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Distributed generation (DG) power systems are becoming increasingly attractive as alternatives to traditional centralized power systems. Fuel cells are an important resource that can be used in such systems, but power electronic converter interfaces are needed to ensure that fuel cells can provide fixed and regulated output voltages as the output of a fuel cell can vary with load. Given that one of the main motivations for DG power systems is cost, it would be advantageous to try to integrate the various converter interfaces if possible. In the paper, a converter that integrates the step-up function needed to interface the fuel cell output to a common DC bus with a full-bridge converter that can be used to convert the DC bus voltage into a voltage required by a particular load(s) will be proposed. The operation of the proposed converter will be explained and the design of the converter will be discussed. The feasibility of the converter will be confirmed by experimental results obtained from a prototype converter.
Date of Conference: 14-18 Sept. 2008