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Article

Modeling, Control System Design and Preliminary Experimental Verification of a Hybrid Power Unit Suitable for Multirotor UAVs

1
Department of Robotics and Production System Automation, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, University of Zagreb, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
2
Department of Technology, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, University of Zagreb, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
3
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Karlovac University of Applied Sciences, 47000 Karlovac, Croatia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Namwook Kim and Javier Contreras
Energies 2021, 14(9), 2669; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14092669
Received: 27 February 2021 / Revised: 3 April 2021 / Accepted: 30 April 2021 / Published: 6 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modeling and Control of Hybrid Electric Vehicles)
A key drawback of multirotor unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with energy sources based solely on electrochemical batteries is related to the available on-board energy. Flight autonomy is typically limited to 15–30 min, with a flight duration upper limit of 90 min currently being achieved by high-performance battery-powered multirotor UAVs. Therefore, propulsion systems that utilize two or more different energy sources (hybrid power systems) may be considered as an alternative in order to increase the flight duration while retaining key performance benefits of battery energy storage use. The research presented in this work considers a multirotor UAV power unit, based on the internal combustion engine (ICE) powering an electricity generator (EG) connected to the common direct current (DC) bus in parallel with the lithium-polymer (LiPo) battery, and the respective modeling and identification of individual power unit subsystem, along with the dedicated control system design. Experimental verification of the proposed hybrid power unit control system has been carried out on the custom-build power unit prototype. The results show that the proposed control system combines the two power sources in a straightforward and effective way, with subsequent analysis showing that a two-fold energy density increase can be achieved with a hybrid energy source, consequently making it possible to achieve higher flight autonomy of the prospective multirotor (hover load around 1000–1400 W) equipped with such a hybrid system. View Full-Text
Keywords: multirotor UAV; hybrid power unit; LiPo battery; internal combustion engine; electrical generator multirotor UAV; hybrid power unit; LiPo battery; internal combustion engine; electrical generator
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MDPI and ACS Style

Krznar, M.; Piljek, P.; Kotarski, D.; Pavković, D. Modeling, Control System Design and Preliminary Experimental Verification of a Hybrid Power Unit Suitable for Multirotor UAVs. Energies 2021, 14, 2669. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14092669

AMA Style

Krznar M, Piljek P, Kotarski D, Pavković D. Modeling, Control System Design and Preliminary Experimental Verification of a Hybrid Power Unit Suitable for Multirotor UAVs. Energies. 2021; 14(9):2669. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14092669

Chicago/Turabian Style

Krznar, Matija, Petar Piljek, Denis Kotarski, and Danijel Pavković. 2021. "Modeling, Control System Design and Preliminary Experimental Verification of a Hybrid Power Unit Suitable for Multirotor UAVs" Energies 14, no. 9: 2669. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14092669

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