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You are on page 1of 9

Instruction for Running the PEMFC and SOFC Models and Their

Distributed Generation Applications

The CD-ROM included with this book contains the following files:

A physically-based dynamic model for a 500-W PEM Fuel Cell (PEMFC) stack

developed in Chapter 3,

A physically-based dynamic model for a 5-kW Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC)

stack, developed in Chapter 4,

Chapter 7. The PEMFCDG system model is based on the 500-W PEMFC stack

model.

The SOFCDG system model is based on the 5-kW SOFC stack model.

The following sections give a brief instruction for running the above models. Basic

knowledge of MATLAB/Simulink or PSpice is required to run the models. The reader is

referred to the MATLAB Users Guide and PSpice Users Guide for help on how to run

simulations using MATLAB/Simulink and PSpice.

I. PEMFC Model

The dynamic PEMFC model is an autonomous module operated under constant channel

pressure with no control on the input fuel flow into the fuel cell. The fuel cell stack will

adjust the input fuel flow according to its load current to keep the channel pressure

constant. In addition to the model developed in MATLAB/Simulink, an equivalent

electrical circuit model for the same PEMFC stack has also been developed using

PSPICE. Both models have been validated through experimental data obtained on a 500W Avista (now Relion) PEMFC stack. The models can be used in studies related to

PEMFC performance evaluation, controller design, fuel cell vehicle studies, and for

developing models of high power PEMFC power plants, to name a few.

A-1

1. Look for the folder PEMFC_Model\PEMFC_Simulink and open the file of the

model named PEMFC500W.mdl in MATLAB/ SIMULINK. The model was

built using MATLAB Version 7.0.4.365 (R14) Service Pack 2.

2. Set proper input quantities for the model. The fuel cell (load) current can either be

set explicitly, or be measured from an actual load and then be fed back to the

model.

3. Choose a proper solver and set the simulation time. The recommended solver for

this model is ode23tb. Select the solver by clicking Simulation in the menu

and then select Simulation parameters.

4. Click Start simulation to run the model.

Fuel cell load current, I (A). Maximum load current is 25A.

Anode channel pressure, Panode (atm)

Cathode channel pressure at, Pcathode (atm)

Room temperature, Troom (K)

Initial temperature of FC, Tinitial (K)

Output terminal voltage, V (V)

FC temperature, Tout (K)

Example files

1. Before running the MATLAB/SIMULINK model, three example load current

files need to be loaded into Workspace. To do this, one can just run the file

firstload.m under the same directory. It will load the three example files into

the MATLAB Workspace.

2. Any load current data can be used for simulation studies. However, the load

current is limited to 25A in the model. Figure A.1 shows the SIMULINK

diagram for an example, where a resistor R is connected to the PEMFC model

and the load current is fed back to the model as input.

A-2

determined by the length of simulation study desired and/or the length of the

actual input data. Simulation time for the following three examples are:

InputI_stdy_ideal: ideal fuel cell load current in steady state, simulation time: 4900s;

InputI_stdy: real fuel cell load current in steady state, simulation time: 3900s;

InputI-dynshrt4: real fuel cell load current in transient state, simulation time: 2040s.

Scope-I

Product

Scope-P

1/R

Load current

-K-

1.5

Panode

Gain

Panode

Pcathode

1.0

Scope-V

Pcathode

Troom

Tout

307.7

Scope-T

Tinitial

Troom (K)

307.7

PEM FC

Tinitial (K)

1. Look for the folder of PEMFC_Model\PEMFC_Pspice\Version 10.1.0.p001.

Open the model file ETModel.opj in Capture CIS (Version 10.0.0.p001).

2. Look for a block named PEMFC500. Connect the model in your simulation

system properly. The fuel cell model block can be used as a regular PSpice

component. An example showing how to run the model is given below.

Input Terminals:

A-3

Ground (see Figure A.2)

Output Terminals

Output terminal, Vout

FC temperature, Tout (degrees Kelvin presented in volts)

Example

Figure A.2 shows an example system consisting of the above PSPICE PEMFC

model and a super-capacitor (the series combination of a large capacitor and a small

resistor) connected across the PEMFC model output terminals. The load current is

defined in a file named iload_c, which is saved under of the model file folder.

Load current for a desired simulation study can be defined as needed, as long as the

current does not exceed 25 A. Make sure the load definition file is clearly specified

in the system. Otherwise, one may get an error for finding the load file. It is not

necessary to model the load only as a current source, which is pre-defined by a file in

the example. For example, the load could be just as simple as a resistor.

PARAMETERS:

InitiTemp = 307.7

PEMFC500

Troom

iload_c

Vout

Troom

307.7Vdc

R2

V

Tout

0.01

Temperature

I1

I

Ground

C1

MAINCKT

100

IC = 35V

A-4

The SOFC model has 9 input quantities and two main outputs, as listed in the table A.1.

The Scope block in MATLAB/Simulink can be used to measure any quantities of

interest. Some scope blocks have already been used in the model to measure the

following quantities: Load current, FC output power, FC output voltage, FC temperature,

activation voltage drop, ohimc voltage drop, concentration voltage drop, fuel utilization

and effective partial pressure of H2, H2O and O2.

Table A.1 SOFC model input and output quantities

Input quantities

I

Pa

MH2

MH2O

Pc

Tairinlet

Mair

Tfuelinlet

TSteadyState

Option 1 is used for steady-state study only, where, there is

no temperature dynamics. The fuel cell temperature is set by

Tairinlet, meaning that Tout will not change. .

Option 0 is used for dynamic analysis, where thermal

dynamics are included in the model.

Output quantities

Vout

Tout

A-5

1. Start MATLAB/ Simulink (Version 7.0.4.365 (R14) Service Pack 2).

2. In the folder \SOFC_Model, open the model file SOFC_5kW.mdl in

MATLAB/Simulink.

3. Set the proper model input quantities.

4. Choose a proper solver and set the simulation time. The recommended solver for

this model is ode23tb. Select the solver by clicking on Simulation in the

menu and then select Simulation parameters.

5. Click Start simulation to run the model.

6. Observe any output by double-clicking on its corresponding scope block.

Examples

1. Steady-state characteristics of the SOFC model

Set TSteadySate = 1. Set the proper Tairlet, which in this case is taken as the

fuel cell operating temperature. For example, set Tairlet = 1173K. Use the

Ramp block for the load current input. Slope rate = 0.01. Simulation time =

15800 sec. Under this scenario, the load current will increase from 0 to 158A at

the rate 0.01A/s. Other parameter values (for the parameters given in Table A.1)

are as set in the model. The parameter values can be changed by the user. Run

the model and check the results.

2. Dynamic response of the SOFC model

Set TSteadySate = 0. Set Tairinlet and Tfuelinlet accordingly. For example, set

them both to 1173K, as shown in Figure A.3. Use I_step block given in the

model file to simulate load transients. Simulation time = 15800s. Default values

are used for other input quantities. Run the model and check its dynamic

response.

A-6

Istep

I_step

Terminator

Iload

Product

A

I

Ramp

atm

3

Pa

P (atm)

0.9e-3

mol/s

Vout

MH2

Vout

MH2

mol/s

1.0e-4

MH2O

MH2O

atm

Pc

K

1173

Tairinlet

Tairinlet

12e-3

mol/s

Mair

Tout

Mair

1173

Tout

K

Tf uelinlet

Tfuelinlet

1

Boolen 1/0

Steady State

SS/Dynamic

SOFC

5kW SOFC Model

A-7

The example FCDG systems based on both PEMFC and SOFC stack models are given in

the CD. The FCDG system configurations have been discussed and shown in Figure 7.1

of Chapter 7. The principle of operation and design of the power electronic circuits (the

DC/DC converters and the inverter) in the systems are addressed in Chapters 6, and

controller design for the inverter and DC/DC converters is discussed in Chapter 7. A brief

introduction for running the SOFCDG system simulation is given below. A similar

procedure can be followed to run the PEMFC DG simulation system file.

1. Start MATLAB/ Simulink (Version 7.0.4.365 (R14) Service Pack 2).

SimPowerSystems toolbox (version 4.0.1) under Simulink was used to model the

power electronic components in the system. Running the system on a different

version of MATLAB/Simulink may cause incompatibility problems. Assistance

from MATLAB technical support professionals may be required.

2. Look for the folder of \FCDG and open the model file with name of

SOFC_DG.mdl. User should see the subsystem blocks of fuel cell power plant,

DC/DC converters and their controllers, DC/AC inverter and its controller, and

the utility grid. The details of each subsystem can be explored by either doubleclicking on it or by right-clicking on it and choosing Look Under Mask from

the pop-up menu. A simple Delay Block with a small time constant has been

used in the system to avoid any algebraic loop.

3. The default sampling time for the pulse width modulation (PWM) blocks used

for the power switching devices is set to Ts = 2 s. This parameter can be

changed as needed. However, any value larger than 10 s is not recommended.

4. Choose the proper solver and set the simulation time. The recommended solver

for this model is ode23tb. Select the solver by clicking on Simulation in the

menu and then select Simulation parameters.

A-8

recommended. Even with the Accelerator, be aware that it may take quite some

time (several hours) to finish the simulation.

6. Click Start simulation to run the model.

7. When the simulation is done, the outputs can be observed by loading the output

data files, saved as MAT type in the same folder, to MATLAB workspace. Note

that the desired outputs are saved as their corresponding MAT files. For example,

P.mat is the data file for real power data, P. The command load P.mat is used

to load the real power data when the simulation is finished. Then, the power

curve can be plotted by using the command plot(P(1,:), P(2,:)).

A-9

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