IEEE Electrification Magazine - December 2017 - 81

Emulation of a Fuel Cell

We can see actual filtering of the load power by the
stored energy. For both of these cases, we can see a certain thick area for the power supplied by the fuel cell.
This thick area is due to our fuel cell emulator because
the voltage source used for the emulator takes its power
from the French network (230 Vac/400 Vac, 50 Hz) to supply its power. It is composed of a three-phase rectifier,
then a dc-dc converter, which unfortunately allows some
of the fundamental harmonic of the rectified network
through (six times the network frequency, i.e., 300 Hz). As
acquisition is performed with a step of 1 ms, these undulations appear.
However, for strategy one [Figure 15(a)], the high-frequency undulations are even more present. As expressed
in the "dc Bus Voltage Control Strategy" section, this is
due to a fuel cell converter bandwidth that is higher than
the bandwidth of the stored energy converter, as well as
an estimation of the dynamic losses for this converter
that is not accurate, as it is based on theoretical calculations. The frequency band for these phenomena is found
at the fuel cell current, as the frequencies are too high to
be managed by the stored energy converter. This frequency band is in addition to the 300-Hz undulation supplied
by the fuel cell emulator.

The fuel cell emulator consists of a programmable voltage
source, with its output voltage adjusted to suit the current
output so as to correspond to the almost static curve of a
fuel cell. Its transfer function (taken from Fontes et al. 2007
and Rallieres 2011) is given by
j + jn
R. T
R.T
n - R eq .j n (6)
V fc = N. d E 0 + n.F . ln ^PH .P O1/2 h - a.n.F . ln d
j0
2

2

where N is the number of cells in the stack, E0 the standard
nominal voltage of the H2/O2 redox pair, R the perfect gas
constant, T the fuel cell temperature, n the number of electrons involved in the reaction, F Faraday's constant, and PH
and PO the respective partial pressures of H2 and O2.
In addition, a (the transfer coefficient), jn (the crossover equivalent current density), j0 (the exchange current density), and R eq (the membrane and diffusion
equivalent surface resistance) are parameters taken per
fitting on the actual almost static curve of an AREVA
Energy Storage elementary cell, where j = I/S is the current density going through our emulated fuel cell.
The experiment was conducted with a 1:10 ratio for
the  power with respect to the simulation results (GarciaArregui 2007). In addition, it was performed on a highvoltage dc half bus (i.e., +270 Vdc/0 Vdc instead of
+270 Vdc/0 Vdc/−270 Vdc), which, in the end, is a 1:5 ratio
for the power involved for this half bus.
Figure 15 shows power sharing via frequency filtering
operated with the fuel cell emulator described previously.
2

2

System Stability
Using the emulator tests the system to its limits and notably
tests the stored energy stability. To test this power management stability, we considered two situations that are theoretically the worst cases that could cause the system difficulties:

Low Voltage:
30..100 Vdc
0..140 A

Fuel Cell Emulator
0..150 Vdc
0..900 A
45 kW

High Voltage:
..610 Vdc
0..16 A

+
-
Fuel Cell
Supervision

dc-dc Chopper

Fuel Cell Stack
50 Cells-130 cm2
Ultracapacitors

Active and
Resistive Loads

Supplier: Maxwell
Technologies
Electrical
Supervision

HVdc Bus

Lithium-Ion Battery
Supplier: Saft
Batteries
Storage

dc-dc Chopper
Low Voltage:
0..325 Vdc
(-90)..90 A

Electrical Power Center
High Voltage:
..650 Vdc
(-45)..45 A

Figure 13. A diagram and structure of the test bench for the experiment.

IEEE Elec trific ation Magazine / D EC EM BE R 2 0 1 7

81



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