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The utilization of fuel cells for distributed power generation requires the development of an inexpensive inverter that converts a fuel cell's variable DC output into useful AC. To encourage this development, the US Department of Energy and the IEEE setup and sponsored a national US student competition with a substantial first prize going to the lowest cost working fuel cell inverter: the 2001 Future Energy Challenge (FEC). This paper describes the work of the University of Wisconsin FEC Team. It discusses the topology used to achieve the said objective, the rationale used in choosing this topology, detailed component selection optimized to minimize cost, and the DC/DC and DC/AC converter control. Finally some conclusions are made and a new total-system-approach design using a high voltage fuel cell is proposed to further reduce the cost of the inverter.
Power Electronics Specialists Conference, 2002. pesc 02. 2002 IEEE 33rd Annual (Volume:1 )
Date of Conference: 2002