Development of a 600 W proton exchange membrane fuel cell power system for the hazardous mission robot

Sang Yeop Lee, In Gyu Min, Hyoung Juhn Kim, Suk Woo Nam, Jaeyoung Lee, Sun Ja Kim, Jong Hyun Jang, Eunae Cho, Kwang Ho Song, Seong Ahn Hong, Tae Hoon Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Due to the advantage of fuel cells over secondary batteries such as long operation time, many efforts were executed in order to use fuel cells as main power sources of small electronic devices such as laptop computers and mobile phones. For the same reason, fuel cells are promising power sources for the hazardous mission robots. Fuel cells are able to increase their radius action through extension of operation time. Despite this advantage, there still exist technical barriers such as increasing power density, efficient hydrogen storage, and fast startup of the power system. First, in order to increase power density, the united stack including proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) and membrane humidifying cells were developed. Also, the hydrogen generating system using NaBH4 solution was employed to store hydrogen effectively. In addition, to shorten start-up time, hybrid control of PEMFC and Li-ion battery was adopted. The approaches mentioned above were evaluated. The developed PEMFC/humidifier stack showed high performance. As compared with full humidification condition by external humidifiers, the performance decrease was only 1% even though hydrogen was not humidified and air was partially humidified. Besides, by integrating the PEMFC and the humidifier into a single stack, considerable space for tubing between them was saved. Also, the hydrogen generator operated well with the PEMFC system and allowed for effective fuel storing and refueling. In addition, due to the efficient hybrid control of PEMFC and battery, start-up time was significantly shortened and capacity of PEMFC was reduced, resulting in compactness of the power system. In conclusion, a 600 W PEMFC power system was developed and successfully operated with the robot. Through development and evaluation of the PEMFC power system, the possibility of PEMFC as a novel power source for the hazardous mission robot was verified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310061-310067
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Fuel Cell Science and Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jun


  • Fuel cell power system
  • Hybrid power system
  • Membrane-type humidifier
  • Proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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