As the aviation industry moves toward higher efficiency electrical power generation, all electric aircraft, or zero emissions and more quiet aircraft, fuel cells are sought as the technology that can deliver on these high expectations. The hybrid solid oxide fuel cell system combines the fuel cell with a microturbine to obtain up to 70% cycle efficiency, and then distributes the electrical power to the loads via a power distribution system. The challenge is to understand the dynamics of this complex multidiscipline system and the design distributed controls that take the system through its operating conditions in a stable and safe manner while maintaining the system performance. This particular system is a power generation and a distribution system, and the fuel cell and microturbine model fidelity should be compatible with the dynamics of the power distribution system in order to allow proper stability and distributed controls design. The novelty in this paper is that, first, the case is made why a high fidelity fuel cell model is needed for systems control and stability designs. Second, a novel modeling approach is proposed for the fuel cell that will allow the fuel cell and the power system to be integrated and designed for stability, distributed controls, and other interface specifications. This investigation shows that for the fuel cell, the voltage characteristic should be modeled, but in addition, conservation equation dynamics, ion diffusion, charge transfer kinetics, and the electron flow inherent impedance should also be included.

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