Date of Graduation
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
This work presents a systematic approach to the multivariable robust control of a hybrid fuel cell gas turbine plant. The hybrid configuration under investigation built by the National Energy Technology Laboratory comprises a physical simulation of a 300kW fuel cell coupled to a 120kW auxiliary power unit single spool gas turbine. The public facility provides for the testing and simulation of different fuel cell models that in turn help identify the key difficulties encountered in the transient operation of such systems. An empirical model of the built facility comprising a simulated fuel cell cathode volume and balance of plant components is derived via frequency response data. Through the modulation of various airflow bypass valves within the hybrid configuration, Bode plots are used to derive key input/output interactions in transfer function format. A multivariate system is then built from individual transfer functions, creating a matrix that serves as the nominal plant in an Hinfinity robust control algorithm. The controller's main objective is to track and maintain hybrid operational constraints in the fuel cell's cathode airflow, and the turbo machinery states of temperature and speed, under transient disturbances. This algorithm is then tested on a Simulink/MatLab platform for various perturbations of load and fuel cell heat effluence.;As a complementary tool to the aforementioned empirical plant, a nonlinear analytical model faithful to the existing process and instrumentation arrangement is evaluated and designed in the Simulink environment. This parallel task intends to serve as a building block to scalable hybrid configurations that might require a more detailed nonlinear representation for a wide variety of controller schemes and hardware implementations.
Tsai, Alex, "Multivariable robust control of a simulated hybrid solid oxide fuel cell gas turbine plant" (2007). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 2800.