Design and experiment of a power sharing control circuit for parallel fuel cell modules

Chien Chang Wu, Tsung Lin Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this paper, a novel control circuit that can connect fuel cell (FC) modules in parallel is proposed, which is particularly useful when the employed FCs have different electrical characteristics. Conventional methods (e.g., DC/DC converters) are not applicable in such situations because they cannot regulate the power output of each source in a parallel-connected topology. Consequently, the uniformity requirement of FCs increases and becomes costly. In contrast to existing methods, the proposed method adopts a novel power-feedback method to control the power output of each FC module under both rated conditions and load changes, which in turn determines the operating point of each FC module. Therefore, the uniformity requirement can be relaxed. For proof of concept, the experiments employed two FC-like sources with different I-V characteristics. The experimental results indicated that the power assignment under the rated condition had a relative error of < 6.62%. The distribution ratio error under the load change was < 7.43%. Therefore, the proposed method can regulate the power output (operation point) of each parallel-connected FC-like power source.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2838
JournalEnergies
Volume13
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2020

Keywords

  • DC/DC converter
  • Energy conversion
  • Fuel cells
  • Parallel architectures
  • Power distribution

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