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New Control Strategy for Heating Portable Fuel Cell Power Systems for Energy-Efficient and Reliable Operation


Using hydrogen fuel cells for power systems, temperature conditions are important for efficient and reliable operations, especially in low-temperature environments. A heating system with an electrical energy buffer is therefore required for reliable operation. There is a research gap in finding an appropriate control strategy regarding energy efficiency and reliable operations for different environmental conditions. This paper investigates heating strategies for the subfreezing start of a fuel cell for portable applications at an early development stage to enable frontloading in product engineering. The strategies were investigated by simulation and experiment. A prototype for such a system was built and tested for subfreezing start-ups and non-subfreezing start-ups. This was done by heating the fuel cell system with different control strategies to test their efficiency. It was found that operating strategies to heat up the fuel cell system can ensure a more reliable and energy efficient operation. The heating strategy needs to be adjusted according to the ambient conditions, as this influences the required heating energy, efficiency, and reliable operation of the system. A differentiation in the control strategy between subfreezing and non-subfreezing temperatures is recommended due to reliability reasons.

Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Germany

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