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Research Papers

Fuel Cell-Based Powertrain System Modeling and Simulation for Small Aircraft Propulsion Applications

[+] Author and Article Information
Thomas E. Brinson

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Florida A&M University–Florida State University College of Engineering, Center for Advanced Power Systems, Tallahassee, FL 32310brinson@caps.fsu.edu

Wei Ren, Thomas Baldwin

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Florida A&M University–Florida State University College of Engineering, Center for Advanced Power Systems, Tallahassee, FL 32310

Juan C. Ordonez, Cesar A. Luongo

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Florida A&M University–Florida State University College of Engineering, Center for Advanced Power Systems, Tallahassee, FL 32310

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 6(4), 041012 (Aug 17, 2009) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3006303 History: Received June 18, 2007; Revised March 07, 2008; Published August 17, 2009

A solid oxide fuel cell-based power system is modeled and simulated to investigate both power management and controllability issues experienced while subjecting the system to the typical power requirements of a small aircraft. Initially, the fuel cell stack is assumed to operate along one characteristic I-V curve, thus isolating the power management study to the system’s powertrain components. Electrical converters transfer dc power from the fuel cell to usable ac power for an electric motor-driven propeller. To avoid oversizing, the fuel cell stack is designed to operate near its maximum power limit during aircraft cruising, while a battery is employed as an alternative source to provide additional power beyond the cruising kilowatt requirement (e.g., takeoff or maneuvering).

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Copyright © 2009 by American Institute of Physics
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Fuel cell-based powertrain model

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Figure 2

SOFC charge double layer response to a loading transient (a) current response and (b) voltage response

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Figure 3

Block diagram of the boost converter averaged model and controls

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Figure 4

Simulation of the boost converter startup with a constant voltage input of 560 V

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Figure 5

Block diagram of the inverter averaged model and controls

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Figure 6

Simulation of the inverter start-up to generate a three-phase peak ac voltage output

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Figure 7

PSCAD/EMTDC library component induction motor model

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Figure 8

Motor and propeller signal feedback during simulation

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Figure 9

Propeller power curve

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Figure 10

Fuel cell and boost converter integration

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Figure 11

Motor and propeller integration

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Figure 12

System startup; induction motor and fuel cell stack

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Figure 13

System startup; induction motor and propeller

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Figure 14

Power demand (a) and response throughout the fuel cell-based powertrain (b)–(d)

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