Computer Controlled PEM Fuel Cell Unit
The Computer Controlled PEM Fuel Cell Unit, "EC5C", has been designed to allow the students to understand the fuel cells technology, especially that of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEM).
It also enables to calculate several fundamental parameters of a PEM type fuel cell, such as power density, polarization curves, efficiency, etc., and the variation of some of these parameters in function of the consumption of reagents and the developed power.
The "EC5C" unit is supplied with a stack of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEM) with a rated power of 100 W. The stack is composed of 24 cells with the shape of channeled plates that allow the air flow through the membrane. The membrane facilitates the hydrogen flow, generating the electrons release. There are separating plates which conduct electricity, allowing thus such electrons flow, between each pair of cells.
Cells are self-humidifying and do not require any type of external humidification. The stack has an integrated fan able to provide the required air for good operation and to maintain the appropriate temperature.
Hydrogen storage represents one of the essential points regarding the hydrogen economy. For that purpose, a cylinder of metal hydride (300 NL) is included. Thanks to the absorption of the hydrogen inside, hydrogen is stored in a safe and certified way. Since the discharge pressure of the metal hydride cylinder is 15 – 20 bar, the "EC5C" unit includes two pressure regulators, one of them is prepared to be installed in the H2 cylinder in order to regulate the outlet pressure at 5-50 bar, the other is placed at the outlet of the metal hydride cylinder in order to regulate the inlet pressure to the stack in a range from 0.50 to 0.55 bar. Two solenoid valves are included. One of them is located before the stack and controls the hydrogen inlet and when the unit is switched off, the valve is closed to avoid any possible hydrogen leakage. The other valve, placed at the stack outlet, purges the excess of water and hydrogen towards the exterior for a proper operation. A load regulation system enables the study of the generated electrical energy, the representation of the characteristic operation curves and their comparison with the theoretical curves. It includes a variable power rheostat, which enables to vary the generated power.
A battery supplies 12 V to the unit interface.
The whole electrical circuit of the stack is protected by a short circuit unit in case of an over current (12 A) and low voltage shut down (12 V).
It includes a hydrogen leak detector with a detection range from 0 to 2% Vol. and from 0 to 100% L.E.L. respectively.
This Computer Controlled Unit is supplied with the EDIBON Computer Control System (SCADA), and includes: The unit itself + a Control Interface Box + a Data Acquisition Board + Computer Control, Data Acquisition and Data Management Software Packages, for controlling the process and all parameters involved in the process.
GUIDED PRACTICAL EXERCISES INCLUDED IN THE MANUAL
- Study of the fundamental principles of how the PEM based fuel cell operates.
- Study of the structure and main principles of a metal hydride cylinder.
- Calculation of a fuel cell efficiency.
- Study of the influence of air consumption and hydrogen in the efficiency of a fuel cell.
- Study of the influence of generated power in the efficiency of a fuel cell.
- Determination of the current density-voltage characteristics of a fuel cell.
- Power density from a single cell and a stack of cells.
- Representation of the polarization curve of a fuel cell.
- Study of the influence of the reagents’ flows in the generation of electrical power.
- Study of the use of reagents and transport phenomena.
- Sensors calibration.
- Many students view results simultaneously. To view all results in real time in the classroom by means of a projector or an electronic whiteboard.
- Open Control, Multicontrol and Real Time Control. This unit allows intrinsically and/or extrinsically to change the span, gains, proportional, integral, derivative parameters, etc, in real time.
- The Computer Control System with SCADA and PID Control allow a real industrial simulation.
- This unit is totally safe as uses mechanical, electrical and electronic, and software safety devices.
- This unit can be used for doing applied research.
- This unit can be used for giving training courses to Industries even to other Technical Education Institutions.
- Control of the EC5C unit process through the control interface box without the computer.
- Visualization of all the sensors values used in the EC5C unit process.
- Several other exercises can be done and designed by the user.
Tender Specifications (for main items)
1 EC5C. Unit:
Anodized aluminum frame and panels made of painted steel.
Main metallic elements made of stainless steel.
Diagram in the front panel with distribution of the elements similar to the real one.
Metal hydride bottle for storage of H2 of 300 NL capacity.
Pressure regulator for the hydrogen inlet at the PEM fuel cell, range: 0 – 1 bar.
Pressure regulator of the H2 bottle. Inlet at 200 bar and outlet at 5 – 50 bar.
Solenoid valve to supply H2.
Purge solenoid valve.
Suitable tubes and hoses for their use with H2 with a high safety factor: up to 210 bar.
Load module: Rheostat: 22R 760 W.
Battery and charger (12 V).
Fuel cell stack:
24 cells self – humidifying (do not require any type of external humidification).
Rated power: 100 W.
Integrated fan in the stack.
Flow sensor to measure the inlet H2 flow to the stack, range: 0.2 – 1.3 l/min.
Pressure sensor to measure the H2 pressure at the stack inlet, range: 0 – 1 bar.
Temperature sensor type “J” to measure the temperature of the purge stream.
Temperature sensor type “J” to measure and control the temperature in the stack.
Current and voltage sensors.
Safety measures and protections:
Failure protection with solenoid valve at the stack inlet.
Over current shut down.
Low voltage shut down.
Over temperature shut down in the stack.
Hydrogen leakage detector (4 – 20 mA; IP65), and software warning.
The complete unit includes as well:
Advanced Real-Time SCADA.
Open Control + Multicontrol + Real-Time Control.
Specialized EDIBON Control Software based on LabVIEW.
National Instruments Data Acquisition board (250 KS/s, kilo samples per second).
Calibration exercises, which are included, teach the user how to calibrate a sensor and the importance of checking the accuracy of the sensors before taking measurements.
Projector and/or electronic whiteboard compatibility allows the unit to be explained and demonstrated to an entire class at one time.
Capable of doing applied research, real industrial simulation, training courses, etc.
Remote operation and control by the user and remote control for EDIBON technical support, are always included.
Totally safe, utilizing 4 safety systems (Mechanical, Electrical, Electronic & Software).
Designed and manufactured under several quality standards.
Optional ICAI software to create, edit and carry out practical exercises, tests, exams, calculations, etc. Apart from monitoring user's knowledge and progress reached.
This unit has been designed for future expansion and integration. A common expansion is the EDIBON Scada-Net (ESN) System which enables multiple students to simultaneously operate many units in a network.
Additional recommended elements (Not included):
- EDILAB-ELEC1. Electrolyzer (3 Nl/h).
2 EC5C/CIB. Control Interface Box:
The Control Interface Box is part of the SCADA system.
Control interface box with process diagram in the front panel.
The unit control elements are permanently computer controlled.
Simultaneous visualization in the computer of all parameters involved in the process.
Calibration of all sensors involved in the process.
Real time curves representation about system responses.
All the actuators’ values can be changed at any time from the keyboard allowing the analysis about curves and responses of the whole process.
Shield and filtered signals to avoid external interferences.
Real time computer control with flexibility of modifications from the computer keyboard of the parameters, at any moment during the process.
Real time computer control for parameters involved in the process simultaneously.
Open control allowing modifications, at any moment and in real time, of parameters involved in the process simultaneously.
Three safety levels, one mechanical in the unit, another electronic in the control interface and the third one in the control software.
3 DAB. Data Acquisition Board:
The Data Acquisition board is part of the SCADA system.
PCI Express Data acquisition board (National Instruments) to be placed in a computer slot.
Analog input: Channels= 16 single-ended or 8 differential. Resolution=16 bits, 1 in 65536. Sampling rate up to: 250 KS/s (kilo samples per second).
Analog output: Channels=2. Resolution=16 bits, 1 in 65536.
Digital Input/Output: Channels=24 inputs/outputs.
The Data Acquisition board model may change at any moment, providing the same or better features than those required for the unit.
4 EC5C/CCSOF. Computer Control +Data Acquisition+Data Management Software:
The three softwares are part of the SCADA system.
Compatible with the industry standards.
Flexible, open and multicontrol software, developed with actual windows graphic systems, acting simultaneously on all process parameters.
Management, processing, comparison and storage of data.
Sampling velocity up to 250 KS/s (kilo samples per second).
Calibration system for the sensors involved in the process.
It allows the registration of the alarms state and the graphic representation in real time.
Open software, allowing the teacher to modify texts, instructions. Teacher’s and student’s passwords to facilitate the teacher’s control on the student, and allowing the access to different work levels.
This unit allows the 30 students of the classroom to visualize simultaneously all the results and the manipulation of the unit, during the process, by using a projector or an electronic whiteboard.
5 Cables and Accessories, for normal operation.
This unit is supplied with 8 manuals: Required Services, Assembly and Installation, Interface and Control Software, Starting-up, Safety, Maintenance, Calibration & Practices Manuals.
*References 1 to 6 are the main items: EC5C + EC5C/CIB + DAB + EC5C/CCSOF + Cables and Accessories + Manuals are included in the minimum supply for enabling normal and full operation.
EXERCISES AND PRACTICAL POSSIBILITIES TO BE DONE WITH THE MAIN ITEMS
1.- Study of the fundamental principles of operation of a proton exchange fuel cell (PEM).
2.- Study of the frame and main principles of a metal hydride bottle.
3.- Calculation of a fuel cell efficiency.
4.- Study of the influence of air consumption and hydrogen in the efficiency of a fuel cell.
5.- Study of the influence of generated power in the efficiency of a fuel cell.
6.- Determination of the current density - voltage characteristics of a fuel cell.
7.- Power density from a single cell and a stack of cells.
8.- Representation of the polarization curve of a fuel cell.
9.- Study of the influence of the reagents flows in the generation of electrical power.
10.- Study of the use of reagents and transport phenomena.
Additional practical possibilities:
11.- Sensors calibration.
Other possibilities to be done with this Unit:
12.- Many students view results simultaneously.
To view all results in real time in the classroom by means of a projector or an electronic whiteboard.
13.- Open Control, Multicontrol and Real Time Control.
This unit allows intrinsically and/or extrinsically to change the span, gains; proportional, integral, derivative parameters; etc, in real time.
14.- The Computer Control System with SCADA allows a real industrial simulation.
15.- This unit is totally safe as uses mechanical, electrical/electronic, and software safety devices.
16.- This unit can be used for doing applied research.
17.- This unit can be used for giving training courses to Industries even to other Technical Education Institutions.
18.- Control of the EC5C unit process through the control interface box without the computer.
19.- Visualization of all the sensors values used in the EC5C unit process.
- Several other exercises can be done and designed by the user.
Tender Specifications (for optional items)
a) Technical and Vocational Education configuration
7 EC5C/ICAI. Interactive Computer Aided Instruction Software System.
This complete software package consists of an Instructor Software (EDIBON Classroom Manager - ECM-SOF) totally integrated with the Student Software (EDIBON Student Labsoft - ESL-SOF). Both are interconnected so that the teacher knows at any moment what is the theoretical and practical knowledge of the students.
- ECM-SOF. EDIBON Classroom Manager (Instructor Software).
ECM-SOF is the application that allows the Instructor to register students, manage and assign tasks for workgroups, create own content to carry out Practical Exercises, choose one of the evaluation methods to check the Student knowledge and monitor the progression related to the planned tasks for individual students, workgroups, units, etc...so the teacher can know in real time the level of understanding of any student in the classroom.
• User Data Base Management.
• Administration and assignment of Workgroup, Task and Training sessions.
• Creation and Integration of Practical Exercises and Multimedia Resources.
• Custom Design of Evaluation Methods.
• Creation and assignment of Formulas & Equations.
• Equation System Solver Engine.
• Updatable Contents.
• Report generation, User Progression Monitoring and Statistics.
- ESL-SOF. EDIBON Student Labsoft (Student Software).
ESL-SOF is the application addressed to the Students that helps them to understand theoretical concepts by means of practical exercises and to prove their knowledge and progression by performing tests and calculations in addition to Multimedia Resources. Default planned tasks and an Open workgroup are provided by EDIBON to allow the students start working from the first session. Reports and statistics are available to know their progression at any time, as well as explanations for every exercise to reinforce the theoretically acquired technical knowledge.
• Student Log-In & Self-Registration.
• Existing Tasks checking & Monitoring.
• Default contents & scheduled tasks available to be used from the first session.
• Practical Exercises accomplishment by following the Manual provided by EDIBON.
• Evaluation Methods to prove your knowledge and progression.
• Test self-correction.
• Calculations computing and plotting.
• Equation System Solver Engine.
• User Monitoring Learning & Printable Reports.
• Multimedia-Supported auxiliary resources.
8 EC5C/FSS. Faults Simulation System.
Faults Simulation System (FSS) is a Software package that simulates several faults in any EDIBON Computer Controlled Unit.
The "FAULTS" mode consists in causing several faults in the unit normal operation. The student must find them and solve them.
There are several kinds of faults that can be grouped in the following sections:
Faults affecting the sensors measurement:
- An incorrect calibration is applied to them.
Faults affecting the actuators:
- Actuators channels interchange at any time during the program execution.
- Response reduction of an actuator.
Faults in the controls execution:
- Inversion of the performance in ON/OFF controls.
- Reduction or increase of the calculated total response.
- The action of some controls is annulled.
- Several on/off faults can be included.
b) Multipost Expansions options
9 MINI ESN. EDIBON Mini Scada-Net System for being used with EDIBON Teaching Units.
MINI ESN. EDIBON Mini Scada-Net System allows up to 30 students to work with a Teaching Unit in any laboratory, simultaneously.
The MINI ESN system consists of the adaptation of any EDIBON Computer Controlled Unit with SCADA integrated in a local network.
This system allows to view/control the unit remotely, from any computer integrated in the local net (in the classroom), through the main computer connected to the unit.
- It allows up to 30 students to work simultaneously with the EDIBON Computer Controlled Unit with SCADA, connected in a local net.
- Open Control + Multicontrol + Real Time Control + Multi Student Post.
- Instructor controls and explains to all students at the same time.
- Any user/student can work doing "real time" control/multicontrol and visualisation.
- Instructor can see in the computer what any user/student is doing in the unit.
- Continuous communication between the instructor and all the users/students connected.
- It allows an easier and quicker understanding.
- This system allows you can save time and cost.
- Future expansions with more EDIBON Units.
The system basically will consist of:
This system is used with a Computer Controlled Unit.
- Instructor’s computer.
- Students’ computers.
- Local Network.
- Unit-Control Interface adaptation.
- Unit Software adaptation.
- MINI ESN Software to control the whole system.
- Cables and accessories required for a normal operation.