Author(s):Abhishek Sakharea, Asad Davaria, Ali Feliachi

Reference: Journal of Power Sources, Volume 135, Issue 1-2, pp. 165-176, September 2004

Abstract:Fuel cells have become one of the major areas of research in the academia and the industry with the numerous advantages they provide over the batteries and especially over the other small scale sources of electricity including the photovoltaic and solar cells. Fuel cells generate electricity from hydrogen by a chemical process and are environmentally safe and efficient. Fuel cells have numerous standalone and grid-connected applications. The aim of the paper is to achieve the control of the fuel cell for stand-alone and grid connection. This is achieved by designing a suitable power conditioning unit. The power conditioning unit is needed for processing of the raw power output of the fuel cell in order to make it usable. The power conditioning unit might have only DC/DC converter or the two stages of DC/DC converter and DC/AC inverter. For the stand-alone part the concentration is on the controlled DC power thus, only a boost converter (DC/DC) stage is used. For the grid interface of the fuel cell, controlled AC power is needed at the interface point of the fuel cell and the utility grid, thus, both stages; boost converter as well as the inverter (DC/AC) are needed. A power conditioning unit is designed for the solid oxide fuel cell which can be used for other fuel cells with converter and the inverter of different ratings but the control strategy will remain the same. The fuzzy logic control strategy is used for designing the controllers for both the stages.

Keywords: Fuel cells, DC/DC converter, DC/AC inverter, fuzzy logic, grid