In this paper the performance characterization of a PEM fuel cell has been carried out using an experimental analysis. The experimental activity has been conducted in a test station, properly designed and able to test PEM fuel cell stacks in the range 500-2000 W. The laboratory test facility is equipped by a National Instruments Compact DAQ real-time data acquisition and control system running LabView software.The bench commands two mass-flow controllers, regulating both fuel flow and air flow which are commanded via two RS232 ports. The temperature of the FC is regulated via a fan operated by a brushless motor drive. An electronic load is connected to the FCM. The main operating parameters, such as air stoichiometric ratio and fuel composition, have been varied and measured and their influence on the PEM fuel cell behavior has been investigated under both steady-state and transient conditions.
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