More environmentally friendly energy sources are gradually replacing fossil fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in mobile applications. In this transformation, fuel cells are promising because they are relatively efficient, quickly refuelable, and have a rather high energy density. However, fuel cells are still expensive due to the low market share, challenging to control because of the complex system dynamics, and prone to degradation due to improper control. This research project supports mastering these challenges.

Project Description

In order to have a digital twin, a proper simulation model of the fuel cell is required. Within the framework of the project, efficient and accurate models are developed, which can replicate various effects satisfactorily in contrast to existing models. In addition, purposeful “design of experiment” approaches are investigated to minimize the needed number and length of experiments to achieve a reliable parametrization. A well-designed experiment directly affects the parameter identifiability of the model, which simplifies and accelerates parametrization processes.

All this leads to a proper digital twin, reducing the need for actual experiments and saving experimental expenditures. Other pillars of the project are advanced control applications and diagnostics based on suitable models. E.g., model-based observers can be designed to estimate unmeasured and unmeasurable quantities and reduce the number of required physical sensors. Moreover, the models and the quantities estimated by the observers are the foundation for further degradation diagnostics to extend the fuel lifetime. Also, the models enable advanced controllers to master the complex fuel cell system control.

Radiator in the middle, a magnifying glass on top, a computer on the right and a computer chip on the bottom

Project Goals

  • Fuel Cell Modelling and Parametrization
  • Advanced Control Applications for Fuel Cells
  • Fuel Cell Diagnostics


In this project’s scope, numerous results have been published regarding fuel cell modeling, parametrization, control applications, and diagnostics. Please refer to the publications in this regard.


Du, Zhang Peng, Christoph Steindl, Stefan Jakubek, and Christoph Hametner. "Concentration Estimation for Fuel Cells: Design of Experiments, Nonlinear Identification, and Observer Design with Experimental Validation., opens an external URL in a new windowIEEE Access (2023).

Kravos, Andraž, Ambrož Kregar, Željko Penga, Frano Barbir, and Tomaž Katrašnik. "Real-time capable transient model of liquid water dynamics in proton exchange membrane Fuel Cells., opens an external URL in a new windowJournal of Power Sources 541 (2022): 231598.

Du, Zhang Peng, Andraž Kravos, Christoph Steindl, Tomaž Katrašnik, Stefan Jakubek, and Christoph Hametner. "Physically motivated water modeling in control-oriented polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell stack models., opens an external URL in a new windowEnergies 14, no. 22 (2021): 7693.

Ritzberger, D., Höflinger, J., Du, Z. P., Hametner, C., & Jakubek, S. (2021). "Data-driven parameterization of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell models via simultaneous local linear structured state space identification., opens an external URL in a new windowInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy46(21), 11878-11893.

Kravos, Andraž, Daniel Ritzberger, Christoph Hametner, Stefan Jakubek, and Tomaž Katrašnik. "Methodology for efficient parametrization of electrochemical PEMFC model for virtual observers: Model based optimal design of experiments supported by parameter sensitivity analysis., opens an external URL in a new windowInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy 46, no. 26 (2021): 13832-13844.

Kravos, Andraž, Ambrož Kregar, Kurt Mayer, Viktor Hacker, and Tomaž Katrašnik. "Identifiability analysis of degradation model parameters from transient CO2 release in low-temperature PEM fuel cell under various AST protocols., opens an external URL in a new windowEnergies 14, no. 14 (2021): 4380.

Kravos, Andraž, Ambrož Kregar, and Tomaž Katrašnik. "Hybrid Methodology for Efficient on the Fly (Re) Parametrization of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells Electrochemical Model for Diagnostics and Control Applications., opens an external URL in a new windowECS transactions 98, no. 9 (2020): 13.

Kravos, Andraz̆, Daniel Ritzberger, Gregor Tavc̆ar, Christoph Hametner, Stefan Jakubek, and Tomaz̆ Katras̆nik. "Thermodynamically consistent reduced dimensionality electrochemical model for proton exchange membrane fuel cell performance modelling and control., opens an external URL in a new windowJournal of Power Sources 454 (2020): 227930.

Cooperation Partner


  • February 2017 - January 2024


CDL Powertrain

Associate Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. Christoph Hametner

Send email to Christoph Hametner