MATLAB and Simulink for Fuel Cells and Electrolyzers

Develop architectures and controls for hydrogen fuel cells and electrolyzers

fuel cells and electrolyzers

Efficient development of fuel cell and electrolyzer applications requires simulation models of adequate fidelity. These models enable you to perform design space exploration, analyze design tradeoffs, and help inform control systems development.

With MATLAB®, Simulink®, and Simscape Electrical™, you can:

  • Model fuel cells and hydrogen electrolyzers
  • Develop fuel cell system architectures
  • Implement control systems
  • Integrate fuel cells and electrolyzers into larger electrical systems
Hydrogen fuel cell designed by Nuvera

Fuel Cell and Electrolyzer Modeling

Simulink and Simscape™ enable you to model and simulate fuel cells and electrolyzer systems using a physics-based approach with ready-made library components or a data-driven approach with modeling tools. You can:

  • Explore different configurations for fuel cell stacks and electrolyzers
  • Model multidomain physics effects and balance-of-plant components for regulating hydrogen gas and air flow, water transport, and heat generation
  • Assess electrothermal behaviors to support electrical system and thermal management system design
PEM fuel cell illustration of the flow of oxygen and hydrogen and the chemical reaction to produce an electric current and water.

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Implement Fuel Cell and Electrolyzer Controls

Control systems play a significant role in ensuring the safe, durable, and efficient operations of fuel cell and electrolyzer systems. With Simulink and Simscape, you can rapidly prototype control design and generate code for hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing and deployment.

  • Design electro-thermal control algorithms for current and voltage regulation, humidity regulation, pressure management, water management, and thermal management
  • Generate readable, optimized C/C++ or HDL control code for fuel cell models
  • Generate code for the plant model
  • Perform real-time hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing to avoid costly damages to the fuel cell hardware prototype
  • Deploy control code to embedded processors or FPGA/SOC devices

“Fuel cell systems need to be reliable and efficient. We accomplish this by using MathWorks tools to rapidly develop and simulate our control algorithms before trying them on a system. We don't have time to investigate our algorithms with C or C++. Fortunately, MATLAB lets us test our ideas with just a few lines of code. It saves a lot of time and moves us toward our goal of creating a commercially viable onsite energy system."

Rebecca Dinan, Plug Power

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Integrate Fuel Cells and Electrolyzers into Electrical Systems and Electric Vehicles

Use MATLAB and Simulink to integrate fuel cells as the power source for a fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) or integrate electrolyzers into a green hydrogen production system.

  • Model different electrical loads driven by the fuel cell and different energy sources driving the electrolyzer
  • Test the dynamic response of fuel cells or the electrolyzer against the larger electrical system
  • Perform system integration studies to inform component selection, design control and diagnostic algorithms, and optimize configurations of the fuel cells or electrolyzers
A high-level structural representation of a virtual fuel cell electric vehicle

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