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A systematic study on the use of short circuiting for the improvement of proton exchange membrane fuel cell performance

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Gaurav GuptaORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Proton exchange membrane fuel cells suffer from reversible performance loss during operation caused by the oxidation of the Pt catalyst which in turn reduces the electrochemically active surface area. Many fuel cell manufacturers recommend using short circuiting during the operation of the fuel cell to improve the performance of the cells over time. However, there is lack of understanding on how it improves the performance as well as on how to optimise the short circuiting strategy for different fuel cell systems. We present a simple procedure to develop an optimised short circuiting strategy by maximising the cumulative average power density gain and minimising the time required to recover the energy loss during short circuiting. We obtained average voltage improvement from 10 to 12% at different current densities for a commercial H-100 system and our short circuiting strategy showed ∼2% voltage improvement in comparison to a commercial strategy. We also demonstrated that the minimum short circuiting time is a function of double layer capacitance by the use of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gupta G, Wu B, Mylius S, Offer GJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy

Year: 2017

Volume: 42

Issue: 7

Pages: 4320-4327

Print publication date: 16/02/2017

Online publication date: 10/11/2016

Acceptance date: 14/10/2016

Date deposited: 02/08/2017

ISSN (print): 0360-3199

ISSN (electronic): 1879-3487

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2016.10.080


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