EA introduces bidirectional DC supplies and loads for fuel cell testing

July 09, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
EA details bidirectional DC supplies and loads for fuel cell testing
EA Elektro-Automatik GmbH has detailed a series of bidirectional DC power supplies and regenerative DC loads for fuel cell stack testing.

Fuel cell performance requires adherence to a variety of specifications, so test engineers must conduct a series of characterization, performance and durability tests. Fuel cells are characterized by determining their resistance. Fuel cell performance is usually indicated via polarization curves by measuring its voltage and current. A durability test is the test after a fuel cell stack reaches operating conditions, the stack is subjected to a continuous series of charge/discharge cycles to ensure that it will work safely and reliably in the field.

“In response to the demand for clean energy, the market for fuel cells is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 26.4 percent and is projected to reach $848m by 2025. Uses for fuel cells include power generation for commercial vehicles such as buses and forklifts, backup power generation systems, and for other power sources,” said said Markus Schyboll, CEO of EA Elektro-Automatik (EA) in Viersen.

“To ensure the design and manufacturing of quality fuel cells, EA Elektro-Automatik offers its EA-PSB 10000 2-quadrant power supplies and EA-ELR 10000 series electronic loads. Both the EA-PSB power supplies and the EA-ELR loads sink up to 30 kW and feed the energy back to the grid to enable testing of any size fuel cell stack,” said Schyboll with details of the systems.

Both the PSB power supplies and the ELR electronic loads have built-in function generators that include arbitrary waveform generation, which simplifies characterization, performance, and durability testing of fuel cells. Unlike other loads that need a separate AC instrument, the ELR load, with its built-in waveform generator, can perform the perturbation test to determine fuel cell resistance. In addition, both the PSB supplies and the ELR loads, with their built-in waveform generators, can subject the fuel cell-under-test to dynamic load variations for performance and durability testing.

The PSB DC supply also has an


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