Design and control of multiphase interleaved boost converters-based on differential flatness theory for PEM fuel cell multi-stack applications

Phatiphat Thounthong*, Pongsiri Mungporn, Damien Guilbert, Noureddine Takorabet, Serge Pierfederici, Babak Nahid-Mobarakeh, Yihua Hu, Nicu Bizon, Yigeng Huangfu, Poom Kumam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article is focused on the development of an energy management algorithm applied to a multi-stack fuel cell (FC) system for DC microgrid applications. To guarantee the performance of the FC stacks, the current ripple is reduced by employing multiphase interleaved boost converters. A proposed advanced control technique of the multi-stack with multiphase converters for the proton exchange membrane (PEM) FCs is estimated based on a differential flatness approach, in which it can track the power demand in real-time. Furthermore, the differential flatness based-control can ensure the balance of the DC bus voltage of the DC microgrid when load disturbance occurs. The flatness-based energy management strategy is based on both inner current loops (control of the multi-stack PEMFC through their multiphase interleaved boost converters) and outer voltage loop (DC bus voltage regulation). Compared to classic PI controllers mainly based on the linearization of the system to obtain the transfer function (making complex its application), the flatness-based theory leans on time-domain making it easier its use for various applications while ensuring good performances. To validate the proposed control structure, an FC converter system (5 kW) is realized and validated in the laboratory. For hydrogen production, the methanol FC system has consisted of a reformer engine that changes water mixed methanol liquid into hydrogen to supply FC stacks (ME2Power Fuel Cell System: 50 V, 5 kW). The proposed control algorithm is tested experimentally by using a dSPACE controller board platform. Simulation and test bench results authenticate the excellent performance during load cycles in DC microgrid.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106346
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Electrical Power and Energy Systems
Early online date20 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the international research program in cooperation under Renewable Energy Research Centre (RERC) [King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok ( KMUTNB )] and Groupe de Recherche en Energie Electrique de Nancy (GREEN) [ Université de Lorraine (UL)] under Grant KMUTNB −63−KNOW−040.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd


  • DC microgrid
  • Differential flatness control
  • Energy control
  • Fuel cell multi-stack
  • Interleaved boost converter

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