Patent Number: 7,132,179

Title: Methods and apparatus for improving the cold starting capability of a fuel cell

Abstract: Apparatus and methods of ceasing operation of an electric power generating system improve the cold starting capability of the system. The system comprises a fuel cell stack connectable to an external circuit for supplying power to the external circuit. The stack comprises at least one solid polymer fuel cell, and the system further comprises a fuel passage for directing a fuel stream through the stack and an oxidant passage for directing an oxidant stream through the stack, a sensor assembly connected to the stack for monitoring a parameter indicative of stack performance, a controller for controlling at least one stack operating parameter, and a control system communicative with the sensor assembly and stack operating parameter controller. The method comprises adjusting at least one stack operating parameter to cause the stack to operate under a drying condition that causes a net outflux of water from the stack, operating the stack under the drying condition until the water content in the stack has been reduced, and interrupting supply of power from the stack to the external circuit.

Inventors: St-Pierre; Jean (Vancouver, CA), Jia; NengYou (Richmond, CA), Van Der Geest; Marian (Vancouver, CA), Atbi; Abderrahmane (Vancouver, CA), Haas; Herwig R. (Vancouver, CA)

Assignee: Ballard Power Systems Inc.

International Classification: H01M 8/04 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 2019-11-07 0:00:00