Surface Inspection to Identify Fuel Cell Separator Defects at Toyota

Hydrogen fuel cell diagram

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs or FCVs) use a fuel cell "stack" to convert hydrogen to electricity to power the vehicle. Toyota needed a method to inspect both sides of the separator used in fuel cells for its FCVs. Traditional machine vision cameras did not produce clear images to detect small scratches and fine dirt.

The fuel cells use polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs). Multiple PEMs are layered together sandwiched between positive (cathode) and negative (anode) electrode layers. Separators (also called biopolar plates) are used to assemble these layers into stack and provide channels for the gaseous fuel and air. Scratches and particles on the separators can interfere with the performance of the fuel cell. 

In this case study, learn how Toyota worked with Konica Minolta to implement a solution using a ProMetric® Imaging Photometer, TrueTest Software, and custom lighting configuration to perform visual surface inspection of the fuel cell separators.


Hydrogen fuel cell diagram

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