In a competitive world, using real-time simulation rather than off-line simulation provides significant advantage for imitating system dynamics in a real world. Real-time simulation could minimize decision risks for real implementation, shorten design cycle, enhance reliability of research results, and, last but not least, save research and development cost. Moreover, real-time simulation could be also implemented to include real hardware into the loop while is kept as flexible as an off-line numerical simulation. In this paper, a real time simulation mechanism is presented for studying switch reluctance motor (SRM) drive control powered by a fuel cell. The fuel cell stack model is simulated by a software package developed by Emmeskay, Inc., which can be operated in real time. The whole real time simulation is conducted on a two-node platform hosted by RT-Lab, a software product of Opal-RT Technologies, Inc. and engineered by fixed-step real time operating system. In particular, as an illustrating example, an SRM drive control model is first built and then connected with fuel cell stack model. The whole system model is then compiled and operated in real-time on the two-node platform. The real-time simulation result is validated by its off-line simulation counterpart. It is pointed out that this real-time simulation set-up could be easily converted into a hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation carrying real hardware such as microcontroller, real motor, etc., when deemed as necessary. The simulation methodology presented in this paper also indicates a potential low cost approach to support experimentally real-time research and development activities for fuel cell related systems. Considering the high cost to build a real fuel cell system, the set-up described in this paper is extremely meaningful for research and development communities.

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