Application of neural networks to fuel processors for fuel cell vehicles

Laura C. Iwan, Robert F. Stengel

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Passenger vehicles fueled by hydrocarbons or alcohols and powered by proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells address world air quality and fuel supply concerns while avoiding hydrogen infrastructure and on-board storage problems. Reduction of the carbon monoxide concentration in the on-board fuel processor's hydrogen-rich gas by the preferential oxidizer (PrOx) under dynamic conditions is crucial to avoid poisoning of the PEM fuel cell's anode catalyst and thus malfunction of the fuel cell vehicle. A dynamic control scheme is proposed for a single-stage, tubular, cooled PrOx that performs better than, but retains the reliability and ease of use of, conventional industrial controllers. The proposed hybrid control system contains a CMAC artificial neural network in parallel with a conventional PID controller. By using a computer simulation, it was found that the proposed hybrid controller generalizes well to novel driving sequences after being trained on other driving sequences with similar or slower transients. Although it is similar to the PID in terms of software requirements and design effort, the hybrid controller performs significantly better than the PID in terms of H2 conversion setpoint regulation and PrOx outlet CO reduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1585-1590
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control
StatePublished - 1998
EventProceedings of the 1998 37th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC) - Tampa, FL, USA
Duration: Dec 16 1998Dec 18 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Control and Optimization


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