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  • Design of linear controllers applied to an ethanol steam reformer for PEM fuel cell applications

     García, Vanesa Mariel; Serra Prat, Maria; Llorca, J.; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    International journal of hydrogen energy
    Date of publication: 2013
    Journal article

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    This paper focuses on the design of a controller for a low temperature ethanol steam reformer for the production of hydrogen to feed a Protonic Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell. It describes different control structures for the reformer and treats the control structure selection of this Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) system. For each control structure, decentralised 2x2 controllers with Proportional Integral (PI) control actions in each control loop are implemented. The PI parameters are tuned and the performance of the different linear controllers is compared through simulation. For the evaluation of the proposed controllers, the dynamic response for different initial conditions and changes in the references is analysed, as well as the behaviour of the controlled system against disturbances.

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    Performance improvement by temperature control of an open-cathode PEM fuel cell system  Open access

     Strahl, Stephan; Perrier, Michel; Husar, Attila Peter; Riera Colomer, Jordi; Serra Prat, Maria
    International Conference on Fundamentals & Development of Fuel Cells
    Presentation's date: 2013-04
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    The work presented in this article combines experimental analysis and theoretical studies of temperature effects on the performance of an open-cathode, self-humidified PEM fuel cell system for the design of optimization strategies. The experimental analysis shows the great potential of improving the system performance by proper temperature management. The most significant temperature dependent parameters of the system under study are the activation polarization and the water content of the ionomer of the catalyst layer. An Extremum seeking control algorithm is proposed to regulate the temperature to a voltage maximum. However, the slow dynamics of the temperature related catalyst-drying effect on performance complicate the optimal thermal management via model-free control strategies.

  • Ethanol catalytic membrane reformer for direct PEM FC feeding

     Koch, Reinhold; López, Eduardo; Riera Colomer, Jordi; Allué Fantova, Miguel; Jossen, Andreas; Jimenez Divins, Nuria; Llorca Pique, Jordi
    International journal of hydrogen energy
    Date of publication: 2013
    Journal article

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    In this paper an ethanol reformer based on catalytic steam reforming with a catalytic honeycomb loaded with RhPd/CeO2 and palladium separation membranes with an area of 30.4 cm2 has been used to generate a pure hydrogen stream of up to 100 ml/min to feed a PEM fuel cell with an active area of 5 cm2. The fuel reformer behavior has been extensively studied under different temperature, ethanol¿water flow rate and gas pressure at a fixed S/C ratio of 1.6 (molar). The hydrogen yield has been controlled by acting upon the ethanol¿water fuel flow and gas pressure. A mathematical model of the ethanol reformer has been developed and an adaptive and predictive control has been implemented on a real time system to take account of its nonlinear behavior. With this control the response time of the reformer can be reduced by a factor of 7 down to 8 s. The improved dynamics of the controlled reformer match better the quickly changing hydrogen demands of fuel cells. They reached a magnitude where costly hydrogen buffers between the reformer and the fuel cell can be omitted and an electric buffer at the output of the fuel cell is sufficient.

    In this paper an ethanol reformer based on catalytic steam reforming with a catalytic honeycomb loaded with RhPd/CeO2 and palladium separation membranes with an area of 30.4 cm2 has been used to generate a pure hydrogen stream of up to 100 ml/min to feed a PEM fuel cell with an active area of 5 cm2. The fuel reformer behavior has been extensively studied under different temperature, ethanol–water flow rate and gas pressure at a fixed S/C ratio of 1.6 (molar). The hydrogen yield has been controlled by acting upon the ethanol–water fuel flow and gas pressure. A mathematical model of the ethanol reformer has been developed and an adaptive and predictive control has been implemented on a real time system to take account of its nonlinear behavior. With this control the response time of the reformer can be reduced by a factor of 7 down to 8 s. The improved dynamics of the controlled reformer match better the quickly changing hydrogen demands of fuel cells. They reached a magnitude where costly hydrogen buffers between the reformer and the fuel cell can be omitted and an electric buffer at the output of the fuel cell is sufficient.

  • Experimental study of hydrogen purge effects on performance and efficiency of an open-cathode proton exchange membrane fuel cell system

     Strahl, Stephan; Husar, Attila Peter; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    Journal of power sources
    Date of publication: 2013
    Journal article

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    The performance and efficiency of an open-cathode PEM fuel cell system in dead-ended anode (DEA) configuration and hydrogen purges is analyzed in this work. Excess water and crossed-over nitrogen in the anode decrease the hydrogen concentration at the catalyst surface, which in turn causes performance losses. Purging the anode with hydrogen removes water and nitrogen and thus recovers the performance. However, this means wasting hydrogen and decreasing overall system efficiency. Gas chromatography was used to detect and quantify the accumulated nitrogen in the anode during DEA operation. The experiments show that the major performance limitation in the studied system is related to water instead of nitrogen. Moreover, oxygen was detected in the anode exhaust gas after long purge intervals, which is an indicator for corrosion of the cathode carbon support structure. Experimental observations revealed that the need for a hydrogen purge strongly depends on the operating conditions and the state-of-health of the fuel cell. It is shown that flooding on the anode and drying of the cathode catalyst layer may occur simultaneously during purged operation. Therefore, purge decisions must be evaluated online, depending on the operating conditions.

  • Design of linear controllers applied to an ethanol steam reformer for PEN fuel cell applications

     García, Vanesa M.; Serra Prat, Maria; Llorca Pique, Jordi; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    International journal of hydrogen energy
    Date of publication: 2013-06-01
    Journal article

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    This paper focuses on the design of a controller for a low temperature ethanol steam reformer for the production of hydrogen to feed a protonic exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. It describes different control structures for the reformer and treats the control structure selection of this multiple input multiple output (MIMO) system. For each considered control structure, decentralised 2 × 2 controllers with proportional integral (PI) control actions in each control loop are implemented. The tuning of the PI parameters and the performance evaluation of the different controllers are based on a non-linear simulation model. For the validation and comparison of the considered controllers, the dynamic response for different setpoint changes and initial conditions is analysed, as well as the behaviour of the controlled system against disturbances.

  • Hydrogen production based on bio-ethanol and solar energy for feeding PEM fuel cells

     Degliuomini, Lucas Nieto; Feroldi, Diego Hernan; Basualdo, Marta; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation
    Presentation's date: 2012-07
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Diseño e implementación de un control supervisor para sistemas híbridos de generación basado en pilas de combustible

     More, J.J.; Puleston, Paul; Kunush, Cristian; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    Congreso Argentino de Control Automático
    Presentation's date: 2012
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Diagnosis tools for PEMFC using humidification interruption tests

     Primucci, Mauricio Ariel; Serra Prat, Maria; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    Congreso Nacional de Pilas de Combustible
    Presentation's date: 2012
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    This article presents different diagnosis tools for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells based on the analysis of their dynamic evolution when the humidification of the inlet gases is interrupted. The diagnosis is aimed to know the internal state of the fuel cell with respect to the water distribution. The proposed diagnosis procedures combine the information of the time response with that extracted from Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy and consist in monitoring the evolution of a set of performance indicators during the humidification interruption. The article presents a study for the selection of these performance indicators, which are related to the physical phenomena inside the PEMFC, and describes the patterns that correspond to proper or improper water distribution.

  • Analyses of energy management strategies for a PEMFC/UC electric vehicle

     Bethoux, Olivier; Remy, G.; Riera Colomer, Jordi; Serra Prat, Maria; Azib, T.
    IEEE Vehicle Power and Propulsion Conference
    Presentation's date: 2012-10
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    In this paper, two energy management strategies considering the hydrogen consumption of hybrid power sources using a PEM Fuel Cell (FC) and Ultracapacitors (UC) are described and compared. First, the Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) architecture and the associated models with their control strategies are described. The two energy management strategies are evaluated based on the Energetic Macroscopic Representation (EMR). The comparison focuses on the global efficiency of the power sources energy management. In particular, a proposed strategy is to manage the UC State-OfCharge while stabilizing the FC around its maximal efficiency point. Finally, some simulations on a Fuel Cell / Ultracapacitors HEV show the differences between the compared control strategies.

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    Study of hydrogen purge effects on performance and efficiency of a PEM fuel cell system  Open access

     Strahl, Stephan; Husar, Attila Peter; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    Congreso Nacional de Pilas de Combustible
    Presentation's date: 2012
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Experimental analysis and CFD modeling is used in this work to analyze system efficiency related to hydrogen purge based water management in an open-cathode PEM fuel cell system. Excess water in a deadended anode decreases hydrogen concentration at the active catalyst surface and thus causes fuel cell performance losses. Purging the anode with hydrogen removes water and nitrogen that diffused through the membrane but also means wasting energy and thus decreasing overall system efficiency. Experiments with a 100W open-cathode stack have revealed that the need for a hydrogen purge strongly depends on the operation conditions and the state-of-health of the fuel cell and therefore the decision to perform a purge has to be evaluated online. A dynamic 2D CFD model of a single cell within the stack is used to investigate water distribution and transport within the cell before, during and after performing a purge at different operating conditions, linked to cell performance. Moreover, the model is capable of studying water transfer dynamics across the membrane and along the channel, including liquid water saturation. Altogether, the presented experimental and modeling work helps to improve the understanding of water transport in a PEM fuel cell and thus facilitates the development of strategies for increasing system efficiency and optimizing the water management by properly controlling the hydrogen purge.

  • Experimental model for a DMC-based control applied to a PEM fuel cell

     Feroldi, Diego Hernan; Allué Fantova, Miguel; Riera Colomer, Jordi; Serra Prat, Maria; Basualdo, Marta
    Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation
    Presentation's date: 2012
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Experimental characterization methodology for the identification of voltage losses of PEMFC: applied to an open cathode stack

     Husar, Attila Peter; Strahl, Stephan; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    International journal of hydrogen energy
    Date of publication: 2012
    Journal article

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  • Performance indicators for the dynamics modeling and control of PEMFC systems  Open access

     Husar, Attila Peter
    Defense's date: 2012-03-07
    Department of Heat Engines, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
    Theses

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    Society is gradually becoming aware that the current energy industry, based on the use of fossil fuels, is inefficient, highly polluting and has a finite supply. Within the scientific community, there are indications that hydrogen (H2) as an energy vector, obtained from renewable energy sources, can represent a viable option to mitigate the problems associated with hydrocarbon combustion. In this context, the change from the current energy industry to a new structure with a significant involvement of H2 facilitates the introduction of fuel cells as elements of energy conversion. Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC) are gaining increased attention as viable energy conversion devices for a wide range of applications from automotive, stationary to portable. In order to optimize performance, these systems require active control and thus in-depth knowledge of the system dynamics which include fluid mechanics, thermal dynamics and reaction kinetics. One of the main issues, with respect to proper control of these systems, is the understanding of the water transport mechanisms through the membrane and the liquid water distribution. The thesis is based on the publication of nine international journal articles that are divided into 4 sub-topics: Dynamic fuel cell modeling, fuel cell system control-oriented analysis, identification of parameters and performance indicators and finally, fault and failure detection and system diagnosis. In the sub-topic of Dynamic Fuel cell modeling, experimentally validated Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling is used to relate the effects of the physical phenomena associated with fluid mechanics and thermal dynamics, that occur inside the fuel cell [Alonso, 2009][Strahl, 2011], to water distribution. However, since these CFD models cannot be directly used for control, control-oriented models [Kunusch, 2008][Kunusch, 2011] have been developed in parallel. As well, another study is done in [Serra, 2006] which includes a controllability analysis of the system for future development and application of efficient controllers. The results of the above mentioned studies are limited because either they do not incorporate an electrochemical model or the model is not experimentally validated. Moreover, these models do not take into account the voltage losses due to liquid water inside the fuel cell. Therefore, there is a need to properly relate the relevant effects of fluid mechanics and thermal dynamics, including liquid water, to the fuel cell voltage. Primarily, methodologies are needed to determine the relevant indicators associated to the effect of water on the fuel cell performance. The works published in [Husar, 2008] and [Husar, 2011] treats experimental parameter identification, mainly focused on water transport through the membrane and fuel cell voltage loss indicators respectively. The implementation of the indicators indirect measurement methodology provides an experimental way for the isolation of three main types of voltage losses in the fuel cell: activation, mass transport and ohmic losses. Additionally since these voltage loss indicators relate the fuel cell operating conditions to the fuel cell voltage, they can be utilized to calibrate and validate CFD models as well as employed in novel control strategies. On the other hand, to develop reliable systems, the controller should not only take into account performance variables during standard operation but should also be able to detect failures and take the appropriate actions. A preliminary study on failure indicators is presented in [Husar 2007] and fault detection methodologies are described in [de Lira 2011]. As a whole, the compilation of articles represented in this thesis applies a comprehensive experimental approach which describes the implementation of novel methodologies and experimental procedures to characterize and model the PEMFC and their associated systems taking into consideration control oriented goals.

    La societat s'està adonant que la indústria energètica actual, basada en l'ús de combustibles fòssils, és ineficient, molt contaminant i té un subministrament limitat. Dins de la comunitat científica, hi ha indicis que el hidrogen (H2) com vector energètic, obtingut a partir de fonts d'energia renovables, pot representar una opció viable per a mitigar els problemes associats amb la combustió d'hidrocarburs. En aquest context, el canvi de la indústria energètica actual a una nova estructura amb una important participació de el hidrogen exigeix la introducció de les piles de combustible com elements de conversió d'energia. Les piles de combustible de membrana polimèrica (PEMFC) estan tenint cada vegada més atenció com a dispositius viables de conversió d'energia per a una àmplia gamma d'aplicacions com automoció, estacionàries o portàtils. Amb la finalitat d'optimitzar el seu rendiment, les piles PEM requereixen un control actiu i per tant un coneixement profund de la dinàmica del sistema, que inclou la mecànica de fluids, la dinàmica tèrmica i la cinètica de les reaccions. Un dels temes principals relacionat amb el control adequat d'aquests sistemes és la comprensió dels mecanismes de transport d'aigua a través de la membrana i la distribució d'aigua líquida. Aquesta tesi es basa en nou articles publicats en revistes internacionals que es divideixen en 4 subtemes: la modelització dinàmica de piles de combustible, l'anàlisi orientada al control del sistema, la identificació de paràmetres i d’indicadors de funcionament i, finalment, la detecció de fallades i la diagnosi dels sistemes. En el sub-tema de la modelització dinàmica de piles PEM, la modelització basada en la Dinàmica de Fluids Computacional (CFD) amb validació experimental s'ha utilitzat per a relacionar els efectes dels fenòmens físics de la mecànica de fluids i de la dinàmica tèrmica que es produeixen dintre de la pila [Alonso, 2009] [ Strahl, 2011] amb la distribució d'aigua. No obstant això, com aquests models CFD no poden ser utilitzats directament per al control, s'han desenvolupat models orientats a control [Kunusch, 2008] [Kunusch, 2011] en paral·lel. A més, en un altre estudi [Serra, 2006] s'inclou una anàlisi de control·labilitat del sistema per al desenvolupament i aplicació futurs de controladors eficaços. Però els resultats dels estudis esmentats anteriorment són limitats, ja sigui perquè no incorporen un model electroquímic o bé perquè no han estat validats experimentalment. A més, cap dels models té en compte les pèrdues de tensió degudes a l'aigua líquida dins de la pila de combustible. Per tant, hi ha una necessitat de relacionar adequadament els efectes rellevants de la mecànica de fluids i de la dinàmica tèrmica, incloent l'aigua líquida, amb el voltatge de la pila de combustible. Principalment, són necessàries metodologies per a determinar els indicadors rellevants associats a aquest efecte de l'aigua sobre el rendiment de la pila de combustible. Els treballs publicats en [Husar, 2008] i [Husar, 2011] tracten la identificació experimental de paràmetres, centrada en el transport d'aigua a través de la membrana i els indicadors de pèrdua de tensió, respectivament. L'aplicació d'una proposta de metodologia de mesura indirecte dels indicadors permet l'aïllament dels tres tipus principals de pèrdues de voltatge en la pila de combustible: l'activació, el transport de massa i les pèrdues ohmiques. Aquests indicadors de pèrdua de tensió relacionen les condicions d'operació amb el voltatge de la pila de combustible i per tant poden ser utilitzats per a calibrar i validar models CFD, així com per a definir noves estratègies de control. D'altra banda, per a aconseguir sistemes fiables, el controlador no només ha de considerar els indicadors de funcionament de l'operació normal, sinó que també ha de detectar possibles fallades per a poder prendre les accions adequades en cas de fallada. Un estudi preliminar sobre indicadors de fallades es presenta en [Husar 2007] i una metodologia de detecció de fallades completa es descriu en [Lira de 2011]. En el seu conjunt, el compendi d'articles que formen aquesta tesi segueix un enfocament experimental i descriu la implementació de noves metodologies i procediments experimentals per a la caracterització i el modelatge de piles PEM i els sistemes associats amb objectius orientats al control eficient d'aquests sistemes.

    La sociedad se ésta dando cuenta de que la industria energética actual, basada en el uso de combustibles fósiles, es ineficiente, muy contaminante y tiene un suministro limitado. Dentro de la comunidad científica, hay indicios de que el hidrógeno (H2) como vector energético, obtenido a partir de fuentes de energía renovables, puede representar una opción viable para mitigar los problemas asociados con la combustión de hidrocarburos. En este contexto, el cambio de la industria energética actual a una nueva estructura con una importante participación de H2 exige la introducción de pilas de combustible como elementos de conversión de energía. Las pilas de combustible de membrana polimérica (PEMFC) están ganando cada vez más atención como dispositivos viables de conversión de energía para una amplia gama de aplicaciones como automoción, estacionarias o portátiles. Con el fin de optimizar su rendimiento, las pilas PEM requieren un control activo y por lo tanto un conocimiento profundo de la dinámica del sistema, que incluye la mecánica de fluidos, la dinámica térmica y la cinética de las reacciones. Uno de los temas principales relacionado con el control adecuado de estos sistemas, es la comprensión de los mecanismos de transporte de agua a través de la membrana y la distribución de agua líquida. Esta tesis se basa en la publicación de nueve artículos en revistas internacionales que se dividen en 4 sub-temas: el modelado dinámico de pilas de combustible, el análisis orientado a control del sistema, la identificación de parámetros e indicadores de desempeño y, por último, la detección de fallos y la diagnosis. En el sub-tema de la modelización dinámica de pilas PEM, el modelado basado en Dinámica de Fluidos Computacional (CFD) con validación experimental se ha utilizado para relacionar los efectos de los fenómenos físicos de la mecánica de fluidos y la dinámica térmica que se producen dentro de la pila [Alonso, 2009] [ Strahl, 2011] con la distribución de agua. Sin embargo, como estos modelos CFD no pueden ser utilizados directamente para el control, modelos orientados a control [Kunusch, 2008] [Kunusch, 2011] se han desarrollado en paralelo. Además, en otro estudio [Serra, 2006] se incluye un análisis de controlabilidad del sistema para el futuro desarrollo y aplicación de controladores eficaces. Pero los resultados de los estudios mencionados anteriormente son limitados, ya sea porque no incorporan un modelo electroquímico o bien porque no son validados experimentalmente. Además, ninguno de los modelos tiene en cuenta las pérdidas de tensión debidas al agua líquida dentro de la pila de combustible. Por lo tanto, hay una necesidad de relacionar adecuadamente los efectos relevantes de la mecánica de fluidos y la dinámica térmica, incluyendo el agua líquida, con la tensión de la pila de combustible. Principalmente, son necesarias metodologías para determinar los indicadores relevantes asociados al efecto del agua sobre el rendimiento de la pila de combustible. Los trabajos publicados en [Husar, 2008] y [Husar, 2011] tratan la identificación experimental de parámetros, centrada en el transporte de agua a través de la membrana y los indicadores de pérdida de tensió, respectivamente. La aplicación de una metodología propuesta de medición indirecta de los indicadores permite el aislamiento de los tres tipos principales de pérdidas de tensión en la pila de combustible: la activación, el transporte de masa y las pérdidas óhmicas. Éstos indicadores de pérdida de tensión relacionan las condiciones de operación con la tensión de la pila de combustible y por lo tanto pueden ser utilizados para calibrar y validar modelos CFD, así como para definir nuevas estrategias de control. Por otro lado, para conseguir sistemas fiables, el controlador no sólo debe considerar los indicadores de desempeño de la operación regular, sino que también debe detectar posibles fallos para poder tomar las acciones adecuadas en caso de fallo. Un estudio preliminar sobre indicadores de fallos se presenta en [Husar 2007] y una metodología de detección de fallos completa se describe en [Lira de 2011]. En su conjunto, el compendio de artículos que forman esta tesis sigue un enfoque experimental y describe la implementación de nuevas metodologías y procedimientos experimentales para la caracterización y el modelado de pilas PEM y los sistemas asociados con objetivos orientados al control eficiente de estos sistemas.

  • Experimental characterization and diagonosis tools for proton exchange membrane fuel cells  Open access

     Primucci, Mauricio Ariel
    Defense's date: 2012-09-10
    Institute of Industrial and Control Engineering (IOC), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
    Theses

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    A fuel cell is a device that gives electric power directly from electrochemical reduction and oxidation reactions. PEM fuel cells present some properties that make them appropriate for portable and transport applications: high efficiency, no emissions, solid electrolyte, low operating temperatures and high power density. However, some technical problems can be improved, durability of the materials and the appropriate control of the operating conditions. One important aspect of the operating conditions is the water management. The right water content is needed in the electrolyte and catalyst layers to maximize the efficiency of the PEMFC by minimizing the voltage losses. Water content in the fuel cell is given basically by the generation of the water in the cathode due to the reaction, the humidity of the inlet gases and the transport trough the membrane. This thesis studies, proposes and compares different experimental characterisation methods aimed to provide performance indicators of the PEMFC water state. A systematic use of Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy technique is presented and its results are studied in order to analyse the influence of different operating conditions over the PEMFC response. The variables under analysis include: load current, pressure temperature and gas relative humidity. All these variables are considered with inlet gases feeding: H2/O2 and H2/Air. A set of relevant characteristics from the EIS response has been considered. Several equivalent circuits has been analysed and those that have the best fitting with the experimental EIS data are selected. When air is used as oxidant, a simple equivalent circuit with a resistance and a Warburg element is proposed. When Oxygen is used as oxidant, a more complex equivalent circuit is needed. A detailed sensitive analysis is performed indicating those parameters that best capture the influence of the operating conditions. A new experimental characterisation technique, based on the inlet gases humidification interruption is proposed. This dynamic technique combines the information extracted from EIS and the temporal response in order to study the water transport and storage effects in the PEMFC. Two advantages of this proposed technique is the simple hardware configuration used and the relative low impact on the fuel cell response, making attractive the humidification interruption as an in-situ technique. Three different sets of performance indicators are proposed as diagnosis tool. Relevant Characteristics from the EIS response, if properly monitored, can give a diagnostic of the fuel cell internal state. After an analysis, the chosen ones are: low and high frequency resistances (RLF and RHF) and the frequency of the maximum phase. These RC are helpful to determine if the PEMFC with the current operating conditions is well humidified. If the zone defined by RLF decrease, RHF slight increase and the frequency of the maximum phase increase is minimal, the cathode is optimally humidified. Equivalent Circuit are used in order to give a physical interpretation. The selected parameters as performance indicators are: membrane resistance, Rm, time constant and resistance of diffusion process (using Warburg elements: Tw and Rw). In this case, the humidification of the fuel cell is optimum if the zone where Rw and Tw decrease and Rm has slow increase is minimal. Model Based performance indicators are proposed: Rm, effective diffusion coefficient, Deff and effective active area, Aeff. The optimal humidification occurs when the zone where Deff is stationary and Rm has not changed significantly, is minimal. The parameter Aeff involved in this last diagnosis procedure can be detached from the humidification interruption test and be used to estimate the effective active area and then is also helpful to compare the PEMFC performance in different operating conditions.

    Una pila de combustible es un dispositivo que da energía eléctrica a partir de reacciones electroquímicas de reducción y oxidación. Las pilas del tipo PEMFC presentan propiedades que las hacen adecuadas para aplicaciones de transporte: alta eficiencia, cero emisiones, electrolito sólido, bajas temperaturas de operación y alta densidad de potencia. Sin embargo, algunos problemas técnicos deben ser estudiados: la durabilidad de los materiales y la correcta selección de las condiciones de funcionamiento. Una de las más importantes es la gestión del agua. Un balance adecuado del agua en la pila es necesario para maximizar la eficiencia de la PEMFC reduciendo al mínimo las pérdidas de tensión. El contenido de agua en la PEMFC viene dado por su generación en el cátodo debido a la reacción, la humedad de los gases de entrada y el transporte de agua a través de la membrana. La tesis estudia, propone y compara los diferentes métodos de caracterización experimental con el objetivo de obtener indicadores del estado del agua en la PEMFC. Se realiza un uso sistemático de la técnica “espectroscopía de impedancia electroquímica (EIS)” y el análisis de la influencia de las diferentes condiciones de operación sobre la respuesta de la PEMFC. Las variables estudiadas son: corriente de carga, presión de los gases, temperatura, humedad relativa y también la alimentación de los gases de entrada: H2/O2 y H2/aire. Se presenta un conjunto de características relevantes de la respuesta del EIS y se usan para dar valores iniciales a los circuitos equivalentes. Se estudian diferentes configuraciones de circuitos equivalentes y se seleccionan aquellos que tienen la mejor conexión con los datos experimentales. Se realiza un análisis de sensibilidad de los parámetros de los circuitos equivalentes con respecto a las diferentes condiciones de operación, para encontrar aquellos que sean útiles para representar estas variaciones. Se propone una nueva técnica experimental de caracterización, basada en la interrupción de la humidificación de los gases de entrada. Esta técnica combina la información de la respuesta temporal con la frecuencial (EIS) y es útil para analizar la influencia del agua en la respuesta de la PEMFC. Algunas ventajas de esta técnica son: la fácil implementación física y el bajo impacto sobre la respuesta de la PEMFC, lo cual convierte esta técnica en candidata para ser utilizada “In-situ”. Se proponen tres conjuntos de indicadores de comportamiento de la pila como herramientas de diagnosis. En primer lugar, se presentan las “Características Relevantes” de la respuesta de la EIS que dan un diagnóstico del estado interno de la PEMFC. De entre ellas se selecciona como indicadas: las resistencias de baja y alta frecuencia (RLF y RHF) y la frecuencia del máximo de fase. Estas características sirven para determinar la correcta humidificación de la pila en las condiciones actuales de operación. El cátodo está correctamente humidificado si la respuesta de las características, muestran que la zona definida por RLF bajando, RHF subiendo ligeramente y la frecuencia de la máxima fase está subiendo, es mínima. En segundo lugar, se usan los “Circuitos Equivalentes” para dar una interpretación física a los indicadores. Los parámetros seleccionados son: la resistencia de la membrana, Rm, la resistencia y la constante de tiempo de la difusión (Rw y Tw). En este caso, la humidificación correcta del cátodo ocurre cuando la zona donde Rw y Tw bajan y Rm sube ligeramente, es mínima. Por ultimo, se proponen indicadores de comportamiento utilizando un modelo: Rm, coeficiente de difusión efectivo, Deff y el área activa efectiva, Aeff. La humidificación óptima del cátodo ocurre cuando la zona donde Deff es estable y Rm no cambia significativamente, es mínima. El parámetro Aeff es útil para estimar el área activa efectiva aun cuando no se realice una interrupción de humidificación y para comparar la respuesta de la PEMFC bajo diferentes condiciones de operacion

  • Desarrollo de sistemas de control para la mejora de la eficiencia y la vida útil en sistemas basados en pilas de combustible PEM

     Sarmiento Carnevali, Maria Laura; Kunusch, Cristian; Husar, Attila Peter; Riera Colomer, Jordi; Batlle Arnau, Carles; Strahl, Stephan; Massana Hugas, Immaculada; Simo Mezquita, Ester; Creemers, Tom Lambert; Serra Prat, Maria
    Participation in a competitive project

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  • Experimental characterization and identification of the voltage losses in an open cathode PEM fuel cell stack

     Husar, Attila Peter; Strahl, Stephan; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    Iberian Syposium on Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Advanced Batteries
    Presentation's date: 2011
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Design of linear controllers applied to an ethanol steam reformer for PEM fuel cell applications

     Garcia, Vanesa Mariel; Serra Prat, Maria; Llorca, J.; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    HYdrogen ¿ POwer THeoretical and Engineering Solutions International Symposium
    Presentation's date: 2011
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    This paper focuses on the design of a controller for a low temperature ethanol steam reformer for the production of hydrogen to feed a Protonic Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell. It describes different control structures for the reformer and treats the control structure selection of this Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) system. For each control structure, decentralised 2x2 controllers are implemented and a Proportional Integral (PI) control action is implemented in each control loop. The PI parameters are tuned and the performance of the different linear controllers is compared though simulation. For the evaluation of the proposed controllers, the response time for different initial conditions and changes in the references is analysed, as well as the behaviour of the controlled system in front of disturbances.

  • Model Based Fault Detection and Isolation for a PEM Fuel CELL SYSTEM

     de Lira Ramírez, Salvador
    Defense's date: 2011-10-31
    Institute of Industrial and Control Engineering (IOC), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
    Theses

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  • Diseño e implementación de sistemas de control para pilas de combustible pem y su integración en sistemas distribuidos de generación

     Garcia, Vanesa Mariel; Riera Colomer, Jordi; Sarmiento Carnevali, Maria Laura; Kunusch, Cristian; Montoto Gayete, Amadeo; Creemers, Tom Lambert; Husar, Attila Peter; Serra Prat, Maria
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  • Adaptive predictive robust control for fuel cells hybrid vehicles

     Degliuomini, Lucas Nieto; Zumoffen, David; Basualdo, Marta; Feroldi, Diego Hernan; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    IEEE Vehicle Power and Propulsion Conference
    Presentation's date: 2010
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Dynamic modeling and controllability analysis of an ethanol reformer for fuel cell application

     Garcia, Vanesa Mariel; Lopez Null, Eduardo; Serra Prat, Maria; Llorca Pique, Jordi; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    International journal of hydrogen energy
    Date of publication: 2010-09
    Journal article

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  • Aplicació de piles de combustible a la propulsió d'escúters

     Hernandez Vallverdu, Jesus
    Defense's date: 2010-11-04
    Department of Electrical Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
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  • Control and design of PEM fuel cell-based systems: advantages of fuel cell hybrid systems with supercapacitors

     Feroldi, Diego Hernan; Riera Colomer, Jordi; Serra Prat, Maria
    Date of publication: 2010
    Book

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  • Model-based fault diagnosis in PEM fuel cell systems

     Escobet Canal, Teresa; Feroldi, Diego Hernan; de Lira Ramírez, Salvador; Puig Cayuela, Vicenç; Quevedo Casin, Joseba-jokin; Riera Colomer, Jordi; Serra Prat, Maria
    Journal of power sources
    Date of publication: 2009-01
    Journal article

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  • Energy management strategies based on efficiency map for fuel cell hybrid vehicles

     Feroldi, Diego Hernan; Serra Prat, Maria; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    Journal of power sources
    Date of publication: 2009-05
    Journal article

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  • Control and design of pem fuel cell-based systems.

     Feroldi, Diego Hernan
    Defense's date: 2009-05-19
    Institute of Industrial and Control Engineering (IOC), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
    Theses

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  • Design and Control of an Electric Energy Conditioning System for a PEM Type Fuel Cell  Open access

     Malo Barragan, Shane Leonardo
    Defense's date: 2009-12-02
    Institute of Industrial and Control Engineering (IOC), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
    Theses

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    Isolated electric energy generation systems are often needed to supply electric loads where the electrical network is not available. This could be caused due to geographic isolation, the necessity of load mobility, demanded values of voltage and current that are not compatible with the local networks, etc. This makes the design and construction of stand-alone energy generation systems a must.Modern designs are being pushed towards cleaner technologies. The experience has shown that the usual methods employed to produce electrical energy are not sustainable, especially because of environmental concerns. Usual stand-alone energy generation systems employ batteries and fuel engines. Batteries offer a cheap mean to feed the generation system but need rigorous maintenance routines, the substances used in their construction are strong pollutants, offer relatively low durability and the ratio charge time/discharge time is too high. Fuel engines extract their energy from petroleum based fuels, and as its well known, pollute their surrounding environment in several ways producing smoke, noise and heat.Polymer electrolyte membrane type fuel cells are among the new technologies that are being considered as a good alternative to the traditional power sources used for stand-alone energy generation systems.AIthough the basic principles of operation of the fuel cells are known since 1839, this is a technology that is far from being mature. More work needs to be done in order to make of the fuel cells systems with, high reliability, with maximum efficiency, and capable of providing electrical energy with quality comparable to the quality achieved using usual methods.The problems when working with fuel cells can be split in two big groups of interest, the first, being the handling and control of the electrochemical variables, and the second, the handling and control of the electrical variables taking care of the limits imposed by the dynamics of the fuel cell unit. This work deals with the second group of concerns, looking at the fuel cell as a black-box dc power supply with certain current/voltage characteristics. The energy provided by the fuel cells needs to be conditioned to the levels and characteristics required by the loads to be fed. In Europe, for single-phase ac loads, the specifications are a sinusoidal output voltage with 230 V ac rms and a frequency of 50 Hz. This work presents the the analysis, design, construction, and control of the electric energy conditioning system for a polymer eIectrolyte membrane type fuel cell to act as an stand-alone dc-ac inverter to feed linear or nonlinear loads with big variations.

    Los sistemas de generación de energía eléctrica "en isla" son necesarios en muchas ocasiones para alimentar cargas donde la red eléctrica no está disponible. Esto puede deberse a diversos factores como: aislamiento geográfico, necesidad de movilidad de la carga, requerimientos de corriente y voltaje que no son compatibles con las redes locales, etc. Todas estas razones hacen del diseño y construcción de sistemas autónomos de generación de energía una necesidad.En la actualidad, los diseños de este tipo de dispositivos están tendiendo hacia tecnologías más limpias.La experiencia ha enseñado que los métodos habituales para producir energía eléctrica no son los más apropiados, especialmente por motivos medioambientales. Los sistemas autónomos de generación de energía eléctrica típicos utilizan baterías y máquinas de combustión. Las baterías ofrecen una fuente barata para alimentar el sistema de generación de energía eléctrica, pero necesitan de rigurosas rutinas de mantenimiento, algunas de las sustancias utilizadas en su construcción son altamente contaminantes, ofrecen una relativamente baja durabilidad y la razón tiempo de carga/tiempo de descarga es grande.Por otro lado, las máquinas de combustión extraen la energía de combustibles a base de petróleo, como es bien conocido, contaminan el entorno produciendo humo, ruido y calor.Las pilas de combustible de membrana de electrolito polimérico están entre las nuevas tecnologías que se consideran como una buena alternativa a las fuentes que se utilizan usualmente para alimenta sistemas autónomos de generación de energía. Aunque los principios básicos de operación de las pilas de combustible son conocidos desde 1839, esta es una tecnología que está aún lejos de pode considerarse madura. Aún es necesario realizar más esfuerzos con el objetivo de hacer de las pilas de combustible fuentes de energía de alta confiabilidad, de máxima eficiencia y capaces de proveer energía con niveles de calidad comparables a los alcanzados al utilizar los métodos tradicionales.La problemática que se presenta al trabajar con pilas de combustible puede ser dividida en dos grandes grupos de interés, el primero, sería el control de las variables electroquímicas, y el segundo, el manejo control de las variables eléctricas tomando en cuenta los límites impuestos por la dinámica de la pila de combustible. Éste trabajo trata con el segundo, viendo la pila de combustible como una "caja negra" que constituye una fuente de potencia de corriente continua con ciertas características particulares de voltaje/corriente. La energía provista por la pila de combustible debe ser acondicionada a los niveles características requeridas por las cargas a ser alimentadas. En Europa, para sistemas de monofásico de corriente alterna, las especificaciones son un voltaje sinusoidal con 230 V efectivos y una frecuencia de 50 Hz. Éste trabajo presenta el análisis, diseño, construcción y control del sistema de acondicionamiento de energía eléctrica para una pila de combustible de membrana de electrolito polimérico, que actúa como un sistema autónomo de inversión de corriente continua-corriente alterna para alimentar cargas lineales o no lineales que pueden experimentar grandes variaciones.

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    Numerical Model for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells with Experimental Application and Validation  Open access

     Alonso Mora, Javier; Husar, Attila Peter; Serra Prat, Maria; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    Asia-pacific journal of chemical engineering
    Date of publication: 2009
    Journal article

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    The aim of this paper is to present a simple 3D computational model of a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) that simulates over time the heat distribution, energy and mass balance of the reactant gas flows in the fuel cell including pressure drop, humidity and liquid water. Although this theoretical model can be adapted to any type of PEMFC, for verification of the model and to present different analysis, it has been adapted to a single cell test fixture. The model parameters were adjusted through a series of experimental tests and the model was experimentally validated for a well defined range of operating conditions: H2/Air as reactants, flow rates of 0.5-1.5 SLPM, dew points and cell temperatures of 30-80ºC, currents 0-5 A and with/without water condensation. The model is especially suited for the analysis of liquid water condensation in the reactant channels. A key finding is that the critical current at which liquid water is formed is determined at different flows, temperatures and humidity.

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    Sliding Mode Strategy for PEM Fuel Cells Stacks Breathing Control Using a Super-Twisting Algorithm  Open access

     Puleston, Paul; Kunusch, Cristian; Mayosky, M A; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    IEEE transactions on control systems technology
    Date of publication: 2009-01
    Journal article

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    A second-order sliding mode strategy to control the breathing subsystem of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell stack for transportation applications is presented. The controller is developed from a design model of the plant derived from open literature, and well suited for the design of second-order sliding mode strategies. Stability issues are solved using a super twisting algorithm. The resulting approach exhibits good dynamic characteristics, being robust to uncertainties and disturbances. Simulations results are provided, showing the feasibility of the approach.

  • ACES CONTROL AVANÇAT DE SISTEMES D'ENERGIA

     Serra Prat, Maria; Riera Colomer, Jordi; Batlle Arnau, Carles; Olm Miras, Josep Maria; Biel Sole, Domingo; Griño Cubero, Roberto; Doria Cerezo, Arnau; Costa Castelló, Ramon; Sarmiento Carnevali, Maria Laura; Franch Bullich, Jaime; Fossas Colet, Enric
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    Dynamic water management test station for open-cathode PEMFC systems  Open access

     Husar, Attila Peter; Allué Fantova, Miguel; Cañada Gracia, Marta; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    Iberian Syposium on Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Advanced Batteries
    Presentation's date: 2009-03-01
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Design and analysis of fuel-cell hybrid systems oriented to automotive applications  Open access

     Feroldi, Diego Hernan; Serra Prat, Maria; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    IEEE transactions on vehicular technology
    Date of publication: 2009-11
    Journal article

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    Hybridization with high specific energy-storage devices such as supercapacitors (SCs) has important advantages in fuel-cell (FC)-based systems. This paper presents an approach for the design and analysis of FC hybrid systems (FCHSs) oriented to automotive applications. The FCHS is considered to be the most attractive long-term option for propulsion of passenger cars. The design stage includes the determination of the electrical topology and the determination of the hybridization degree (HD) according to drivability conditions. With the selected design, the optimal hydrogen consumption for different driving cycles and the energy flows in the hybrid vehicle are analyzed. The entire study is performed with a detailedmodel of the FCHS in the Advanced Vehicle Simulator (ADVISOR): the determination of the HD according to drivability requirements, the analysis of the energy flows, and the computation of the optimal hydrogen consumption. The results show that hybridization allows a significant improvement in the hydrogen economy through the recovered energy from breaking. At the same time, the results suggest a conflict between a design according to drivability conditions and a design for the highest efficiency. The conclusion is that hybridization with SCs in FC-based vehicles is a meaningful procedure that enhances performance.

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    Energy management strategies for fuel cell-hybrid vehicles  Open access

     Feroldi, Diego Hernan; Roig Remon, Enric; Serra Prat, Maria; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    Simposium Ibérico de Hidrógeno, Pilas de Combustible y Baterías Avanzadas
    Presentation's date: 2008
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    This paper presents an analysis and a comparative study between three new proposed Energy Management Strategies oriented to Fuel Cell-Hybrid Vehicles (FCHVs). The vehicle in study is powered by a fuel cell and a supercapacitor bank that can be charged both from the fuel cell and from the load trough regenerative braking. The proposed strategies were tested using a FCHV model elaborated employing ADVISOR toolbox in Matlab. A comparative of the hydrogen consumptions is performed with respect to the optimal case, which is estimated assuming that the entire future driving load demand is known. The results indicate that it is possible to achieve a performance close to the optimal case without knowing the driving cycle a priori. In addition to the hydrogen economy improvement, the strategies allow reducing the fuel cell stack dimension with the consequent reduction in the production costs.

  • Test de interrupción de la humidificación para la diagnosis en pilas PEM

     Primucci, Mauricio Ariel; Serra Prat, Maria; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    Congreso Nacional de Pilas de Combustible
    Presentation's date: 2008
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Uno de los principales temas de investigación relacionados con las pilas de combustible del tipo de membrana de electrolito polimérico es su fiabilidad. Además de los aspectos de seguridad, es básico hacer una diagnosis del estado interno de la pila para corregir y optimizar su funcionamiento. El estado interno de la pila de combustible cambia con las condiciones de operación, dadas por: las temperaturas, la presión, la humidificación de los gases, la concentración de reactantes y la corriente. En este trabajo se presenta la combinación de una técnica de caracterización experimental, la espectroscopía de impedancia electroquímica, y la interrupción de la humidificación de los gases reactantes para determinar el estado interno de la pila. La realización de varias espectroscopias mientras se desarrolla el transitorio de interrupción de la humidificación permite obtener la evolución de ciertas características relevantes que pueden ser utilizadas en el diagnóstico del estado de la pila.

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    Characterisation of fuel cell state using Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy analysis  Open access

     Primucci, Mauricio Ariel; Ferrer Bonada, Lluís; Serra Prat, Maria; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    Simposium Ibérico de Hidrógeno, Pilas de Combustible y Baterías Avanzadas
    Presentation's date: 2008
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Performance improvement of a PEMFC system controlling the cathode outlet air flow

     Feroldi, D; Serra Prat, Maria; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    Journal of power sources
    Date of publication: 2007-06
    Journal article

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    Performance improvement of a PEMFC system controlling the cathode outlet air flow  Open access

     Feroldi, Diego Hernan; Serra Prat, Maria; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    Journal of power sources
    Date of publication: 2007-01
    Journal article

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    This paper presents a stationary and dynamic study of the advantages of using a regulating valve for the cathode outlet flow in combination with the compressor motor voltage as manipulated variables in a fuel cell system. At a given load current, the cathode input and output flowrate determine the cathode pressure and stoichiometry, and consequently determine the oxygen partial pressure, the generated voltage and the compressor power consumption. In order to maintain a high efficiency during operation, the cathode output regulating valve has to be adjusted to the operating conditions, specially marked by the current drawn from the stack. Besides, the appropriate valve manipulation produces an improvement in the transient response of the system. The influence of this input variable is exploited by implementing a predictive control strategy based on dynamic matrix control (DMC), using the compressor voltage and the cathode output regulating valve as manipulated variables. The objectives of this control strategy are to regulate both the fuel cell voltage and oxygen excess ratio in the cathode, and thus, to improve the system performance. All the simulation results have been obtained using the MATLAB-Simulink environment.

  • Avances en el modelado y diseño de controladores para sistemas basados en pilas de combustible PEM

     Serra Prat, Maria; Riera Colomer, Jordi
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  • Performance of Diagonal Control Structures at Diferent Operating Conditions for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

     Serra Prat, Maria; Husar, Attila Peter; Feroldi, Diego; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    Journal of power sources
    Date of publication: 2006-01
    Journal article

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  • Control de la respuesta dinámica de la tensión generada y del suministro de energía en sistemas basados en pilas de combustible PEM

     Riera Colomer, Jordi; Serra Prat, Maria
    II Congreso Nacional de Pilas de Combustible
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  • Control de sistemas basados en pilas de combustible tipo PEM

     Feroldi, Diego Hernan; Riera Colomer, Jordi; Serra Prat, Maria
    Jornades UPC de Investigación en Automática, Visión y Robótica
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  • Control multivariable de una pila de combustible tipo PEM mediante control predictivo de matriz dinámica

     Serra Prat, Maria; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    II Jornadas Iberoamericanas de Pilas de Combustible e Hidrógeno
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  • Controladors per a sistemes autònoms de subministrament d'energia elèctrica basats en piles de combustible tipus PEM

     Riera Colomer, Jordi; Griño Cubero, Roberto; Serra Prat, Maria; Malo Barragan, Shane Leonardo
    Jornades UPC de Investigación en Automática, Visión y Robótica
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  • Tópicos de control automático para sistemas de celdas de combustible

     Serra Prat, Maria; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    II Jornadas Iberoamericanas de Pilas de Combustible e Hidrógeno
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  • Controllability analysis of decentralised linear controllers for polymeric fuel cells

     Serra Prat, Maria; Aguado, Joaquín; Ansede, Xavier; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    Journal of power sources
    Date of publication: 2005-10
    Journal article

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  • Integrated Vehicle Health Management. Final Report

     Ingimundarson, Ari; Escobet Canal, Teresa; Puig Cayuela, Vicenç; Quevedo Casin, Joseba-jokin; Angulo Bahón, Cecilio; Riera Colomer, Jordi; Serra Prat, Maria
    Date: 2005-02
    Report

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  • Technical Report 1.2

     Serra Prat, Maria; Riera Colomer, Jordi; Husar, Attila Peter; Miguel, Allué
    Date: 2005-09
    Report

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  • Technical report 1.1

     Serra Prat, Maria; Riera Colomer, Jordi; Husar, Attila Peter; Miguel, Allué
    Date: 2005-07
    Report

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  • Técnicas de Identificación de parámetros para modelos de PEMFC

     Serra Prat, Maria; Riera Colomer, Jordi
    Workshop Red de pilas de combustible y baterías avanzadas CSIC- Universidad
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Diseño de controladores para el proceso electroquímico en pilas de combustible de tipo PEM

     Riera Colomer, Jordi; Serra Prat, Maria
    Participation in a competitive project

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