International Journal of Energy Research, Vol.43, No.9, 4807-4819, 2019
Evaluation of fluctuating voltage topology with fuel cells and supercapacitors for automotive applications
To develop a single-stage power conversion topology in which energy storage devices can be directly coupled, a fluctuating voltage topology is applied, leading to lower cost and more compactness with the absence of DC/DC converters. This paper investigates such a topology for automotive applications where fuel cells are directly connected to the DC bus of the inverter, resulting in fluctuating voltage across the DC bus. Further, a supercapacitor pack is also introduced to maintain the power capacity and voltage stability. The hybridization principle and practical application of such a topology are then discussed in the time domain and frequency domain. Furthermore, the transient power requirement is decomposed to design the size of fuel cells and supercapacitors. Simulation results from the modeling of the fuel cell-supercapacitor powertrain demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of this topology. The supercapacitors can serve as a low-pass filter for the fuel cells. In conclusion, the peak power requirement can be successfully achieved because of the lowered system impedance, and the fuel cells only need to supply the average power.