Advanced Control Modules for Hybrid Fuel Cell/Gas Turbine Power Plants

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-02ER86140
Agency Tracking Number: 70558B02-I
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2002
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Fuelcell Energy, Inc.
3 Great Pasture Road, Danbury, CT, 06813
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Michael Lukas
 (203) 825-6039
Business Contact
 Ross Levine
Phone: (203) 825-6057
Research Institution
 National Fuel Cell Research Center, Univ. of CA
 Maley Susan
 221 Combustion Laboratory
Irvine, CA, 92697
 Nonprofit college or university
70558 The control and dynamic operation of Fuel Cell/Turbine Hybrid power plants will require a synergy of operation between subsystems, increased reliability of operation, and reduction in maintenance and downtime. Futhermore, the control strategy of the power plant will play a significant role in system stability and in ensuring the protection of equipment to promote maximum life. This project will optimize operation by combining an innovative control algorithm for robust control with a supervisory prediction and utilization model of future load characteristics. The supervisory control system will include learning intelligence to adjust for changing plant conditions and qualitative diagnostic capabilities to guide decision-making for maintaining optimal efficiency at all conditions. In Phase I, a two-level approach will provide integrated, robust system control at the bottom level and a supervisor at the top level to coordinate the low-level controllers. The supervisor will be implemented as a neural network, trained to provide optimal setpoints and to feed foward signals to the controllers, using information about future load profiles, to determine the best current policy. Dynamic modeling will be used to create a simulation testbed for testing the algorithms. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The technology should generate software packages that are particular to the characteristics of Vision 21 Hybrid Fuel Cell/Gas Turbine power plants, drawing interest from both utilities, and independent power producers.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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