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Control of Fuel Cell Power Systems

Recent improvements in membrane material, fuel processing, and hydrogen storage enabled fuel cell (FC) power to move from the laboratory to experimental vehicles and commercial power units. Although steady-state FC behavior is considered the normal operating mode; start-up, shut-down, and sudden load changes are characteristic and ubiquitous to all power producing devices. During these critical periods, the viability, efficiency, and robustness of the FC systems depend on monitoring and controlling their unique transient behavior. In this talk we introduce the critical control problems in Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) FC operation and present a nonlinear dynamic model that was developed for control, estimation, and diagnostics. We then present a few results on the air flow control design of a high pressure direct hydrogen FC for an automotive application. A highlight of this work is the delineation of the tradeoff between fast oxygen (air) reactant supply that ensures long FC life and transient fuel cell net power response during rapid current (load) demands. We also present a control architecture study for FC hydrogen starvation in the case of reformed natural gas. We conclude the talk with an overview of the equipment and testing facility of the recently developed Fuel Cell Control Laboratory in North Campus. -- Research is Sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under contracts CMS-0201332 and CMS-0219623, the United Technologies Co and the U.S. Army Center for Automotive Research under contract DAAE07-98-3-0022.

Type of Seminar:
Public Seminar
Prof. Anna Stefanopoulou
Department of Mechanical Engineering University of Michigan, USA
Nov 10, 2003   17:15

ETH Zentrum, Sonneggstasse 3, Building ML, Room E 12
Contact Person:

Prof. Guzzella
No downloadable files available.
Biographical Sketch:
Anna G. Stefanopoulou obtained her Diploma (1991, Nat. Tech. Univ. of Athens, Greece) and M.S. (1992, Univ. of Michigan, U.S.) in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. She received her second M.S. (1994) and her Ph.D. (1996) in the University of Michigan, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department. Dr. Stefanopoulou is presently an Associate Professor at the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Michigan. She was an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Technical Specialist at the Scientific Research Laboratories at Ford Motor Company. Dr. Stefanopoulou is Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Control System Technology. She is a recipient of a 2002 Ralph Teetor SAE Educational Award and a 1997 NSF CAREER Award. She was selected as one of the world’s top young innovators from the MIT's Technology Review magazine in 2002. She served as the co-Chair and Chair of the ASME DCSD Automotive and Transportation Systems technical panel in 1997-2001. She holds seven US Patents. Her current research interests are in control of advanced internal combustion engines and fuel cell power systems.