Research Papers

Modeling Study of a Combined Fuel-Cell Stack/Switch Mode DC-DC Converter

[+] Author and Article Information
E. I. Vazquez-Oviedo

Instituto Potosino de Investigacion
Científica y Tecnologica,
Camino a la Presa San Jose 2055,
Lomas 4a. Seccion,
San Luis Potosi,S.L.P. 78216, Mexico
e-mail: erick.vazquez@ipicyt.edu.mx

M. G. Ortiz-Lopez

Universidad Politecnica de San Luis Potosi,
Urbano Villalón 500,
Col. La Ladrillera,
San Luis Potosí, S.L.P. 78363, Mexico
e-mail: guadalupe.ortiz@upslp.edu.mx

J. Leyva-Ramos

e-mail: jleyva@ipicyt.edu.mx

Instituto Potosino de Investigacion Científica y Tecnologica,
Camino a la Presa San Jose 2055,
Lomas 4a. Seccion,
San Luis Potosi, S.L.P. 78216, Mexico

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FUEL CELL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received June 10, 2013; final manuscript received August 5, 2013; published online November 8, 2013. Editor: Nigel M. Sammes.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 11(1), 011009 (Nov 08, 2013) (5 pages) Paper No: FC-13-1062; doi: 10.1115/1.4025634 History: Received June 10, 2013; Revised August 05, 2013

A fuel-cell stack produces a low and unregulated dc voltage; therefore, a dc-dc converter is required to step up and regulate the output voltage. A major drawback is that the output voltage of the fuel-cell stack exhibits a nonlinear behavior since the output voltage drops when more current is drawn. This output voltage will be later connected to a switch-mode dc-dc converter to step up its value; therefore, it is very important to consider the dynamic behavior of fuel-cell stack as input to a switching converter. In this work, a model is proposed for a combined fuel-cell stack/boost converter system. The interest of this model is clearly motivated by the need to have a model compatible with the standard techniques for controller design as current-mode control. The model is tested using a power module and a boost converter delivering an output power of 740 W. The power module uses polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) and delivers a variable output dc voltage between 24 V to 42 V. Experimental results verify the theoretical results given within.

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Fig. 2

Static characteristics for the Nexa Power Module

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Fig. 3

Fuel-cell stack/boost converter system

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Fig. 4

Efficiency of the power converter

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Fig. 5

Frequency response for a load of 3.125 Ω: (a) transfer function inductor current–to-control signal, i˜L(s)/u˜(s) and (b) transfer function output voltage-to-control signal v˜O(s)/u˜(s)

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Fig. 8

Time responses due to step changes in the load from 3.03 Ω to 33.33 Ω. From top to bottom: output voltage VO of the boost converter (20 V/div) and gate MOSFET voltage VG (10 V/div), (time: 100 ms/div).

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Fig. 7

Time responses due to step changes in the load from 3.33 Ω to 33.33 Ω. From top to bottom: (a) voltage of the fuel-cell stack Ef (10 V/div) and gate MOSFET voltage (20 V/div) and (b) output current if for the fuel-cell stack (10 V/div) and gate MOSFET voltage VG (20 V/div), (time: 100 ms/div).

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Fig. 6

Fuel-cell stack/boost converter system operating at nominal load of 3.125 Ω. From top to bottom: fuel-cell output voltage of stack Ef (20 V/div), converter output voltage VO (20 V/div), and inductor current IL (10 A/div), (time: 10 μs/div).



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