Different energy sources and converters need to be integrated with each other for extended usage of alternative energy, in order to meet sustained load demands during various weather conditions. The objective of this paper is to associate photovoltaic generators, fuel cells, and electrolysers. Here, to sustain the power demand and solve the energy storage problem, electrical energy can be stored in the form of hydrogen. By using an electrolyser, hydrogen can be generated and stored for future use. The hydrogen produced by the electrolyser using PV power is used in the FC system and acts as an energy buffer. Thus, the effects of reduction and even the absence of the available power from the PV system can be easily tackled. Modeling and simulations are performed using MATLAB/Simulink and SimPowerSystems packages and results are presented to verify the effectiveness of the proposed system.
At present, most of energy demand in the world relies on fossil fuels such as petroleum, coal, and natural gas that are being exhausted very fast. One of the major severe problems of global warming is one of these fuels combustion products, carbon dioxide; these are resulting in great danger for life on our planet [
Fossil fuels can have as an alternative some renewable energy sources like solar, wind, biomass, and so; among them on the photovoltaic (PV) generator which converts the solar radiation into electricity, largely used in low power applications. The photovoltaic generator is chosen for its positive points including being carbon free and inexhaustible; moreover, it does not cause noise for it is without moving parts and with sizeindependent electric conversion efficiency [
Nevertheless, the power generated by a PV system is influenced by weather conditions; for example, at night or in cloudy periods, it would not generate any power or application. In addition, it is difficult to store the power generated by a PV system for future use. The best method to overcome this problem is to integrate the PV generator with other power sources such as an electrolyser, hydrogen storage tank, FC system, or battery due to their good features such as high efficiency response, modular production, and fuel flexibility [
This paper focuses on developing a simulation model to design and size the hybrid system for a variety of loading and meteorological conditions. This simulation model is performed using Matlab and SimPowerSystems and results are presented to verify the effectiveness of the proposed system.
PV arrays are built up with combined series/parallel combinations of PV solar cells, which allow extracting the characteristic parameters of the onediode equivalent model for a single solar cell.
The PV cell output voltage is a function of the photocurrent that is mainly determined by load current depending on the solar irradiation level during the operation [
The PEMFC is an electrochemical device which allows the electric energy conversion of the chemical energy contained in a reaction between a fuel, the hydrogen, and an oxidizer, the oxygen. The temperature effects have been taken into account in the typical range of low temperature PEM (60–100°C) and a thermal behaviour submodel has been introduced.
A bias voltage is applied across the electrochemical cell in order to induce electrochemical reactions at both electrodes. Water is introduced at the anode and dissociated into oxygen, protons, and electrons. The protons are driven by an electric field through the PEM to the cathode where they combine with the electrons arriving from the external circuit to form hydrogen gas. The assessment of these two half reactions produces water, heat, and electricity as Figure
Crosssectional view of a PEMFC.
Many models have been proposed to simulate the fuel cell in the literature [
Dynamic model of the FC system.
The proportional relationship of the molar flow of gas through a valve with its partial pressure can be expressed as
For hydrogen molar flow, the derivative of the partial pressure can be calculated using the perfect gas equation as follows [
The FC system consumes hydrogen obtained from the onboard highpressure hydrogen tanks according to the power demand. A feedback control strategy is used to control hydrogen flow rate according to the output power of the FC system. This feedback control is achieved where FC current how the output is taken back into the input while converting the hydrogen into molar form [
The quality of hydrogen found from the hydrogen tank is given by:
Electrolysis of water is the dissociation of water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen gas. The electrochemical reaction of water electrolysis is given by
The rate of hydrogen reacting is directly proportional to the electrical current in the equivalent electrolysis circuit [
The relation between the real hydrogen flow rate and the theoretical one is defined as the Faraday’s efficiency. In general, it is assumed to be more than 99%. The Faraday efficiency is expressed by [
Figure
The Simulink diagram of the electrolyser model.
The amount of hydrogen required by the PEMFC is sent directly from the electrolyzer system based on the relationship between the output power and the hydrogen requirement of the PEMFC system. The remaining amount of hydrogen is sent to the storage tank [
In this study, the dynamic of the storage is obtained as follows [
Neither the compression dynamics nor the compression energy requirements are accounted for in our calculations. All auxiliary power requirements such as pumps, valves were ignored in the dynamic model. The Simulink version of the hydrogen storage model is depicted in Figure
The Simulink model of the hydrogen storage system.
The simulation of power electronic systems behavior using semiconductor refined models gives an accurate, but unaffordable results. The structure of the switch cell is given in Figure
(a) The PWM switch, (b) the equivalent circuit of the PWM switch averaged model.
Each cell consists of one controlled switch and one diode. The two active switches are directly controlled by external control signals. The diodes are indirectly controlled by the state of the controlled switches and the circuit conditions. The load is presented by an inductor
The proposed averaged model of the PWMswitch is presented in Figure
In Figure
In this paper we have chosen MOSFET’s devices for the controlled switch and the PIN devices for diodes. We notice that the load current
The averaged values of the voltage across the device of the voltage source
As shown in Figure
PV system model parameters.
PV system model parameters  Value 

The number of parallel cells per strings ( 
36 
The number of series cells per strings ( 
1 
The number of parallel modules  6 
Ideality or completion factor ( 
1.9 
Boltzmann’s constant ( 

PV cell temperature ( 
298 [°K] 
Electron charge ( 

Shortcircuit cell current (representing insolation level) ( 
2.926 
PV cell reverse saturation current ( 
0.00005 
Series resistance of PV cell ( 
0.0277 
FC system model parameters.
FC system model parameters  Value 

Activation voltage constant ( 
0.04777 [A^{−1}] 
Activation voltage constant ( 
0.0136 
Conversion factor (CV)  2 
Faraday’s constant ( 
96484600 [C/kmol] 
Hydrogen time constant ( 
3.37 [s] 
Hydrogen valve constant ( 
4.22 * 10^{−5} [kmol/(atms)] 
Hydrogenoxygen flow ratio ( 
1.168 

2.2802 * 10^{−7} [kmol/(atms)] 
Number of cells ( 
88 
Number of stacks ( 
1 
Oxygen time constant ( 
6.74 [s] 
Oxygen valve constant ( 
2.11 * 10^{−5} [kmol/(atms)] 
FC system internal resistance ( 
0.00303 ( 
FC absolute temperature ( 
343 [K] 
Universal gas constant ( 
8314.47 [j/(kmol K)] 
Utilization factor ( 
0.8 
Water time constant ( 
18.418 [s] 
Water valve constant ( 
7.716 * 10^{−6} [kmol/(atms)] 
Schematic drawing of the PVFC hybrid system.
DCDC converters are widely used in PV generating systems as an interface between the PV generator and the water electrolyser. An optimized controller for the DCDC must find the optimum duty cycle which leads the PV generator as close as possible to its MPPT and ensure that the working point at the water electrolyser is a safety point. Since the fuel cell stack operates at a low DC voltage range (102 V in this paper), the DCDC converter must boost the DC voltage and invert it to the AC grid frequency (230 V/50 Hz here) for gridconnected operations. To keep the DC buses fixed at 400 V, we chose to use a hysteresis regulator.
Hence, the fuel cell control problem is translated into an output current control requirement, to be realized by the DC/DC converter, in order to ensure optimal operation for a given fuel flow rate. Under these conditions, the cell output power is directly related to its fuel consumption at the selected optimum operating point of the
Operating the fuel cell at different output power levels requires suitable variation of its input flow rate, to be realized by the overall control system of the cell. The power demand requirement of the fuel cell is translated into a current demand input by dividing with stack output voltage:
The proposed control strategy is based on a power decoupling strategy in the frequency domain of the power source. This energymanagement strategy fulfills the fast energy demands if the load respects the integrity of each source. The inner control loop is tuned to drive the PEMFC current.
Inner control loop insuring fast dynamics of PEMFC.
The implementation structure of the loop regulation with hysteresis is given in Figure
Current regulation implementation.
In this section we present simulation results for the coupling between the PV/FC and the PEM electrolyser through the DCDC converter controller. The PV generator is a 2880 W power plant at 1000 (w/m^{2}) solar radiation. From Figures
Power drawn from solar system.
The current variation for the PV solar system.
Initially, the total power generated by the PV generator is sent to the electrolyser through a DCDC converter to generate hydrogen. The hydrogen produced by the electrolyser causes the pressure of the storage tank to vary as shown in Figure
Amount of hydrogen produced by electrolyser.
After this, the total power generated by the PV system is sent to grid via a DC/AC converter. At 1000 (w/m^{2}) solar radiation, the PV generator used in this study is capable of delivering 2880 W while the FC delivers 200 W, but at 800 (w/m^{2}) solar radiation (at 1 s) the power produced by the PV system tends to 2300 W. So the generated power by the PV is less than the demand; power will be supplied from the FC system. The power produced by the FC system tends to 500 W at 1 s of time simulation.
The internal voltage of the FC system decreases when the FC output power increases. This relation between power and the voltage of the FC system authenticates the reliability of the FC model. The transient response of the FC system voltage to the load changes varies according to the amount of power supplied by the FC system as shown in Figure
Voltage of the fuel cell.
Power produced by the FC system.
The amount of hydrogen moles consumed by the FC system is proportional to the power drawn from the FC system. The hydrogen flow to the FC system per second is depicted in Figure
The molar flow of hydrogen consumed by FC.
Figure
The pressure variation of the hydrogen storage tank.
The pressure variation of storage hydrogen.
In this paper, a PV/FC generator and PEM electrolyser have been described for a PV/FC system intended for gridconnected operations. Special attention has been paid to the modeling of temperature dependence, concentration over potential, and limiting current in the PEM electrolyser model. Then, the power conditioning system, including the DC/DC and DC/AC converters, is presented and typical waveforms are shown from its simulation in MATLAB/Simulink.
Ideality or completion factor
PV cell reverse saturation current [A]
PV cell output current [A]
Shortcircuit cell current (representing insolation level [A])
Boltzmann’s constant [j/°K]
Voltage factor
The number of parallel strings
The number of series cells per string
Electron charge [
Series resistance of PV cell [
PV cell temperature [°K]
PV cell voltage corresponding to maximum power [
Opencircuit voltage [
Terminal voltage for PV cell [V]
Molar mass of hydrogen [kg kmol^{−1}]
Hydrogen moles per second delivered to the storage tank [kmol/s]
Pressure of tank [pascal]
Initial pressure of the storage tank [pascal]
Universal (Rydberg) gas constant [j/(kmol K)]
Operating temperature [°K]
Volume of the tank [m^{3}]
Compressibility factor as a function of pressure.