International audienceThis work proposes a state observer as a tool to manage cost and durability issues for PEMFC (Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell) in automotive applications. Based on a dead-end anode architecture, the observer estimates the nitrogen build-up in the anode side, as well as relative humidities in the channels. These estimated parameters can then be used at fuel cell management level to enhance the durability of the stack. This observer is based on transport equations through the membrane and it reconstructs the behavior of the water and nitrogen inside the channels without the need of additional humidity sensors to correct the estimate. The convergence of the output variables is proved with Lyapunov theory for dynamic operating conditions. The validation is made with a high-fidelity model running a WLTC (Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Cycle). This observer provide the average values of nitrogen and relative humidities with sufficient precision to be used in a global real-time control scheme
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