JP4338914B2 - Fuel circulation fuel cell system - Google Patents

Fuel circulation fuel cell system Download PDF

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Publication number
JP4338914B2
JP4338914B2 JP2001256833A JP2001256833A JP4338914B2 JP 4338914 B2 JP4338914 B2 JP 4338914B2 JP 2001256833 A JP2001256833 A JP 2001256833A JP 2001256833 A JP2001256833 A JP 2001256833A JP 4338914 B2 JP4338914 B2 JP 4338914B2
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JP
Japan
Prior art keywords
fuel
gas
fuel cell
pressure
fuel gas
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Expired - Fee Related
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JP2001256833A
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JP2003068334A (en
Inventor
貢次 宮野
竜也 菅原
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本田技研工業株式会社
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01MPROCESSES OR MEANS, e.g. BATTERIES, FOR THE DIRECT CONVERSION OF CHEMICAL ENERGY INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY
    • H01M8/00Fuel cells; Manufacture thereof
    • H01M8/04Auxiliary arrangements, e.g. for control of pressure or for circulation of fluids
    • H01M8/04082Arrangements for control of reactant parameters, e.g. pressure or concentration
    • H01M8/04089Arrangements for control of reactant parameters, e.g. pressure or concentration of gaseous reactants
    • H01M8/04104Regulation of differential pressures

Description

[0001]
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to a fuel cell system including a fuel cell that is supplied with a fuel gas and an oxidant gas to generate electricity, and more particularly, a fuel circulation type that joins and circulates a fuel off-gas discharged from the fuel cell with the fuel gas. The present invention relates to a fuel cell system.
[0002]
[Prior art]
A fuel cell mounted on a fuel cell vehicle or the like includes an anode and a cathode on both sides of a solid polymer electrolyte membrane, a fuel gas (for example, hydrogen gas) is supplied to the anode, and an oxidant gas (for example, oxygen or oxygen) is supplied to the cathode. There is a type in which chemical energy related to the oxidation-reduction reaction of these gases is directly extracted as electric energy.
In this fuel cell, hydrogen gas is ionized at the anode and moves through the solid polymer electrolyte, and electrons move to the cathode through an external load and react with oxygen to produce water to generate water. Electric energy can be taken out.
[0003]
In a fuel cell system equipped with this type of fuel cell, fuel gas and oxidant gas are used as fuel to prevent gas shortage in a transient state or to discharge condensed water generated during power generation. It is necessary to supply more than the actual consumption of the battery. In this way, if more fuel gas than the actual consumption is supplied to the fuel cell, the fuel gas that has not been consumed will be discharged from the fuel cell, but if it is released into the atmosphere, energy will be wasted. It will be. In particular, fuel consumption is deteriorated in a fuel cell vehicle equipped with a fuel cell system.
Therefore, a fuel gas that has not been consumed by the fuel cell, and a gas discharged from the anode side of the fuel cell (hereinafter referred to as a fuel off-gas) is pressurized by a pressurizing means such as a pump to obtain a new fuel gas and 2. Description of the Related Art A fuel cell system that joins and recirculates to a fuel cell (hereinafter referred to as a fuel circulation fuel cell system) has been developed.
[0004]
[Problems to be solved by the invention]
By the way, in order to prevent damage to the solid polymer electrolyte membrane, the fuel cell needs to control the pressure difference between the anode side pressure and the cathode side pressure (hereinafter referred to as the inter-electrode pressure difference) below a predetermined value. There is.
Here, in the case of controlling the differential pressure between the electrodes in the above-described fuel circulation type fuel cell system, the pressure on the anode side and the pressure on the cathode side are detected by pressure sensors, respectively, and converted into electric signals to control the ECU (ECU). ), And based on this input signal, the ECU can easily consider a system that feedback-controls the electro / pneumatic pressure control valve installed in the fuel gas supply system. There is a problem that it becomes extremely complicated and expensive.
Accordingly, the present invention provides a fuel circulation type fuel cell system that has good controllability of the differential pressure between the electrodes and can achieve cost reduction.
[0005]
[Means for Solving the Problems]
In order to solve the above problem, the invention described in claim 1
A fuel cell (for example, fuel in an embodiment to be described later) that is supplied with a fuel gas (for example, hydrogen gas in an embodiment to be described later) and an oxidant gas (for example, air in an embodiment to be described later) to generate electricity Battery 1) ,
A compressor (for example, an air compressor 2 in an embodiment to be described later) that controls the number of revolutions according to the required output of the fuel cell and pressurizes a predetermined amount of oxidant gas to supply the fuel cell;
Opening degree control is provided in an oxidant offgas passage (for example, an air offgas passage 5 in an embodiment described later) through which an oxidant offgas discharged from the fuel cell (for example, an air offgas in an embodiment described later) flows. A pressure control valve (for example, a pressure control valve 6 in an embodiment to be described later) for adjusting the supply pressure of the oxidant gas to the fuel cell to a pressure corresponding to the required output of the fuel cell,
A fuel gas supply path (for example, a hydrogen gas supply path 8 in an embodiment described later) for supplying the fuel gas to the fuel cell;
A fuel off-gas return path (for example, a hydrogen off-gas path 10 and a hydrogen off-gas recovery in an embodiment to be described later) for returning a fuel off-gas discharged from the fuel cell (for example, a hydrogen off-gas in an embodiment described later) to the fuel gas supply path Road 12)
A fuel gas pump (for example, a hydrogen pump 11 in an embodiment described later) provided on the fuel off-gas return path and controlled to increase in rotation speed as the required output of the fuel cell increases;
The fuel gas supply passage upstream of the junction where the fuel off-gas return passage joins is provided, the pressure of the oxidant gas before being pressurized by the compressor and supplied to the fuel cell as a signal pressure, and the fuel A fuel gas pressure adjusting means (for example, a fuel gas pressure adjusting valve 7 in an embodiment described later) for adjusting the pressure of the fuel gas supplied to the battery;
The provided, a fuel circuit of the fuel cell system to supply the fuel off-gas to the fuel cell is combined with the fuel gas,
The fuel gas pressure adjusting means is a fuel gas passage (for example, a hydrogen gas passage 24 in an embodiment to be described later) that allows the fuel gas to flow and is opened and closed by a valve body (for example, a valve body 30 in an embodiment to be described later). ) And a signal pressure chamber (for example, a signal pressure chamber 23 in an embodiment described later) into which the signal pressure is introduced, and the fuel gas passage (for example, downstream of the valve body) (for example, A hydrogen gas passage 24b) in an embodiment to be described later is connected to the fuel gas supply passage that merges with the fuel off-gas return passage, and the fuel gas passage downstream of the valve body and the signal pressure chamber have a diaphragm (for example, The diaphragm is partitioned by diaphragms 22a and 22b in an embodiment described later, and the diaphragm is an elastic body (for example, a spring in an embodiment described later) Is urged in a direction approaching to the fuel gas passage by 1) is configured such that the valve body is interlocked coupled to the diaphragm,
The fuel gas pressure adjusting means includes a first thrust acting on the diaphragm based on the pressure of the fuel gas in the fuel gas passage on the downstream side of the valve body , the signal pressure in the signal pressure chamber, and the elastic body. Based on the pressing force of the valve, the opening of the valve body is adjusted by balancing with the second thrust opposite to the first thrust acting on the diaphragm, and the pressure of the fuel gas supplied to the fuel cell is adjusted and to Turkey a fuel circuit of the fuel cell system according to claim.
[0006]
With this configuration, the pressure of the fuel gas in the fuel gas passage on the downstream side of the valve body is the same as that of the fuel gas before supplying the fuel cell in which the fuel off-gas pressurized by the fuel gas pump is merged with the fuel gas. Since the signal pressure in the signal pressure chamber is almost the same as the pressure of the oxidant gas pressurized by the compressor before the fuel cell is supplied, the fuel gas pressure adjusting means the pressure difference between the fuel off-gas and the fuel gas and the gas pressure after the merging oxidant gas, i.e., based on the electrode pressure difference of the fuel cell so that the mechanical opening adjustment is performed after. Therefore, by setting the elastic body to a predetermined value, it is possible to easily control the interelectrode differential pressure of the fuel cell within a desired range.
[0007]
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Embodiments of a fuel circulation type fuel cell system (hereinafter abbreviated as a fuel cell system) according to the present invention will be described below with reference to the drawings of FIGS. In addition, the fuel cell system in this embodiment is a mode mounted on a fuel cell vehicle.
FIG. 1 is a schematic configuration diagram of a fuel cell system. The fuel cell 1 is configured by laminating a number of cells each having an anode and a cathode on both sides of a solid polymer electrolyte membrane, and gas passages for supplying a reaction gas to the outside of each electrode.
The fuel cell 1 generates power by supplying hydrogen gas as a fuel gas to an anode and supplying air as an oxidant gas to a cathode.
[0008]
The air is pressurized by the air compressor 2, is humidified by the cathode humidifier 4 through the air supply path 3, is then supplied to the cathode of the fuel cell 1, and oxygen in the air is supplied as an oxidant, and then the fuel cell. 1 is discharged to the air off-gas passage 5 as air off-gas, and is released to the atmosphere via the pressure control valve 6. A fuel cell control unit (ECU) (not shown) controls the number of revolutions of the air compressor 2 in accordance with an output required for the fuel cell 1 (hereinafter referred to as a required output) to supply a predetermined amount of air to the fuel cell 1. While supplying, the opening degree of the pressure control valve 6 is controlled to adjust the supply pressure of air on the cathode side to a pressure corresponding to the required output of the fuel cell 1.
[0009]
On the other hand, hydrogen gas released from a high-pressure hydrogen tank (not shown) is depressurized by a fuel gas pressure adjusting valve (fuel gas pressure adjusting means) 7, flows into the anode humidifier 9 through the hydrogen gas supply path 8, and is supplied with the anode humidifier. After being humidified at 9, it is supplied to the anode of the fuel cell 1. After this hydrogen gas is used for power generation, it is discharged from the fuel cell 1 to the hydrogen offgas passage 10 as hydrogen offgas. The hydrogen offgas discharged to the hydrogen offgas passage 10 is pressurized by the hydrogen pump 11, returned to the hydrogen gas supply passage 8 through the hydrogen offgas recovery passage 12, and supplied through the fuel gas pressure regulating valve 7. The hydrogen gas is joined to the fuel cell 1 and is circulated again. That is, the hydrogen pump 11 is provided on the hydrogen off-gas channel, and the hydrogen off-gas is pressurized on the hydrogen off-gas channel.
[0010]
The rotation speed of the hydrogen pump 11 is controlled according to the required output of the fuel cell 1, and is controlled so that the rotational speed increases as the required output of the fuel cell 1 increases. That is, in the fuel cell system, the hydrogen off-gas circulation amount is controlled to increase as the required output of the fuel cell 1 increases. FIG. 2 is a diagram showing the relationship between the output of the fuel cell 1 and the power consumption of the hydrogen pump 11 in this embodiment. Note that when the rotation speed of the hydrogen pump 11 is increased, the power consumption of the hydrogen pump 11 increases.
[0011]
The fuel gas pressure adjustment valve 7 is a signal pressure introduction type bias pressure adjustment valve, and the air pressure before being supplied to the fuel cell 1 is input as a signal pressure via the air signal introduction path 13 to adjust the fuel gas pressure. The pressure of the hydrogen gas at the outlet of the valve 7 is adjusted so as to be higher than the signal pressure by a predetermined value (for example, 10 kPa or 20 kPa).
[0012]
The fuel gas pressure adjusting valve 7 will be described with reference to the schematic sectional view of FIG.
The internal space of the body 21 of the fuel gas pressure regulating valve 7 is vertically divided by pressure regulating diaphragms 22a and 22b, and the space above the diaphragm 22a is a signal pressure chamber 23, which is below the diaphragm 22b. This space is a hydrogen gas passage 24.
The signal pressure chamber 23 is a sealed space having an air introduction hole 25, and air pressurized by the compressor 2 is introduced from the air introduction hole 25 into the signal pressure chamber 23 through the air signal introduction path 13.
[0013]
The hydrogen gas passage 24 is provided with a valve seat 26 at an intermediate portion thereof, and hydrogen gas discharged from the high-pressure hydrogen tank is passed through the hydrogen gas inlet 27 into the hydrogen gas passage 24 a upstream of the valve seat 26. Are being supplied. Further, the hydrogen gas passage 24 b on the downstream side of the valve seat 26 is connected to the hydrogen gas supply passage 8 through the hydrogen gas outlet 28.
The diaphragms 22a and 22b are connected and interlocked by a stem 29. The stem 29 protrudes into the hydrogen gas passage 24b and has a valve body 30 at the tip thereof. The valve body 30 can be seated on and separated from the valve seat 26 from the hydrogen gas passage 24a side. When the valve body 30 is seated on the valve seat 26, the hydrogen gas passage 24a and the hydrogen gas passage 24b are cut off, and the fuel gas pressure regulating valve. 7 is in a fully closed state, and when the valve body 30 is separated from the valve seat 26, the hydrogen gas passage 24a and the hydrogen gas passage 24b communicate with each other and the fuel gas pressure regulating valve 7 is opened. FIG. 3 shows a fully closed body of the fuel gas pressure regulating valve 7.
[0014]
The signal pressure chamber 23 is provided with a bias setting spring (elastic body) 31 that presses the diaphragm 22a in a direction approaching the hydrogen gas passage 24. The spring 31 is interposed via the diaphragm 22a and the stem 29. The valve body 30 is urged in a direction away from the valve seat 26.
[0015]
In the thus configured fuel gas pressure regulating valve 7, the pressure of the hydrogen gas in the hydrogen gas passage 24 b acts on the lower surface of the diaphragm 22b, upward to the lower surface of the first thrust diaphragm 22b based on this On the other hand, since the pressure of the air in the signal pressure chamber 23 and the pressing force of the spring 31 act on the upper surface of the diaphragm 22a, the second thrust based on these acts downward on the upper surface of the diaphragm 22a. The diaphragms 22a and 22b move under the control of the thrust difference between the first thrust and the second thrust. That is, when the first thrust is larger than the second thrust, an upward force is applied to the diaphragms 22a and 22b to push the valve body 30 in the direction in which the valve body 30 approaches the valve seat 26 (that is, the valve closing direction) When the first thrust becomes smaller than the second thrust, a downward force acts on the diaphragms 22a and 22b, and pushes the valve body 30 away from the valve seat 26 (that is, the valve opening direction).
[0016]
Incidentally, the pressure of the air supplied to the signal pressure chamber 23 is substantially the same as the gas pressure on the cathode side in the fuel cell 1. In addition, the hydrogen gas pressure in the hydrogen gas passage 24 b is combined with the hydrogen off gas pressurized by the hydrogen pump 11 and the hydrogen gas newly supplied via the fuel gas pressure adjusting valve 7 in the hydrogen gas supply path 8. The pressure of hydrogen gas is almost the same. From this, it can be said that the pressure of the hydrogen gas in the hydrogen gas passage 24 b is substantially the same as the gas pressure on the anode side in the fuel cell 1. Therefore, the fuel gas pressure adjusting valve 7 adjusts the opening degree of the valve in accordance with the difference between the gas pressure on the cathode side and the gas pressure on the anode side of the fuel cell 1, that is, the pressure difference between the electrodes. When the pressure difference between the electrodes reaches a predetermined level, the first thrust and the second thrust are balanced to determine the valve opening. Then, by setting the spring constant of the spring 31 to a predetermined value, the inter-electrode differential pressure can be set to a desired magnitude.
[0017]
In other words, the fuel gas pressure regulating valve 7 is based on the pressure of the hydrogen gas before being supplied to the fuel cell 1 in which the hydrogen off gas pressurized by the hydrogen pump 11 is merged with the hydrogen gas supplied from the high-pressure hydrogen tank. The first thrust acting on the diaphragm 22b is opposed to the first thrust acting on the diaphragm 22a based on the pressure of the air before being supplied to the fuel cell 1 pressurized by the air compressor 2 and the pressing force of the spring 31. second by performing the opening degree adjustment of the valve body 30 by the equilibrium between the thrust, as the fuel gas pressure adjusting means to adjust the pressure of the fuel gas supplied to the fuel cell 1.
In FIG. 4, the solid line shows the actual measurement result of the differential pressure between the electrodes when the output of the fuel cell 1 is changed in this fuel cell system. The differential pressure between the electrodes is predetermined even if the output of the fuel cell 1 is changed. It can be confirmed that it can be controlled within the range.
[0018]
As described above, in this fuel cell system, the hydrogen off-gas discharged from the fuel cell 1 is merged with the new hydrogen gas supplied via the fuel gas pressure regulating valve 7 and supplied to the fuel cell 1. Even though it is a fuel cell system, the differential pressure between the electrodes can be easily controlled within a desired range with a simple configuration, and the cost can be reduced.
[0019]
By the way, in this fuel cell system, the hydrogen pump 11 is provided between the hydrogen off-gas passage 10 and the hydrogen off-gas recovery passage 12, that is, on the hydrogen off-gas passage, and the reason will be described below.
As shown in FIG. 5, a fuel cell system (hereinafter referred to as a comparative example) in which the hydrogen pump 11 is installed in the middle of the hydrogen gas supply path 8 and downstream of the junction of the hydrogen gas and the hydrogen off gas. In the case of a fuel cell system), the gas pressure obtained by merging the hydrogen off-gas with the hydrogen gas acts on the diaphragm 22 b of the fuel gas pressure regulating valve 7. Gas pressure. Therefore, the gas pressure on the anode side of the fuel cell 1 does not act on the diaphragm 22b. Even though the pressure of the hydrogen gas is adjusted by the fuel gas pressure adjusting valve 7 based on the gas pressure on the cathode side, the adjusted hydrogen gas is pressurized by the hydrogen pump 11 and then supplied to the fuel cell 1. Therefore, it becomes difficult to control the gas pressure on the anode side, and it becomes difficult to control the inter-electrode differential pressure within a predetermined range.
[0020]
In FIG. 4, the two-dot chain line shows the measurement result of the differential pressure between the electrodes when the output of the fuel cell 1 is changed in the fuel cell system of the comparative example. Here, the control conditions of the hydrogen pump 11 were the same as when the hydrogen pump 11 was installed on the hydrogen off-gas flow path. That is, as shown in FIG. 2, the power consumption of the hydrogen pump 11 was controlled to increase as the output of the fuel cell 1 increased. As a result, in the fuel cell system of the comparative example, the inter-electrode differential pressure cannot be controlled within a predetermined range, and the inter-electrode differential pressure increases as the output of the fuel cell 1 increases. .
Eventually, if the hydrogen pump 11 is installed downstream of the junction of the hydrogen gas and the hydrogen off-gas, it becomes difficult to control the differential pressure between the electrodes. Therefore, considering the controllability of the differential pressure between the electrodes, the hydrogen pump 11 must be installed on the hydrogen off-gas flow path.
[0021]
[Other Embodiments]
The present invention is not limited to the embodiment described above. For example, the fuel gas pressure regulating valve 7 may be a proportional regulating valve that regulates the pressure of hydrogen gas to a predetermined multiple (for example, 1.1 to 1.3 times) of the signal pressure.
[0022]
【The invention's effect】
As described above, according to the first aspect of the present invention, the differential pressure between the electrodes of the fuel cell can be easily controlled within a desired range by setting the elastic body of the fuel gas pressure adjusting means to a predetermined value. Therefore, the system configuration of the fuel circulation type fuel cell system is simplified, and the excellent effect that the cost can be reduced is achieved.
[Brief description of the drawings]
FIG. 1 is a schematic configuration diagram of an embodiment of a fuel circulation fuel cell system according to the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a diagram showing the relationship between the output of the fuel cell and the power consumption of the hydrogen pump in the embodiment.
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the fuel gas pressure regulating valve in the embodiment.
FIG. 4 is a diagram showing an actual measurement result of a change in inter-electrode differential pressure with respect to a change in output of a fuel cell.
FIG. 5 is a schematic configuration diagram of a fuel cell system in a comparative example.
[Explanation of symbols]
1 Fuel cell
2 Air compressor (compressor)
5 Air off-gas passage (oxidant off-gas passage)
6 Pressure control valve 7 Fuel gas pressure adjustment valve (fuel gas pressure adjustment means)
8 Hydrogen gas supply path (fuel gas supply path)
10 Hydrogen off-gas passage ( fuel off-gas return passage )
11 Hydrogen pump ( fuel gas pump )
12 Hydrogen off-gas recovery path ( fuel off-gas return path )
22a, 22b Diaphragm
23 Signal pressure chamber
24, 24b Fuel gas passage
30 Valve body 31 Spring (elastic body)

Claims (1)

  1. A fuel cell that is supplied with fuel gas and oxidant gas to generate electricity ;
    A compressor that controls the number of revolutions according to a required output of the fuel cell and pressurizes a predetermined amount of oxidant gas to supply the fuel cell to the compressor;
    Provided in an oxidant off-gas passage through which the oxidant off-gas discharged from the fuel cell flows, and adjust the supply pressure of the oxidant gas to the fuel cell to a pressure corresponding to the required output of the fuel cell by opening degree control. A pressure control valve;
    A fuel gas supply path for supplying the fuel gas to the fuel cell;
    A fuel offgas return path for returning the fuel offgas discharged from the fuel cell to the fuel gas supply path;
    A fuel gas pump provided on the fuel off-gas return path, the rotational speed of which is controlled so that the rotational speed increases as the required output of the fuel cell increases;
    The fuel gas supply passage upstream of the junction where the fuel off-gas return passage joins is provided, the pressure of the oxidant gas before being pressurized by the compressor and supplied to the fuel cell as a signal pressure, and the fuel Fuel gas pressure adjusting means for adjusting the pressure of the fuel gas supplied to the battery;
    The provided, a fuel circuit of the fuel cell system to supply the fuel off-gas to the fuel cell is combined with the fuel gas,
    The fuel gas pressure adjusting means has a fuel gas passage through which the fuel gas can flow and is opened and closed by a valve body, and a signal pressure chamber in a sealed space into which the signal pressure is introduced, and is downstream of the valve body. The fuel gas passage on the side is connected to the fuel gas supply passage that joins with the fuel off-gas return passage, the fuel gas passage on the downstream side of the valve body and the signal pressure chamber are partitioned by a diaphragm, and the diaphragm The elastic body is urged in a direction approaching the fuel gas passage, and the valve body is connected to and interlocked with the diaphragm,
    The fuel gas pressure adjusting means includes a first thrust acting on the diaphragm based on the pressure of the fuel gas in the fuel gas passage on the downstream side of the valve body , the signal pressure in the signal pressure chamber, and the elastic body. Based on the pressing force of the valve, the opening of the valve body is adjusted by balancing with the second thrust opposite to the first thrust acting on the diaphragm, and the pressure of the fuel gas supplied to the fuel cell is adjusted a fuel circuit of the fuel cell system, wherein the to Turkey.
JP2001256833A 2001-08-27 2001-08-27 Fuel circulation fuel cell system Expired - Fee Related JP4338914B2 (en)

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JP2004319413A (en) * 2003-04-21 2004-11-11 Aisan Ind Co Ltd Gas pressure reducing device of fuel cell system
JP4656599B2 (en) 2004-01-22 2011-03-23 トヨタ自動車株式会社 Fuel cell system and driving method of fuel cell system
JP4662313B2 (en) 2004-03-17 2011-03-30 トヨタ自動車株式会社 Gas leak detection apparatus and method
EP1727227B1 (en) 2004-03-17 2011-01-26 Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha Fuel cell system
JP4993241B2 (en) * 2004-03-17 2012-08-08 トヨタ自動車株式会社 Fuel cell system
JP4682527B2 (en) * 2004-04-13 2011-05-11 トヨタ自動車株式会社 Fuel cell control device
JP4742522B2 (en) * 2004-06-08 2011-08-10 トヨタ自動車株式会社 Fuel cell system
JP4642432B2 (en) * 2004-10-27 2011-03-02 本田技研工業株式会社 Fuel cell system
JP4788945B2 (en) 2005-04-06 2011-10-05 トヨタ自動車株式会社 Fuel cell system
JP2007035582A (en) * 2005-07-29 2007-02-08 Time Engineering Co Ltd Flow control apparatus and fuel cell system
JP5034191B2 (en) * 2005-08-30 2012-09-26 日産自動車株式会社 Fuel cell system
JP4956489B2 (en) * 2008-06-13 2012-06-20 本田技研工業株式会社 Fuel cell system and operation method thereof

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