Robust Lifecycle Design and Health Monitoring for Fuel-Cell Extended Performance (RESILIENCE)
ESPRC funded project:
The durability and reliability of producing high quality power for long periods of time have the potential to be the leading marketing factors for future hydrogen and fuel cell power sources. Improvements to current real-world environment durability levels, and hence improving the performance criteria, is limited by: (i) a lack of understanding of the state of the cell/stack, (ii) the lack of ability to deal with data currently obtained in an informed manner, and (iii) the limited support and decision making throughout the lifecycle to optimise performance.
The vision of this proposal is to develop an optimal integrated fuel cell system design, encompassing an intelligent health monitoring capability, to enable maximised lifecycle performance. This will be achieved within a real-time dynamic and adaptive intelligent lifecycle infrastructure yielding the increased optimised performance of cells (e.g. self: -monitoring, -adapting, -optimising and –protecting). Providing an intelligent information infrastructure leading to smarter, optimised cells will require leading edge research to semantically model relationships between the cell and environmental data coupled with the necessity of performance techniques which enable systems to be optimally designed for reliability, with an intelligent diagnostic and prognostic capability.
The proposed research will form a new platform of activity in hydrogen and fuel cell reliability and durability intelligence, underlining the principles of one of the UK’s key strategic targets on energy production and reduced emissions, and having direct commercial utilisation and impact with engagement from one of the leading fuel cell companies with the UK. The RESILIENCE project is a timely extension of the current SUPERGEN Hydrogen and Fuel Cells HUB programme activities aimed at research into hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. The area of research of this proposal is distinct in nature though will prove insightful to the work within the HUB, in particular to Work Package 2 (Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Systems), Work Package 3 (Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Safety) and Work Package 7 (Polymer Electrolyte Fuel cells).
The research will deliver a broad generic capability applicable to industries where replacement of current high emission power sources is paramount. The RESILIENCE beneficiaries include: Intelligent Energy via improved fuel cell technology development, improved system design, and enhanced prognostic ability, all enabling improved service provision and enhanced reputation in the low carbon power source field; and other power source companies currently utilising fuel cell power source technologies, such as automotive, aerospace, railway and electrical power distribution, via an improved capability to maximise the durability of the system.
All of these beneficiaries highlight the national importance to addressing the long term UK emission targets for a sustainable future. The proposed research activity will position the Hydrogen and fuel cell community with new, internationally leading capabilities to offer in durable low emission power generation. Commercialisation may be via UK fuel cell third parties, new UK business investment or SME supply chain development and partnerships.