Control of a Hydrogen Gas Processing System

  • Verica Radisavljević-Gajić
  • Miloš Milanović
  • Patrick Rose
Part of the Mechanical Engineering Series book series (MES)


In this chapter, we present a reduced-order observer-driven controller design for a linearized model of a fuel cell hydrogen gas processing system (also called a hydrogen gas reformer or simply a reformer), which produces hydrogen from natural gas. To solve this control problem, we first design a reduced-order observer to estimate state space variables needed for feedback at all times. Then, we design two feedback control loops, one of them with an integrator (integral control, Khalil 2002; Sinha 2007) and another one with proportional feedback from the estimated state variables (obtained from the observer). In the third step, a feed-forward controller is designed whose role is to offset for the impact of the disturbance caused by the fuel cell current. Both the feedback controller and the feed-forward controller are obtained through a rigorous dynamic optimization process of a quadratic performance criterion along trajectories of a linear continuous-time dynamic system. According to the presented simulation results, the proposed controller clearly copes well with the disturbance and reduces its impact within a few seconds from the time when the disturbance occurs, despite large jumps in the fuel cell current (disturbance). Even more, it outperforms the corresponding full-order observer-based controller developed in Pukrushpan et al. (2004a, b) for the same hydrogen gas reformer processing system. The use of observers in controlling fuel cells was considered also in Pilloni et al. (2015).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Verica Radisavljević-Gajić
    • 1
  • Miloš Milanović
    • 1
  • Patrick Rose
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringVillanova UniversityVillanovaUSA

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