Type of Document Dissertation Author Kolavennu, Panini Krishna Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-04102006-123814 Title Analysis and Control of an in situ Hydrogen Generation and Fuel Cell Power System for Automotive Applications Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Chemical Engineering, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Srinivas Palanki Committee Chair Bruce Locke Committee Member David Cartes Committee Member John C. Telotte Committee Member Ravindran Chella Committee Member Keywords
- Automotive Applications
- Fuel Cells
- Adaptive Control
- Switching Controller
Date of Defense 2005-12-08 Availability unrestricted AbstractA new future in automotive transportation is approaching where vehicles are powered by new, clean and efficient energy sources. While different technologies will contribute to this future, many see fuel cells as the leading long term candidate for becoming the power source for emissions-free, mass produced light vehicles.
The development of emissions-free vehicles, which run directly on hydrogen, is the true long term goal. However significant difficulties exist in developing these vehicles, due to hydrogen storage problems. For automotive applications, it is desirable to use a carbon-based hydrogenous fuel. The focus of this research was to analyze a fuel cell system for automotive applications, which generated hydrogen in situ using methane as a fuel source. This system consists of four parts: (1) an in situ hydrogen generation subsystem, (2) a power generation subsystem, (3) a thermal management subsystem and (4) a switching control subsystem. The novelty of this research lies in the fact that the entire system was considered from a systems engineering viewpoint with realistic constraints.
A fuel processor subsystem was designed and its volume optimized to less than 100 liters. A relationship between the fuel fed into the fuel processor and the hydrogen coming out of it was developed. Using a fuel cell model an overall relationship between the fuel feed rate and the power output was established.
The fuel cell car must be fully operational within a minute or so of a cold-start and must respond to rapidly varying loads. Significant load transitions occur frequently as a result of changes in driving conditions. These engineering constraints were addressed by coupling a battery to the fuel cell. A switching controller was designed and it was validated using realistic power profiles. Finally, a model reference adaptive controller was designed to handle nonlinearities and load transitions. The adaptive controller performance was enhanced by adding dead zone compensation and derivative action. The enhanced adaptive controller was validated for different power profiles
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