FC-IMPACT is the name for "Increasing Market Penetration of FC Cars by efficient system solutions".
With the goal of decarbonizing vehicles, the automotive industry is undergoing a fundamental change and is shifting from fossil fuel-powered to electric drivetrains. While the number of battery electric vehicles is already increasing rapidly, also fuel cell vehicles are expected to play a significant role in the future’s transportation sector.
They offer some important advantages over battery-driven vehicles, such as fast refueling and high energy density, making them an interesting alternative especially when long driving ranges are of interest and in the heavy-duty sector. However, only a few fuel cell vehicles can be seen on the streets at the moment because of high acquisition and operating costs.
This project aims to increase the marketability and attractiveness of fuel cell passenger cars by increasing the overall energy efficiency, extending the fuel cell stack durability, and reducing the cost of the complete fuel cell system. The project outcome is not just limited to theoretical results. Developments will be implemented in a demonstrator vehicle and finally tested over six months.
Our team focuses on developing sophisticated control strategies, which consider improving both the fuel efficiency and stack durability besides ensuring the safe drivability of the vehicle.
The overall control task
The overall control task is divided into two levels.
- At high-level, the energy management system is responsible for efficiently distributing the vehicle power demand over the fuel cell and the battery, which is needed to cover dynamic power requests. Here, promising results have been achieved by incorporating predictive data from planned routes.
- The lower control level manages the operation of the fuel cell system. Here, a model predictive controller has been developed, offering considerable efficiency improvements over simple PI controllers. Ultimately, the interaction of the two control levels will be studied to exploit efficiency potentials to the fullest.
Interested in more information?
Please visit the project video on this exciting topic!
October 2020 - September 2023