An advanced fuel cell simulator
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Fuel cell power generation systems provide a clean alternative to the conventional fossil fuel based systems. Fuel cell systems have a high eﬃciency and use easily available hydrocarbons like methane. Moreover, since the by-product is water, they have a very low environmental impact. The fuel cell system consists of several subsystems requiring a lot of eﬀort from engineers in diverse areas. Fuel cell simulators can provide a convenient and economic alternative for testing the electrical subsystems such as converters and inverters. This thesis proposes a low-cost and an easy-to-use fuel cell simulator using a programmable DC supply along with a control module written in LabVIEW. This simulator reproduces the electrical characteristics of a 5kW solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stack under various operating conditions. The experimental results indicate that the proposed simulator closely matches the voltage-current characteristic of the SOFC system under varying load conditions. Eﬀects of non-electrical parameters like hydrogen ﬂow rate are also modeled and these parameters are taken as dynamic inputs from the user. The simulator is customizable through a graphical user interface and allows the user to model other types of fuel cells with the respective voltage-current data. The simulator provides an inexpensive and accurate representation of a solid oxide fuel cell under steady state and transient conditions and can replace an actual fuel cell during testing of power conditioning equipment.
Acharya, Prabha Ramchandra (2004). An advanced fuel cell simulator. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from