Design Note #109
Continuous monitoring of individual cells within a fuel cell stack is essential to ensure proper fuel cell operation and maintenance. Orchid designed a new low cost fuel cell monitor to measure individual fuel cell voltages. This new low cost unit measures up to eighty cells with millivolt accuracy. The entire eighty channels are measured once every 35 milliseconds. Not limited to laboratory use, the low cost nature of this design makes it suitable for production use.
A single Kinetis K10 ARM processor performs all the measurement sequencing and data communications tasks. Preprogrammed modes support various operational configurations. Statistical calculations monitor group and individual cell performance on a continuous basis.
New LTC6806 from Linear Technologies make this design possible at a remarkably low price per channel. Multiple LTC6806 devices allow this design to monitor up to eighty channels. The high common mode voltage specifications of the LTC6806 make it ideal for this application.
Orchid specializes in the rapid design of complex analog electronics. Analog design requires careful circuit board layout. Fuel cell design requires multiple isolation regions. Orchid’s expert understanding of layout and isolation requirements greatly accelerated the overall design timeline.
The development of custom electronic products for our OEM clients is Orchid’s entire business. The design of low cost, high performance fuel cell monitors with rapid design cycles, demanding technical requirements, and unforgiving schedules sets us apart. Call Orchid Technologies today!