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    Short Circuit Characteristics of PEM Fuel Cells for Grid Integration Applications
    The reduction of greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions is a major issue in modern society. Therefore, environmentally friendly technologies like fuel cells should replace conventional energy generation plants. Today, fuel cells are used in households for CHP (combined heat and power) applications, for emergency power supply in many stationary applications and for the power supply of cars, buses and ships and emergency power supply of aircrafts. A significant challenge is the optimal electrical grid integration and selection of the appropriate grid protection mechanism for fuel cell applications. For this, the short circuit capability and behavior needs to be known. This paper gives a mathematical estimation of the short circuit behavior of fuel cells. Five main transient and dynamic phenomena are investigated. The impact of the main transient effect for the provision of additional short circuit energy is simulated, and the simulation is experimentally validated. For this purpose, a 25 cm2 single cell consisting of a NafionTM 212 membrane and carbon cloth electrodes with a catalyst loading of 0.5 mg/cm2 Pt is analyzed. The magnitude of the transient short circuit current depends on the operating point right before the short circuit occurs, whereas the stationary short circuit current of fuel cells is invariably about twice the operational current. Based on these results, a novel fuel cell model for the estimation of the short circuit behavior is proposed.