A study on current overshoot during start-ups and optimal start-up strategy of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

Fei Jia, Liejin Guo, Hongtan Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Current overshoot resulting from a sudden decrease in the cell voltage during start-up process could cause performance fluctuation and reduced durability in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. In this study, transient responses of local current densities and high frequency resistance (HFR) of the cell are measured in situ. The experimental results show that when the cell starts up under potentiostatic mode, both the magnitude of current overshoot and the fluctuation of HFR decrease with the increase of anode humidity. A dimensionless current overshoot is defined to describe the magnitude of current overshoot during start-ups. Experimental results show that dimensionless current overshoots are very different at different locations along the flow direction under different anode humidification. When unsaturated hydrogen is fed into the cell, dimensionless current overshoot increases along the flow direction; while as anode gas is fully- or over-humidified, the dimensionless current overshoot decreases along the flow direction. Further experimental results show that the magnitudes of current overshoot are significantly reduced when a linear start-up strategy is used, indicating that the linear start-up strategy is effective in alleviating current density overshoots in PEM fuel cells during start-ups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7754-7761
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 29 2015


  • Current overshoot
  • High frequency resistance
  • Local current density
  • Proton exchange membrane fuel cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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