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An experimental environment for studying hybrid fuel cell system operating characteristics

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2 Author(s)
Watkins, A.N. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Tennessee Tech Univ., Cookeville, TN, USA ; Wenzhong Gao

Fuel Cell/Battery hybrid systems represent a major technology solution for future vehicles, portable auxiliary power supplies, and distributed generation. Today's focus on clean and renewable energy has sparked interests in fuel cell systems, especially the hydrogen PEM fuel cell (FC). Past and current research states that fuel cells cannot effectively handle dynamic loads on their own and thus a battery bank can be used to provide the power for varying load currents. This paper seeks to demonstrate the concept of the fuel cell-battery hybrid system by showing the operating characteristics of a system driven only by a FC and as a hybrid in an experimental environment. The dynamic load consists of a tandem DC motor drive and generator set. This set provides various load profiles such as variable motor speeds and constant motor drive speeds with variable electric generator loads. The 50 Watt Hampden model H-FCTT-1 is used in our experiments for studying the differences of fuel cell operating characteristics in non-hybrid and hybrid systems.

Published in:

North American Power Symposium (NAPS), 2009

Date of Conference:

4-6 Oct. 2009