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Hydrogen valves and pressure regulators for fuel cell systems

Valves are required in fuel cell systems to supply the gaseous fuel (generally natural gas or hydrogen) at the inlet side and to purge the condensate at the outlet side of the device. According to the initial pressure of the gas, the pressure will be reduced in several cascades.

Usually, two types of valves are embedded. On one hand the system needs on/off valves to drain condensate or to shut off the tank or the entire system. On the other hand, one proportional valve is required to dose the flow rate of gaseous fuel to the stack‘s inlet. Depending on the actual power demand, the gaseous fuel flow will be controlled through a highly dynamical proportional behavior.

Fuel cell technology

Special requirements for valves

One of the most important requirements for the valves are low internal and external leakage in order to ensure high level of process stability and repeatability of the system. It is hereby also important to reduce the hydrogen consumption, also while in stand-by mode.

The embedded valves have to work precisely and reliably, especially under extreme conditions such as high or low temperatures, or under extreme vibration. At the same time, the valves must comply to safety requirement during the entire expected life time.

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