PhD Thesis

Control Systems for the reduction of PEM Fuel Cell degradation

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  • If you are interested in the proposal, please contact with the supervisors.


The work ambit is the control of energy systems and its final aim is to obtain electrical generation systems that are efficient, long lasting and based on renewable sources. Specifically, the work is focused on the operation and dynamic control of PEM fuel cells and its principal objective is to design and implement control systems that reduce the degradation of these kind of fuel cells.
As described in the specialized scientific literature, the operating conditions of the PEM fuel cells affect their useful life. Apart from the durability improvements that may be obtained through new materials and designs, a proper dynamic control of the PEM fuel cells could permit significant reduction of their degradation.
The proposed thesis work would include the following phases: bibliographic study and analysis of the different degradation phenomena in PEM fuel cells, selection of the phenomena to be minimised or eliminated, introduction into the dynamic fuel cell models of the variables that affect the selected degradation phenomena, determination of the necessary control strategies for degradation reduction, design of the control system, implementation of the control system and experimental validation of the control system.

To do the doctorate, a doctoral fellowship is required. Interested students which have finished their master studies and have an average grade of 6,5 or higher in their bachelor may apply for a FI-DGR 2016 of AGAUR until the 22nd of September 2015. Foreign students need to ask for their Spanish equivalent average grade to ANECA. Detailed information can be found in:

Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and knowledge on dynamic modelling and automatic control

The work is under the scope of the following projects:

  • MESPEM: Desarrollo de sistemas de control para la mejora de la eficiencia y la vida útil en sistemas basados en pilas de combustible PEM (web)