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Fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs) with energy storage (ES) device(s) could result in improved lifetime, performance, fuel economy, and reduced cost. This paper presents the utilization of an ES device consisting of a supercapacitor bank for future electric vehicles with a hydrogen fuel cell (FC) as the main power source. The study mainly focuses on the innovative control law based on the flatness properties for a FC/supercapacitor hybrid power source. Utilizing the flatness principle, we propose simple solutions to the hybrid energy-management and stabilization problems. A supercapacitor module, as a high dynamic and high-power density device, functions to supply energy to regulate the dc-bus energy. The FC, as a slower dynamic source in this system, functions by supplying energy to keep the supercapacitor module charged. To ensure energy-efficient operation of the FC stack, the output current ripple of the FC stack is minimized by parallel boost converters with an interleaving switching technique for a high-frequency ripple by the supercapacitor for a low-frequency ripple. To authenticate the proposed control laws, a test bench is realized in the laboratory. The control algorithm (energy and current control loops) is digitally implemented by dSPACE controller DS1103. Experimental results with small-scale devices (a proton exchange membrane FC (PEMFC) of 500 W, 50 A, and 10 V and a supercapacitor bank of 250 F, 32 V, and 500 A) substantiate the excellent performance during load cycles.
Date of Publication: July 2010