Publication Detail

"Fuel Cell Powered Vehicles," chapter in Encyclopedia of Automotive Engineering



Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS), Plug-In Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center

Suggested Citation: H. Zhao and A. Burke (2014) "Fuel Cell Powered Vehicles" in D. Crolla, D.E. Foster, T. Kobayashi and N. Vaughan (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Automotive Engineering, John Wiley & Sons Ltd: Chichester. DOI: 10.1002/9781118354179.auto066. Published 4/22/2014.

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are considered as one of the best sustainable transportation solutions that have the potential to significantly reduce our dependence on fossil oil and lower harmful emissions. This chapter reviews and discusses different powertrain arrangements and onboard hydrogen storage technologies in a fuel cell vehicle and various hydrogen generation and refueling approaches. Optimal varying pressure operation of a fuel cell system is studied. Compared to fixed pressure operation, optimal operation shows higher system efficiency over the full load range. However, optimal operation of a fuel cell system requires coordinated reactant flow control in both cathode and anode sides to minimize the mechanical stress on the MEA. Hybridization of the vehicle powertrain is an effective approach to mitigate the stress on the fuel cell stack by shifting most of the dynamic power demand to a second power source such as batteries and/or ultracapacitors. Different power splitting strategies in a hybrid fuel cell vehicle are discussed. Simulations over various driving cycles are performed to compare fuel cell vehicles with other advanced technology vehicles in terms of fuel savings.

Keywords:  fuel cell system; fuel cell vehicle; optimization; hybridization; power split; fuel economy