Fuel Cells Explained

FUEL CELL POWER PLANT: MAJOR SYSTEM COMPONENTS

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Power Conversion and Electronics

Fuel cells produce direct current or DC power. Today, most of our buildings and appliances require alternating current or AC power to operate. Consequently, a conversion device is necessary as part of the fuel cell system.

There are in fact many"appliances" that can or do use DC power, such as computers and lighting.

Today, the issue with this technology is to reduce the efficiency losses, increase the reliability, and the cost.

General Power Electronics Capabilities

  • Convert direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) when required
  • Control current and/or voltage
  • Feedback to control system
  • Surge and short-circuit protection
  • Connect to and manage energy storage
  • Connect to and/or control loads
    • Dedicated load
    • Motor controller, motors
  • Synchronize
    • Electrical grid
    • Other generators

General Power Electronics Requirements

  • Reliability
  • Over-current protection
  • Short circuit protection
  • Motor over-speed protection
  • Low IGBT junction operating temperatures
  • High-efficiency electronics (desire > 97%)
  • High system efficiency (desire > 95%, typical ~ 92%)
  • Smooth motor controls
  • Low parasitic inductance
  • Environmentally sealed
  • High power quality
  • Grid-synchronized power for stationary power generation
  • Grid parallel - peak shaving
  • Automatic off-grid with stand-alone power generation
  • Continuous stand by power
  • Uninterruptible power
  • Automated black start capability
  • Full diagnostic capability
  • Control and system communication
    • Internal
    • External control and communication
    • Serial (RS-232)
    • Modem
    • TCPIP
  • Adjustability
  • Large dynamic range

 

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Fuel Cells Explained

 


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