fuel cell; an oxidizing gas supply unit supplying the oxidizing gas to the fuel cell; an aftercooler cooling the oxidizing gas supplied to the fuel cell by heat exchange with a coolant; an oxidizing gas temperature detector detecting temperature of the oxidizing gas; and a coolant circulation controller starting circulation of the coolant when the detected temperature of the oxidizing gas exceeds a predetermined value. The predetermined value is set to a value of not higher than a minimum electricity generation temperature of the fuel cell, and a circulation timing and flow rate of the coolant for the aftercooler are controlled such that the supplied oxidizing gas does not become cold. This enables the fuel cell to generate electricity at cold start-up.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Ikuhiro Taniguchi, Hiromasa Sakai, Kotaro Akashi, Nobutaka Takahashi
  • Patent number: 8980488
    Abstract: A fuel cell system includes a reforming unit, a carbon-monoxide decreasing unit, a fuel cell, a burner unit, and a raw gas supply device. At a start-up operation of the fuel cell system, an amount of raw gas supplied from the raw has supply device is adjusted according to an amount of a desorbed raw gas desorbed out of components of the raw gas adsorbed to at least one of the reforming catalyst and a carbon monoxide decreasing catalyst such that a ratio of an amount of the combustion air to an amount of the raw gas in the burner unit falls within a predetermined range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: Panasonic Intellectual Property Management Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroshi Tatsui, Kiyoshi Taguchi
  • Publication number: 20150072257
    Abstract: A method for assembling an electrochemical cell stack may include arranging a plurality of electrochemical cells into an electrochemical cell stack, the electrochemical cell stack including at least a first substack and a second substack; connecting the first substack and second substack such that reactant fluid flows in series from the first substack to the second substack; and coupling the first substack to a first electrical control device such that the first electrical control device selectively electrically reconfigures the first substack to operate in series and in parallel with the second substack.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 17, 2014
    Publication date: March 12, 2015
    Inventors: Marianne Mata, Shailesh Atreya