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Title: Optimal energy management strategy for a fuel cell hybrid electric vehicle
Author: Fletcher, Thomas P.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 1697
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2017
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The Energy Management Strategy (EMS) has a huge effect on the performance of any hybrid vehicle because it determines the operating point of almost every component associated with the powertrain. This means that its optimisation is an incredibly complex task which must consider a number of objectives including the fuel consumption, drive-ability, component degradation and straight-line performance. The EMS is of particular importance for Fuel Cell Hybrid Electric Vehicles (FCHEVs), not only to minimise the fuel consumption, but also to reduce the electrical stress on the fuel cell and maximise its useful lifetime. This is because the durability and cost of the fuel cell stack is one of the major obstacles preventing FCHEVs from being competitive with conventional vehicles. In this work, a novel EMS is developed, specifcally for Fuel Cell Hybrid Electric Vehicles (FCHEVs), which considers not only the fuel consumption, but also the degradation of the fuel cell in order to optimise the overall running cost of the vehicle. This work is believed to be the first of its kind to quantify effect of decisions made by the EMS on the fuel cell degradation, inclusive of multiple causes of voltage degradation. The performance of this new strategy is compared in simulation to a recent strategy from the literature designed solely to optimise the fuel consumption. It is found that the inclusion of the degradation metrics results in a 20% increase in fuel cell lifetime for only a 3.7% increase in the fuel consumption, meaning that the overall running cost is reduced by 9%. In addition to direct implementation on board a vehicle, this technique for optimising the degradation alongside the fuel consumption also allows alternative vehicle designs to be compared in an unbiased way. In order to demonstrate this, the novel optimisation technique is subsequently used to compare alternative system designs in order to identify the optimal economic sizing of the fuel cell and battery pack. It is found that the overall running cost can be minimised by using the smallest possible fuel cell stack that will satisfy the average power requirement of the duty cycle, and by using an oversized battery pack to maximise the fuel cell effciency and minimise the transient loading on the stack. This research was undertaken at Loughborough University as part of the Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) in Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Their Applications in collaboration with the University of Birmingham and Nottingham University and with sponsorship from HORIBA-MIRA (Nuneaton, UK). A Microcab H4 test vehicle has been made available for use in testing for this research which was previously used for approximately 2 years at the University of Birmingham. The Microcab H4 is a small campus based vehicle designed for passenger transport and mail delivery at low speeds as seen on a university campus. It has a top speed of approximately 30mph, and is fitted with a 1.2kW fuel cell and a 2kWh battery pack.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: EPSRC ; Horiba-Mira
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Optimisation ; Optimization ; Fuel Cells ; Degradation ; Energy Management Strategy ; EMS ; SDP ; Stochastic Dynamic Programming ; Electric Vehicles