A solid oxide fuel cell-based power system is modeled and simulated to investigate both power management and controllability issues experienced while subjecting the system to the typical power requirements of a small aircraft. Initially, the fuel cell stack is assumed to operate along one characteristic I-V curve, thus isolating the power management study to the system’s powertrain components. Electrical converters transfer dc power from the fuel cell to usable ac power for an electric motor-driven propeller. To avoid oversizing, the fuel cell stack is designed to operate near its maximum power limit during aircraft cruising, while a battery is employed as an alternative source to provide additional power beyond the cruising kilowatt requirement (e.g., takeoff or maneuvering).

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