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System architecture for fuel cell based intelligent and distributed energy applications

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2 Author(s)
Kotak, D.B. ; Inst. for Fuel Cell Innovation, Nat. Res. Council of Canada, Vancouver, BC, Canada ; Gruver, W.A.

Traditional sources of energy such as hydroelectric power, fossil fuels, and nuclear power will not be able to meet the demands of future generations. Renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, micro-hydro, wave, geo-thermal, and biomass are potential solutions, but challenges exist for the storage and delivery of energy. By coupling these renewable energy sources with fuel cells and hydrogen systems, we can create renewable, environmentally friendly, flexible, distributed, and integrated energy systems. The purpose of our research is to develop high level system architecture to facilitate the design and operations of integrated and distributed energy applications using fuel cells and renewable sources of energy. In this paper we describe a system architecture that optimally configures energy nodes consisting of collaborating energy devices that capture, transform, handle, store and dispense energy. Multiple energy nodes collaborate in a similar manner to create efficient, robust and scalable energy networks. Such systems provide better security against natural and human threats because of their highly distributed structure. A similar approach can be used to provide electrical power, and possibly heat, to remote communities from renewable energy sources coupled with fuel cells.

Published in:

Systems, Man and Cybernetics, 2004 IEEE International Conference on  (Volume:2 )

Date of Conference:

10-13 Oct. 2004