A review on prognostics and health monitoring of proton exchange membrane fuel cell

Thamo Sutharssan, Diogo Montalvao, Yong Kang Chen, Wen Chung Wang, Claudia Pisac, Hakim Elemara

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Fuel cell technology can be traced back to 1839 when British scientist Sir William Grove discovered that it was possible to generate electricity by the reaction between hydrogen and oxygen gases. However, fuel cell still cannot compete with internal combustion engines although they have many advantages including zero carbon emissions. Fossil fuels are cheaper and present very high volumetric energy densities compared with the hydrogen gas. Furthermore, hydrogen storage as a liquid is still a huge challenge. Another important disadvantage is the lifespan of the fuel cell because of their durability, reliability and maintainability. Prognostics is an emerging technology in sustainability of engineering systems through failure prevention, reliability assessment and remaining useful lifetime estimation. Prognostics and health monitoring can play a critical role in enhancing the durability, reliability and maintainability of the fuel cell system. This paper presents a review on the current state-of-the-art in prognostics and health monitoring of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC), aiming at identifying research and development opportunities in these fields. This paper also highlights the importance of incorporating prognostics and failure modes, mechanisms and effects analysis (FMMEA) in PEMFC to give them sustainable competitive advantage when compared with other non-clean energy solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-450
Number of pages11
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Early online date10 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • Health monitoring
  • Hydrogen fuel cell
  • Prognostics
  • State of health


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