A maximum-power-point-tracking method based on real-time resistance matching for fuel cells energy system

Guorong Zhu, Ka Hong Loo, Y. M. Lai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The need to fully utilize fuel cells by operating them at the maximum power point (MPP) is motivated by their extremely high cost per unit power and limited lifetimes. According to the unique output characteristics of fuel cells, a specialized algorithm based on resistance matching was developed in this work, which is capable of tracking the MPPs of fuel cells when they exist in both the ohmic and concentration polarization regions. Under changing operation condition, a fixed step size was used to perturb the system in the direction of the new MPP, and a variable tracking step size was subsequently used to provide fast tracking of the new MPP. For validation, the proposed algorithm was implemented in a hybrid energy system that used super-capacitors for power balancing and load voltage regulation while the fuel cells constantly operated at the MPP. It was shown that the proposed algorithm is able to quickly and closely track the MPP when the fuel cells' operating condition, such as fuels' flow rate and environmental conditions, changes dynamically. The proposal algorithm had been verified by experiment results. Soc. for Elec. Eng.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-52
Number of pages9
JournalZhongguo Dianji Gongcheng Xuebao/Proceedings of the Chinese Society of Electrical Engineering
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2011


  • Fuel cell
  • Hybrid energy system
  • Maximum power point tracking (MPPT)
  • Resistance matching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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