Title:
FUEL CELL CABINET HEAT MANAGEMENT AND THERMAL CONTROL SYSTEM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fuel cell cabinet is provided. The fuel cell cabinet includes a housing, a fuel cell contained in an interior of the housing, and a heat management system that manages and controls an internal air temperature of the housing to be one of at a predetermined temperature and within a predetermined temperature range.



Inventors:
Craft Jr., Thomas F. (Murphy, TX, US)
Trehan, Anil K. (Plano, TX, US)
Application Number:
12/416106
Publication Date:
10/01/2009
Filing Date:
03/31/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
H01M8/04
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
PRASAD, CHANDRIKA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CommScope by Muncy, Geissler, Olds & Lowe, P.C. (Fairfax, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A fuel cell cabinet comprising: a housing; a fuel cell contained in an interior of the housing; and a heat management system that manages and controls an internal air temperature of the housing to be one of at a predetermined temperature and within a predetermined temperature range.

2. The fuel cell cabinet according to claim 1, wherein the predetermined temperature is equal to or greater than 5° C. and equal to or less than 65° C.

3. The fuel cell cabinet according to claim 1, wherein the heat management system includes at least one of an insulation system, a sealing system, a heater system, and a control loop system.

4. The fuel cell cabinet according to claim 1, wherein the heat management system includes a heater system, and wherein the heater system includes one or more heaters.

5. The fuel cell cabinet according to claim 4, wherein the one or more heaters include a resistance heater.

6. The fuel cell cabinet according to claim 4, further comprising: a liquid to liquid heat exchanger, wherein at least one of the one or more heaters is on the liquid to liquid heat exchanger.

7. The fuel cell cabinet according to claim 4, wherein at least one of the one or more heaters is one of on and adjacent to the fuel cell.

8. The fuel cell cabinet according to claim 4, wherein at least one of the one or more heaters is one of on and adjacent to a base of the housing.

9. The fuel cell cabinet according to claim 1, wherein the heat management system includes an insulation system, and wherein the insulation system includes an insulating material on an inside surface of one or more of a door of the housing, a wall of the housing, a base of the housing, and a top of the housing.

10. The fuel cell cabinet according to claim 9, wherein the insulation system includes an insulating material on an inside surface of each door of the housing, each wall of the housing, a base of the housing, and a top of the housing.

11. The fuel cell cabinet according to claim 1, wherein the heat management system includes a sealing system, and wherein the sealing system includes sealing means for sealing an opening in one of a door, a wall, a base, and a top of the housing.

12. The fuel cell cabinet according to claim 11, wherein the sealing means seals substantially all openings each door of the housing, each wall of the housing, a base of the housing, and a top of the housing.

13. The fuel cell cabinet according to claim 1, wherein the heat management system includes a sealing system, and wherein the sealing system includes sealing means for sealing a perimeter of a door of the housing to a surface of the housing surrounding a door opening of the housing.

14. The fuel cell cabinet according to claim 4, wherein the heat management system includes a control system, and wherein the control system selectively turns on and off the one or more of the heaters to maintain the internal air temperature of the housing.

15. The fuel cell cabinet according to claim 1, further comprising: a fan assembly on the housing, wherein the fan assembly includes one or more fans, wherein the heat management system includes a control system, and wherein the control system selectively turns on and off the one or more fans to maintain the internal air temperature of the housing.

16. The fuel cell cabinet according to claim 14, further comprising: a fan assembly on the housing, wherein the fan assembly includes one or more fans, and wherein the control system selectively turns on and off the one or more of the heaters and fans to maintain the internal air temperature of the housing.

17. The fuel cell cabinet according to claim 4, wherein the heat management system includes a control system, and wherein the control system selectively controls an operating condition of one or more heaters and fans of the fuel cell cabinet.

18. A fuel cell cabinet heat management and thermal control system, comprising: a housing; a fuel cell contained in an interior of the housing; and a heat management system that manages and controls an internal air temperature of the housing.

19. A fuel cell cabinet comprising: a housing; a fuel cell contained in an interior of the housing; and means for managing and controlling an internal air temperature of the fuel cell cabinet.

20. A method of managing and controlling an internal air temperature of a fuel cell cabinet, the method comprising: selectively controlling an operating condition of a heater and a fan of the fuel cell cabinet based on at least one predetermined factor to maintain the internal temperature of the fuel cell cabinet one of at a predetermined temperature and within a predetermined temperature range.

21. The method of claim 20, wherein the predetermined factor is one of an outside temperature of the fuel cell cabinet, an inside temperature of the fuel cell cabinet, and a solar exposure condition of the fuel cell cabinet.

22. The method of claim 20, wherein the predetermined temperature is equal to or greater than 5° C. and equal to or less than 65° C.

Description:

CLAIM OF PRIORITY UNDER 35 U.S.C. §119

The present invention claims the benefit of Provisional Application No. 61/041,575 entitled “Liquid Cooling System for Fuel Cell Cabinets, Air Feed System for Fuel Cell Cabinets, Heat Management and Thermal Control of Cabinets for Fuel Cells, and EcoPower Cabinet” filed Apr. 1, 2008, Provisional Application No. 61/047,016 entitled “Cabinet Air Feed and Exhaust System for Hydrogen Fuel Cell Declassification” filed Apr. 1, 2008, and Provisional Application No. 61/047,031 entitled “Fuel Cell Cabinet Waste Water Management System” filed Apr. 1, 2008, the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

REFERENCE TO CO-PENDING APPLICATIONS FOR PATENT

The present application for patent is related to the following co-pending U.S. patent applications:

“FUEL CELL CABINET LIQUID COOLING SYSTEM” (U.S. application Ser. No.______) having Attorney Docket No. 4799/0290PUS2, filed concurrently herewith, assigned to the assignee hereof, and the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference;

“AIR FEED SYSTEM FOR FUEL CELL CABINETS” (U.S. application Ser. No.______) having Attorney Docket No. 4799/0290PUS3, filed concurrently herewith, assigned to the assignee hereof, and expressly incorporated by reference herein;

“FUEL CELL CABINET AIR FEED AND EXHAUST SYSTEM FOR HYDROGEN DECLASSIFICATION” (U.S. application Ser. No.______) having Attorney Docket No. 4799/0293PUS2, filed concurrently herewith, assigned to the assignee hereof, and the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference; and

“FUEL CELL CABINET WASTE WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM” (U.S. application Ser. No.______) having Attorney Docket No. 4799/0294PUS2, filed concurrently herewith, assigned to the assignee hereof, and expressly incorporated by reference herein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to cabinets for housing electronic equipment. More particularly, the present invention relates to a cabinet for housing electronic equipment and a connection panel for cross-connecting the electronic equipment with various provider and/or subscriber lines, wherein the cabinet includes a fuel cell power backup system, and more particularly, to a fuel cell cabinet having a heat management and thermal control system.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Outdoor cabinets that house electronic equipment and connection panels are generally known in the art. The connection panel (sometimes referred to as a feeder-distribution interface), within the cabinet, is used to connect subscriber lines to provider lines directly, or in parallel or serial, with terminals of certain electronic equipment also within the cabinet, such as surge protectors, switches, servers, etc.

In some conventional cabinets, the electronic equipment includes a fuel cell power backup system. The electronic equipment may be sensitive to temperature and humidity and the air and the electronic equipment in the interior of the cabinet may be environmentally controlled by employing a heat exchanger, dehumidifier, and/or air conditioner. Many conventional systems are air cooled and therefore reduce power density. Conventional air cooled systems may require increased maintenance. Furthermore, many conventional systems are limited with respect to the outdoor exposure temperatures in which they can operate. That is, many conventional systems cannot operate in, or are not suitable for use in, extreme cold or hot climates.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

These problems and others are addressed by the present invention, a first aspect of which comprises a fuel cell cabinet comprising a housing, a fuel cell contained in an interior of the housing, and a heat management system that manages and controls an internal air temperature of the housing to be one of at a predetermined temperature and within a predetermined temperature range.

Another aspect is directed to a fuel cell cabinet heat management and thermal control system, comprising a housing, a fuel cell contained in an interior of the housing, and a heat management system that manages and controls an internal air temperature of the housing.

Another aspect is directed to a fuel cell cabinet comprising a housing, a fuel cell contained in an interior of the housing, and means for managing and controlling an internal air temperature of the fuel cell cabinet.

Another aspect is directed to a method of managing and controlling an internal air temperature of a fuel cell cabinet, the method comprising selectively controlling an operating condition of a heater and a fan of the fuel cell cabinet based on at least one predetermined factor to maintain the internal temperature of the fuel cell cabinet one of at a predetermined temperature and within a predetermined temperature range.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other aspects and features of embodiments of the present invention will be better understood after a reading of the following detailed description, together with the attached drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a cabinet, according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of a cabinet, according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a schematic of a cabinet, according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a cabinet, according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 5 is another perspective view of the cabinet of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is another perspective view of the cabinet of FIG. 4.

FIGS. 7A and 7B are perspective views of a fuel cell assembly, according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 8 is a front plan view of a fuel cell cabinet, according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 9 is a partial, perspective view of a cabinet, according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a heater assembly, according to an embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention now is described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which aspects are shown. This invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the aspects set forth herein; rather, these aspects are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art.

Like numbers refer to like elements throughout. In the figures, the thickness of certain lines, layers, components, elements or features may be exaggerated for clarity.

The terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular aspects only and is not intended to be limiting of the invention. Unless otherwise defined, all terms (including technical and scientific terms) used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. It will be further understood that terms, such as those defined in commonly used dictionaries, should be interpreted as having a meaning that is consistent with their meaning in the context of the specification and relevant art and should not be interpreted in an idealized or overly formal sense unless expressly so defined herein. Well-known functions or constructions may not be described in detail for brevity and/or clarity.

As used herein, the singular forms “a”, “an” and “the” are intended to include the plural forms as well, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. It will be further understood that the terms “comprises” and/or “comprising,” when used in this specification, specify the presence of stated features, integers, steps, operations, elements, and/or components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps, operations, elements, components, and/or groups thereof. As used herein, the term “and/or” includes any and all combinations of one or more of the associated listed items. As used herein, phrases such as “between X and Y” and “between about X and Y” should be interpreted to include X and Y. As used herein, phrases such as “between about X and Y” mean “between about X and about Y.” As used herein, phrases such as “from about X to Y” mean “from about X to about Y.”

It will be understood that when an element is referred to as being “on”, “attached” to, “connected” to, “coupled” with, “contacting”, etc., another element, it can be directly on, attached to, connected to, coupled with or contacting the other element or intervening elements may also be present. In contrast, when an element is referred to as being, for example, “directly on”, “directly attached” to, “directly connected” to, “directly coupled” with or “directly contacting” another element, there are no intervening elements present. It will also be appreciated by those of skill in the art that references to a structure or feature that is disposed “adjacent” another feature may have portions that overlap or underlie the adjacent feature.

Spatially relative terms, such as “under”, “below”, “lower”, “over”, “upper”, “lateral”, “left”, “right” and the like, may be used herein for ease of description to describe one element or feature's relationship to another element(s) or feature(s) as illustrated in the figures. It will be understood that the spatially relative terms are intended to encompass different orientations of the device in use or operation in addition to the orientation depicted in the figures. For example, if the device in the figures is inverted, elements described as “under” or “beneath” other elements or features would then be oriented “over” the other elements or features. The device may be otherwise oriented (rotated 90 degrees or at other orientations) and the descriptors of relative spatial relationships used herein interpreted accordingly.

Exemplary aspects of the invention are directed to a cabinet for housing electronic equipment, wherein the cabinet includes a fuel cell power backup system, and more particularly, to a fuel cell cabinet having heat management and thermal control system.

Conventional cabinets and the electronic equipment in the interior of the cabinets commonly are air cooled. The aspects recognize that stabilizing and maintaining a substantially constant temperature of the interior environment of the fuel cell cabinet may increase the power density of the fuel cell system. The aspects also may reduce the time needed for the fuel cell to reach full power. The aspects can provide a fast response system, and therefore, requires less bridging power (i.e., batteries). The aspects can improve the efficiency of the fuel cell cabinet.

The disclosed aspects can provide a low cost heat management and thermal control system for a fuel cell cabinet, which can maintain the interior temperature of the cabinet to be within a predetermined temperature range. In this way, these aspects can make an outside plant (OSP) fuel cell cabinet operate under similar or the same conditions as a central office (CO). The system can be optimized such that central office (CO) equipment can be deployed in an outside plant (OSP) fuel cell cabinet. The aspects can provide a system that is not limited by outdoor exposure temperatures and can operate in extreme cold or hot climates. The aspects also can utilize a standard telecom cabinet, thereby increasing a comfort level of a user of the cabinet.

A fuel cell cabinet having a heat management and thermal control system according to exemplary aspects of the invention will now be described with reference to FIGS. 1-10.

A fuel cell cabinet 100 according to an aspect is illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. The fuel cell cabinet may house electronic equipment and a connection panel for cross-connecting the electronic equipment with various provider and/or subscriber lines. The fuel cell cabinet 100 includes a fuel cell power backup system.

As shown in FIG. 2, the fuel cell cabinet 100 can be mounted on the surface of, for example, a concrete pad 102. The surface upon which the fuel cell cabinet 100 can be mounted is not limited to a concrete pad 102 and can include any suitable surface, device, or structure, such as a pad or mounting surface formed from fiberglass, plastic, metal, etc. Aspects of the fuel cell cabinet can be mounted in the interior of buildings, structures, etc., or at the exterior of building, structures, etc. For example, an aspect of a fuel cell cabinet 100 can be mounted on a rack or shelter or other structure (not shown).

For telecom applications, the outside temperature, or ambient temperature, commonly can vary between −40° C. and 46° C. The outside environment may or may not add solar loading to the cabinet. In some cases, the solar loading due to the outside environment can equate to additional heat added to the cabinet ranging, for example, between 0 watts (no solar load) and 2000 watts (full solar load). The internal heat load to the cabinet can vary, for example, between 400 and 1600 watts. For telecom applications, it is desirable to maintain the internal air temperature of the fuel cell cabinet within a predetermined operating range. For example, in an aspect, the internal air temperature of the fuel cell cabinet can be maintained between 5° C. and 65° C.

As shown in FIG. 3, an aspect of the fuel cell cabinet 100 can include a housing 302 containing one or more fuel cells 2000 in an interior of the housing 302. The housing 302 can include one or more racks, shelves, support structures or surfaces, etc. (not shown) for mounting components, such as the fuel cells 2000, within the housing 302. The fuel cell cabinet 100 can include a heat management system 306 that can maintain the internal air temperature of the fuel cell cabinet within a predetermined operating range. For example, in an aspect, the heat management system 306 can maintain the internal air temperature of the fuel cell cabinet between 5° C. and 65° C. An aspect of the heat management system 306 can include a controller 302 that selectively controls one or more features of the heat management system to maintain the desired internal air temperature. Other aspects of the heat management system 306 can include an insulation system, a sealing system, a heater system, and a control loop that selectively controls the operating conditions of one or more of heaters and fans of the fuel cell cabinet 100, will be described in greater detail below.

An exemplary fuel cell cabinet having a heat management and thermal control system will now be described with reference to FIGS. 4-10.

FIG. 4 shows a fuel cell cabinet 600 having exemplary aspects of a heat management and thermal control system. The fuel cell cabinet 600 includes four sides, a top, and a bottom. The fuel cell cabinet 600 can include one or more doors 602, 604 on a first side of the cabinet 600. The cabinet 600 can include one or more doors 616 on a second side of the cabinet 600. The fuel cell cabinet 600 also can include one or more doors on the third and/or fourth side of the cabinet 600, which are not shown in FIG. 6. The doors 602, 604 can include air inlet and door perforations 610, 612, and 614. The fuel cell cabinet 600 can include air exits 606 and 608 on one or more sides, such as the second side. The fuel cell cabinet 600 can include a top 650 and a bottom (not shown).

FIG. 5 shows an aspect of the fuel cell cabinet 600 of FIG. 4 with the doors 602, 604 in an open position. The cabinet 600 can include one or more fan and liquid-to-air heat exchanger assemblies (Fan/L-A Hex assemblies) 618, 620 (e.g., radiator fans and radiators) that cooperate with the air exhaust and door perforations 606, 608 of the doors 602, 604. The cabinet 600 also can include one or more air filters 622, 624 that cooperate with the air inlets and door perforations 610, 612 of the doors 602, 604.

FIG. 6 shows an aspect of the fuel cell cabinet 600 of FIG. 4 with the door 616 in an open position. The cabinet 600 can include a battery compartment 628 for mounting or securing backup batteries. The door 616 may include a fan system 630 including one or more fans (e.g., bay fan 1, bay fan 2, and bay fan 3) for venting or exhausting air or gases from the battery compartment 628.

As shown in FIG. 6, the cabinet 600 can include one or more fuel cells 2000 disposed and mounted in the interior of the cabinet 600. The cabinet may include a rack or shelving system for mounting or securing the fuel cells 2000 inside the cabinet 600.

An exemplary aspect of a fuel cell 2000, which can be mounted or secured in the exemplary cabinet 600, is illustrated in FIGS. 7A and 7B. The fuel cell 2000 can include a sealed fuel cell enclosure 2002. The fuel cell 2000 can be, for example, an 8 kW fuel cell. In an aspect, two 8 kW fuel cells 2000 can be used to provide 16 kW.

As shown in FIG. 8, an aspect of the fuel cell cabinet heat management and thermal control system can include an insulation system that reduces or prevents transfer of heat into the interior of the fuel cell cabinet 600 as a result of solar loading, for example, in warm environmental conditions (e.g., high ambient temperatures). The insulation system also can reduce or prevent the transfer of heat from the interior of the fuel cell cabinet 600, for example, in cold environmental conditions (e.g., cold ambient temperatures). That is, the insulation system minimizes or prevents heat gain from solar loading and minimizes or prevents heat loss from the cabinet to the environment.

As shown in FIG. 8, an aspect of the insulation system can include insulation on one or more of the interior surfaces of the fuel cell cabinet 600. For example, insulation can be included on one or more of the sides, top, rear door, and base of the cabinet. The insulation can be an insulating panel, layer, fabric, or film, spray insulation, or other suitable material having insulating properties.

FIG. 8 shows an aspect including an insulating material 802 on the inside surface of the door 602, an insulating material 804 on the inside surface of the door 616, and an insulating panel 806 on an inside surface of the top 650 of the fuel cell 600. One or more insulating panels (not shown) also can be provided on the rear and side surfaces of the fuel cell cabinet 600, which are not visible in FIG. 8. The base of the fuel cell cabinet 600 also can include insulation.

In an aspect, the fuel cell cabinet 600 can include insulation on substantially all of the inside surfaces of the housing.

In an aspect, the insulation on one or more of the sides, top, and rear door of the cabinet can have an R value of 8, and the insulation on the base can have an R value of 4. In another aspect, all of the insulation can have substantially the same R value. In other aspect, one or more of the inside surfaces of the housing can have a different R value than one or more of the other inside surfaces. The insulation is not limited to R values of 4 or 8 and other R values are contemplated.

It is noted that, in other aspects, the insulation can be provided on one or more of the exterior surfaces of the fuel cell cabinet 600.

In an aspect, the fuel cell cabinet 600 can include a sealing system that reduces or prevents air exchange between the external environment (e.g., at cable entrances, door openings, etc.) and the internal cabinet environment.

In an aspect, substantially all or all of the openings in the housing of the fuel cell cabinet 600 can be sealed. For example, the cable entrance openings into the fuel cell cabinet 600 can be sealed using conventional sealing means, such as rubber seals, gaskets, foam, caulking, adhesives, etc. Other means for sealing such openings can be provided, and the aspects are not limited to the examples set forth above.

In an aspect, the door openings can be sealed, for example, by providing a seal (e.g., 808) around a perimeter of the inside surface of each of the cabinet doors that seals the inside surface of each door against the perimeter of each door opening of the housing of the fuel cell cabinet 600. Each of the cabinet doors can include a seal. In other aspects, a seal can be provided on the housing of the fuel cell cabinet 600 around the perimeter of each door opening.

As shown in FIG. 8, in an aspect, the openings (e.g., 810) in the splice wall between the fan assembly and the fuel cell compartment also can be sealed and/or insulated.

In another aspect, the fuel cell cabinet heat management and thermal control system 300, as shown in FIG. 3, can include a heater system. The heater system can include one or more heaters in the interior of the fuel cell cabinet 600.

With reference to FIG. 9, the fuel cell cabinet 600 may include one or more cooling loops for controlling the temperature of the fuel cells 2000, such as a single cooling loop or a dual cooling loop, as shown in FIG. 9. The dual cooling loop can include a fan assembly 902 (e.g., radiator assembly), a pump assembly 904, and a liquid-to-liquid heat exchanger assembly 906.

As shown in FIG. 10, an aspect of the liquid-to-liquid heat exchanger assembly 906 can include one or more heaters 1204 mounted to one or more liquid-to-liquid heat exchangers 1208, 1210. The heaters 1204 can be resistive heating elements or the like. The heaters 1204 can be, for example, pad style heaters with resistive elements.

In this aspect, the heaters 1204 can be 90 watt heaters that are incorporated into or mounted on the liquid heat exchangers 1208, 1210 to maintain the water temperature of the liquid-to-liquid heat exchangers, for example, above 5° C. The one or more heaters 1204 also can add heat to the interior environment of the cabinet 600. In an aspect, the controller 302 of FIG. 3 can turn these heaters 12040N when the internal cabinet temperature reaches 0° C. and OFF when the internal cabinet temperature reaches 13° C.

In an aspect, the system can include two (2) heaters arranged in series and four (4) heaters arranged in parallel. In operation, the controller 302 can turn the four (4) parallel heaters ON when the outside temperature reaches 0° C. The controller 302 can turn the two (2) series heaters ON when the outside temperature reaches −15° C. The two (2) heaters in series can be a single two stage system that has differing thermostats to close/open the resistance loop based on the temperature. The staging of the heaters limits parasitic power draw from the AC grid to reduce power usage costs to the user of the system.

With reference again to FIG. 8, another aspect of the heater system can include one or more heaters 812 on the base of one or more of the fuel cells 2000. The heaters 812 can be, for example, 200 watt heaters coupled to the base of one or more of the fuel cells 2000, or disposed under the base of one or more of the fuel cells 2000. These heaters 812 can add heat to the cabinet 600 such that air from the outside does not freeze the fuel cells 2000. These heaters 812 can be turned on when the internal cabinet temperature reaches 0° C. and off when the internal cabinet temp reaches 13° C.

With reference again to FIG. 8, another aspect of the heater system can include one or more heaters 814 on the base of the fuel cell cabinet. The heaters 814 are not limited to the location shown in FIG. 8, and can be disposed in other locations, such as on the walls of the battery compartment 628 of the fuel cell cabinet 600 or on the pad supporting the fuel cell cabinet 600.

The heaters 814 can be, for example, 200/400 watt heaters. In this exemplary aspect, the 200 watt portion of the heaters 814 can be turned on when the battery compartment 628 reaches 0° C. and the additional 200 watts portion of the heaters 814 can be turned on when the battery compartment reaches −15° C. The heater 814 can be, for example, a single or unitary heater pad having 2 stages.

The operation of a heater system having heaters 1204, 812, and 814 according to an exemplary aspect will now be described.

In this exemplary aspect, the heater system includes one or more 90 watt heaters 1204 that are incorporated into or mounted on the liquid heat exchanger assembly 906 to maintain the water temperature above 5° C. The one or more heaters 1204 also add heat to the interior environment of the cabinet 600. The controller 302 turns these heaters ON when the internal cabinet temperature reaches 0° C. and OFF when the internal cabinet temperature reaches 13° C.

Next, the heater system includes 200 watt heaters 812 added to the base of the fuel cell 2000. These heaters 812 add heat to the cabinet 600 and inhibit or prevent any air from the outside from freezing the fuel cells 2000. These heaters 812 turn on when the internal cabinet temperature reaches 0° C. and off when the internal cabinet temp reaches 13° C.

Further, the heater system can include 200/400 watt heaters 814 added to the base of the cabinet 600. The 200 watt portion of the heaters 814 turns on when the battery compartment 628 reaches 0° C. and the additional 200 watt portion of the heaters 814 turn on when the battery compartment 628 reaches −15° C.

In an aspect, the fuel cell cabinet heat management and thermal control system 300, as shown in FIG. 3, can include a system control loop that selectively turns one or more of the heaters (e.g., 1204, 812, 814) and the fan assemblies 9020N and OFF at set points (e.g., predetermined temperatures, predetermined times, etc.) to maintain internal air temperatures of the fuel cell cabinet 600 between 5° C. and 60° C. The system control loop can be included in the controller 302 of the heat management and thermal control system 300, or in a separate control system.

An aspect of the system control loop can selectively control fan operation according to Table 1.1.

TABLE 1.1
FAN OPERATION CONTROL
1bay fan 1 (630) is turned ON at 5° C.
2bay fans 2 and 3 (630) are turned ON at 47° C.
3heat exchanger (Hex) fans 1 (902) are turned ON at 5° C.
4heat exchanger (Hex) fans 2 and 3 (902) are turned ON at 47° C.

An aspect of the system control loop can selectively control operation of the heater system and the fans of the fuel cell cabinet 600 according to Table 2.1.

HEATER SYSTEM AND FAN OPERATION CONTROL
−40, no solar and cabinet is idle:internal temp is 10° C. (all fans off
except bay fan, all heaters are on)
−40, w/ solar and cabinet is idle:internal temp is 18° C. (all fans off
except bay fan, all heaters are on)
−40, w/ solar and cabinet is fullinternal temp is 30° C. (all fans off
power:except bay fan, all heaters are on)
46° C., no solar and cabinet is idle:internal temp is 50° C. (all fans off
except bay fan, all heaters are on)
46° C., full solar and cabinet isinternal temp is 50° C. (all fans off
idle:except bay fan, all heaters are on)
46° C., full solar and cabinet is fullinternal temp is 60° C. (all fans off
power:except bay fan, all heaters are on)

The present invention has been described herein in terms of several preferred aspects. However, modifications and additions to these aspects will become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon a reading of the foregoing description. It is intended that all such modifications and additions comprise a part of the present invention to the extent that they fall within the scope of the several claims appended hereto. Furthermore, although elements of the invention may be described or claimed in the singular, the plural is contemplated unless limitation to the singular is explicitly stated.