Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Enrico Santi

Abstract

In recent times there has been renewed interest in fuel cells for electricity production, especially for transportation applications. Fuel cells are attractive because the electricity production process from chemical energy does not cause pollution, and no carbon emissions occur. In this work, we will focus on Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells that use hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity, producing only electricity, heat and water. If hydrogen can be produced in a green, non-polluting way, fuel cells can truly be an environmentally benign energy source.

In this work, we will look at the modeling of a fuel cell system. In particular, we will consider two different types of models: we will examine a physics-based model available in MATLAB/Simulink and develop a behavioral model based on interpolation of operating characteristics available from a vendor. The advantage of this second approach is that the fuel cell system can be modeled with limited information on the system itself since all the detailed system information needed to parameterize a physics-based model is not required.

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