The paper describes a fuel cell based system and its performance. The system is based on two fuel cell units, DC/DC converter, DC/AC inverter, microprocessor control unit, load unit, bottled hydrogen supply system and a set of measurement instruments. In the study presented in the paper a dynamic response of the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system to unit step change load as well as to periodical load changing cycles in the form of semi-sinusoidal and trapezoidal signals was investigated. The load was provided with the aid of an in-house-developed electronic load unit, which was fully PC controlled. The apparatus was commissioned by testing the steady-state operation of the module. The obtained efficiency of the fuel cell shows that the test apparatus used in the study provides data in substantial agreement with the manufacturer’s data.
Solar energy is widely available in nature and electricity can be easily extracted using solar PV cells. A fuel cell being reliable and environment friendly becomes a good choice for the backup so as to compensate for continuously varying solar irradiation. This paper presents simple control schemes for power management of the DC microgrid consisting of PV modules and fuel cell as energy sources and a hydrogen electrolyzer system for storing the excess power generated. The supercapacitor bank is used as a short term energy storage device for providing the energy buffer whenever sudden fluctuations occur in the input power and the load demand. A new power control strategy is developed for a hydrogen storage system. The performance of the system is assessed with and without the supercapacitor bank and the results are compared. A comparative study of the voltage regulation of the microgrid is presented with the controller of the supercapacitor bank, realized using a traditional PI controller and an intelligent fuzzy logic controller.