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This paper presents a methodology to design the control part of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (FC) stack. The objective is to control the FC voltage. This methodology is based on an energetic macroscopic representation (EMR) of the FC and leads to a so-called maximal control structure (MCS). The MCS is a step-by-step inversion of the EMR (inversion-model-based control structure). The control design process is based on an explicit definition of the problem. Basically, for instance, the tuning inputs, the system objectives, or constraints are highlighted to organize the control. Moreover, the MCS shows the places where sensors are required and controllers are requested. Unfortunately, the MCS is only a theoretical control structure. Consequently, a realistic structure needs some simplifications, leading to a so-called practical control structure. The FC model is first presented and experimentally validated. The designed control structure is then simulated, and the results are discussed.
Date of Publication: June 2010