DC/DC Converter for fuel-cell system

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Federico.Zenith, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. Federico.Zenith

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 28, 2009
    Hi all,
    I work in a research group focusing on portable power systems. We work mostly with direct methanol fuel cells, and at some point we will need to plug our fuel cell to a load. The load could for example be a laptop computer.

    One issue is that the fuel cell cannot be allowed to change its power output too rapidly, to avoid deteriorating its lifetime. So, a battery will act as a buffer.

    Our idea is to have a DC bus (say 12 V), to which a battery is connected with its own DC/DC converter. This converter's task would then be to maintain 12 V in the bus, despite disturbances from the load. Simple enough, there are lots of output-voltage-controlled converters.

    The problem is how to connect the fuel cell to the bus. I need to be able to change the power output from the cell, which means I cannot use a standard output-voltage-controlled converter; I suppose output-current control would do better, since the output voltage is set by the battery's converter.
    Our power range is up to 50 W, input voltage (the fuel cell's) is variable, say ~6 V.

    Do you know a company selling output-current-controlled converters that would be appropriate for this task?