For many years, numerous research institutes and industrial establishments have been carrying out an intensive process of development of fuel cell systems. These initiatives have for some time been refined by activities in the area of battery systems and electrical mobility. Both research fields make similarly high demands in terms of measurement engineering. The aim is to achieve the high operating voltages required by creating series circuits consisting of up to several hundred fuel cells or battery cells in large stacks.
Depending on the application, these voltages range up to 1,000 V, which makes particularly demands on the insulation capacity of the measuring devices. It is essential to monitor all individual cells for low voltage, especially during the fuel cell development stage. Low voltage is an indication of material fatigue or insufficient supply of hydrogen and/or oxygen. In the event of a defect, this could cause the cell to short circuit as a result. In the maritime sector, for example, where the fuel cell is operated with pure oxygen, this represents a serious risk of explosion. Monitoring the voltage of individual cells enables proactive control intervention to prevent damage to people and machinery.
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