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Investigation of PEMFC fault diagnosis with consideration of sensor reliability

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journal contribution
posted on 01.12.2017 by Lei Mao, Lisa Jackson, Benjamin Davies
Despite the wide range of applications for the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), its reliability and durability are still major barriers for further commercialisation. As a possible solution, PEMFC fault diagnosis has received much more atten-tion in the last few decades. Due to the difficulty of developing an accurate PEMFC model incorporating various failure mode ef-fects, data-driven approaches are widely used for diagnosis purposes. These methods depend largely on the quality of sensor measurements from the PEMFC. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate sensor reliability when performing PEMFC fault diagnosis. In this study, sensor reliability is investigated by proposing an identification technique to detect abnormal sensors during PEMFC operation. The identified abnormal sensors will be removed from the analysis in order to guarantee reliable diagnostic performance. Moreover, the effectiveness of the proposed technique is investigated using test data from a PEMFC system, where fuel cell flooding is observed. During the test, due to accumulation of liquid water inside the PEMFC, the humidity sensors will give misleading readings, and flooding cannot be identified correctly with inclusion of these humidity sensors in the analysis. With the proposed technique, the abnormal humidity measurements can be detected at an early stage. Results demonstrate that by re-moving the abnormal sensors, flooding can be identified with the remaining sensors, thus reliable health monitoring can be guaranteed during the PEMFC operation.


This work is supported by grant EP/K02101X/1 for Loughborough University, Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering from the UK Engineering and Phys-ical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering

Published in

International Journal of Hydrogen Energy


MAO, L., JACKSON, L.M. and DAVIES, B., 2018. Investigation of PEMFC fault diagnosis with consideration of sensor reliability. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 43 (35), pp.16941-16948.


Elsevier / © The Authors


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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Elsevier under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.







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