MICAPEM: Parameter estimation, diagnosis and control for the improvement of efficiency and durability of PEM fuel cells
The main objective of the project is to develop controllers that operate the PEM fuel cell based systems with maximum efficiency and minimum degradation. Additionally, the properties of these controlled systems for stationary Combined Heat & Power (CH&P) applications will be shown. Specifically, the tasks of the project include the design, development and implementation of the control system of a CH&P high temperature PEM fuel cell based unit that will be manufactured and integrated to a prototype home by the other two partners of the coordinated project.
To achieve the control objectives, the project tasks are separated into two levels: the fuel cell level and the whole generation system level, which includes the necessary elements for the energy management and use (batteries and/or supercapacitors, power converters, heat exchangers). For the improvement of the fuel cell controllers, models that take into account new mechanisms of efficiency loss and degradation, parameter estimation systems and observers will be developed. On the other hand, discretised high order EDP models will be used and therefore, model order reduction techniques will be used for their analytical treatment in the controllers design. Based on these models, robust multivariable controllers with unified management of reactants, heat and water will be designed, implemented and validated. These controllers will be able to ponderate the efficiency and durability objectives, which are not always compatible. At the whole generation system level, electrical power and heat management strategies will be determined and high level controllers will be designed, implemented and validated. These controllers will rely on information from all the subsystems, including the fuel cell. Taking advantage of the computational capacities, diagnosis and parameter estimation mechanisms will be run in parallel with the control algorithm in order to adapt the control objectives to the state of the different elements.
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