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Renewable electricity generation closer to home

EU-funded scientists have developed the advanced controllers required to implement fuel cell (FC) technology in modular and local electricity generation systems. Dealing with inherent non-linearities will increase reliability and efficiency.


The EU is committed to relieving dependence on fossil fuels for energy in order to increase energy security and reduce emissions that affect global climate change. Developing alternative renewable forms of energy is a priority and, increasingly, experts are promoting their exploitation in decentralised electrical generation systems (DEGS). DEGS are modular power-generating plants close to the end user with the potential to significantly reduce transmission losses and unrecovered waste heat. DEGS using hydrogen as the energy carrier in combination with FC technologies have great potential, but FCs exhibit highly non-linear behaviours requiring sophisticated controllers. The EU-funded project 'Advanced control of renewable energy generation systems based on fuel cells\wind power' (ACRES) developed such technology by exploiting advanced non-linear controllers in various stages of development. The controllers were adapted for five different applications in order to enhance reliability, performance and efficiency. ACRES scientists validated their advanced control systems for FC-based DEGS and have manufactured several demonstrators of the technology within the one year of funding. The demonstrators should encourage interested companies to invest in DEGS with important impact on the EU economy, energy security and the environment.

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