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STTR Phase I: Advanced Fuel Cell Energy-Management Electronics and Control for Microgrid

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0539893
Agency Tracking Number: 0539893
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: EL
Solicitation Number: NSF 05-557
Solicitation Year: 2005
Award Year: 2006
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
2425 South 900 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84119
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Joseph Hartivigsen
 (801) 978-2112
Business Contact
 Rod Kadota
Phone: (801) 978-2112
Research Institution
 Univ of IL Chicago
 Sudip K Mazumder
809 Marshfield
Chicago, IL 60612
United States

 (312) 355-1315
 Nonprofit college or university

This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) PhaseI project will design, fabricate, and validate a novel low cost (under $40/kW), robust and high-power-density 3 kW fuel cell (FC) power-conditioning system (PCS) suitable for lower voltage FC stacks, comprising a high-frequency inverter (HFI) followed by a forced cyclo-converter, which yields the following features: (1) 300 kHz switching frequency and direct power conversion (eliminating intermediate bulk capacitors) leading to 5X (> 15 W/in3) increase in power density as compared to state-of-the-art power technology; (2) line-frequency (60 Hz) switching of the cyclo-converter, thereby practically eliminating switching losses and leading to higher reliability of PCS and efficiency; (3) at least 90% energy efficiency at full load and a high efficiency across the load spectrum; (4) galvanic isolation is achieved between the FC and the load using only a small HF transformer; (5) a novel battery power-management control system, which ensures (6) that under transient load conditions the FC is protected by fast energy buffering; and, (7) eliminates 120 Hz inverter current ripple under steady-state condition without bulky filter, thereby significantly enhancing the life and efficiency of the FC. Two key application areas of FC energy systems are in residential and commercial power systems, where the projected worldwide market is $50 billion by 2015. The application is targeted at this large stationary power system market segments comprising residential and commercial applications. As such, the proposed PES is of prime interest to number of companies.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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