The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (ERDC-CERL) managed the Residential Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell Demonstration. The U.S. Congress funded this project for fiscal years 2001–2004. A fleet of 91 residential-scale PEM fuel cells, ranging in size from 1–5 kW, was demonstrated at various U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) facilities worldwide. This detailed analysis looks into the most prevalent means of failure in the PEM fuel cell systems as categorized from the stack, reformer, and power-conditioning systems as well as the subsequent subsystems. Also evaluated are the lifespan and failure modes of selected fuel cell components, based on component type, age, and usage. The analysis shows while the fuel cell stack components had the single highest number of outages, the balance of plant made for 60.6% of the total outages. The hydrogen cartridges were the most prevalent component replaced during the entire program. The natural gas fuel cell stacks had the highest average operational lifetime; one stack reached a total of 10,250 hours.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.