Design of a Control Strategy for a Fuel Cell/Battery Hybrid Power Supply
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The purpose of this thesis is to design hardware and a control strategy for a fuel cell/battery hybrid power supply. Modern fuel cell/battery hybrid power supplies can have 2 DC/DC converters: one converter for the battery and one for the fuel cell. The hardware for the power supply proposed in this thesis consists of a single DC/DC buck converter at the output terminals of the fuel cell. The battery does not have a DC/DC converter, and it is therefore passive in the system. The use of one single converter is attractive, because it reduces the cost of this power supply. This thesis proposes a method of controlling the fuel cell's DC/DC buck converter to act as a current source instead of a voltage source. This thesis will explain why using the fuel cell's buck converter to act as a current source is most appropriate. The proposed design techniques for the buck converter are also based on stiff systems theory. Combining a fuel cell and a battery in one power supply allows exploitation of the advantages of both devices and undermines their disadvantages. The fuel cell has a slow dynamic response time, and the battery has a fast dynamic response time to fluctuations in a load. A fuel cell has high energy density, and a battery has high power density. And the performance of the hybrid power supply exploits these advantages of the fuel cell and the battery. The controller designed in this thesis allows the fuel cell to operate in its most efficient region: even under dynamic load conditions. The passive battery inherits all load dynamic behavior, and it is therefore used for peaking power delivery, while the fuel cell delivers base or average power. Simulations will be provided using MATLAB/Simulink based models. And the results conclude that one can successfully control a hybrid fuel cell/battery power supply that decouples fluctuations in a load from the fuel cell with extremely limited hardware. The results also show that one can successfully control the fuel cell to operate in its most efficient region.
Smith, Richard C. (2009). Design of a Control Strategy for a Fuel Cell/Battery Hybrid Power Supply. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from