A variable DC approach to minimize drivetrain losses in fuel cell marine power systems

Arber Haxhiu, Jorma Kyyrä, Ricky Chan, Sami Kanerva

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
31 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents a method of operating a zero-emission power system in marine vessels. The main goal of the proposed method is to reduce losses of drivetrain devices. The power sources considered in this work are proton exchange membrane fuel cell and lithium-ion battery while the main power consumers are induction motors driven propulsion system. Both sources and consumers are connected to a common DC bus through power conversion devices. In the proposed method, the DC bus voltage level is controlled according to the loading of the fuel cells. By controlling the DC bus voltage, it allows operation of fuel cell DC/DC converter in freewheeling mode which significantly reduces the converter losses. In addition, this approach is also expected to reduce the motor and battery drive losses. Feasibility of the proposed operation method and loss calculations are presented on a real-time hardware-in-loop simulator consisting of real control units and virtual power device models.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 IEEE Power and Energy Conference at Illinois, PECI 2019
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781728102948
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2019
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventIEEE Power and Energy Conference - Champaign, United States
Duration: 28 Feb 20191 Mar 2019


ConferenceIEEE Power and Energy Conference
Abbreviated titlePECI
CountryUnited States


  • Voltage control
  • Fuel cells
  • Propulsion
  • Integrated circuit modeling
  • Power conversion
  • Lithium-ion batteries


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