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Research Paper

Actuator Limitations in Spatial Temperature Control of SOFC

[+] Author and Article Information
Faryar Jabbari

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
University of California,
Irvine, CA 92697

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FUEL CELL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received September 19, 2012; final manuscript received February 28, 2013; published online May 14, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Dr. Masashi Mori.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 10(3), 031005 (May 14, 2013) (10 pages) Paper No: FC-12-1096; doi: 10.1115/1.4024253 History: Received September 19, 2012; Revised February 28, 2013

A high performance multi-input multi-output feedback controller has been developed to minimize solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) spatial temperature variation during load following. Cathode flow rate and its inlet temperature are used to minimize spatial temperature variations in the SOFC electrode electrolyte assembly for significant load perturbations. We focus on control design in the presence of nonideal actuation. This includes the effects of fuel processing delays, cathode inlet thermal delays, and parasitic power associated with the blower supplying air to the cathode. The controller, based on energy-to-peak minimization synthesis, is applied to a dynamic model of an anode-supported coflow planar SOFC stack. The results indicate that many of the problems associated with realistic and imperfect actuation can be addressed with relatively standard control synthesis modifications, but fuel flow delays can compromise power following significantly. Finally, a strategy that relies primarily on partial internal reformation for power following addresses many of the difficulties associated with reformer delays.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Feedback control block diagram

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Fuel cell voltage, current and power during transient

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Open loop and closed-loop temperature deviation from nominal

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Actuators' behavior during transients

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Power tracking with having heat exchanger thermal delay and fuel flow delay (blue: actual power of the system = actual fuel cell power-blower power, red: system power demand)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Open loop and closed-loop temperature deviation from nominal, 80% external reformation at operating condition (top: open loop, bottom: closed loop)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Actuators' behavior during transients

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