Modeling and control design of a Vienna rectifier based electrolyzer

Monroy Morales, Jose Luis and Hernandez Angeles, Maximo and Campos-Gaona, David and Pena-Alzola, Rafael and Ordonez, Martin and Merida, Walter; (2016) Modeling and control design of a Vienna rectifier based electrolyzer. In: 2016 IEEE 7th International Symposium on Power Electronics for Distributed Generation Systems, PEDG 2016. IEEE, CAN. ISBN 978-1-4673-8618-0 (

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Hydrogen production is an interesting alternative of storing energy. Electrolyzers produce hydrogen through water electrolysis; the resulting hydrogen is later used to generate electricity by using fuel cells, that reverse the process. Electrolyzers use rectifiers to convert the grid ac voltage into dc voltage for supplying the electrolyzer cells. Previous research used a rectification process based on conventional rectifiers (diode-or thyristor-based) which draw non-sinusoidal current from the main grid. This requires increased filtering to prevent power quality problems and equipment malfunctioning/failure. In addition, previous literature assumed simplified models for the power electronics converters and lacked a detailed control system. The Vienna rectifier is a non-regenerative converter that produces sinusoidal currents with low losses due to the reduced number of active switches. This manuscript proposes using the Vienna rectifier as an interface to connect electrolyzers to the ac grid. The dc voltage applied to the electrolyzer is regulated by using another DC-DC converter, which is selected to be a synchronous buck converter for simplicity and maximum efficiency. In this paper, the models of the Vienna rectifier, synchronous buck converter, and the electrolyzer are developed along with their respective controls. The control system has the ability to function in two operation modes for the overall reference: hydrogen production and power demand. The first one is adequate for grid-connected operation and the later for off-grid operation. Simulation results are given to show the validity of the proposed procedures.


Monroy Morales, Jose Luis, Hernandez Angeles, Maximo, Campos-Gaona, David ORCID logoORCID:, Pena-Alzola, Rafael, Ordonez, Martin and Merida, Walter;