Power & Energy (PE)

Robust Control Architecture for a Reformer Based PEM APU System

by Douglas Thornton; Vince Contini; Todd McCandlish


Battelle has built multiple auxiliary power generators using liquid logistic fuels that tightly couple fuel cell and fuel processing systems, providing new control challenges. Acting as an auxiliary power supply places difficult requirements for load following and transients. Additional challenges arise from the differing time constraints of the fuel processor and fuel cell systems and the need to maintain water balance. A novel method of controlling the system has been formulated and applied, providing pushbutton start capabilities. The control system has proven to be robust and easily adaptable to system design and operating parameter changes. In addition to control concerns, the requirements for vehicle integration and desulphurization have been investigated.