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A Novel Optimal Power Control for a City Transit Hybrid Bus Equipped with a Partitioned Hydrogen Fuel Cell Stack


The development of more sustainable and zero-emissions collective transport solutions could play a very important measure in the near future within smart city policies. This paper tries to give a contribution to this aim, proposing a novel approach to fuel cell vehicle design and operation. Traditional difficulties experienced in fuel cell transient operation are, in fact, normally solved in conventional vehicle prototypes, through the hybridization of the propulsion system and with the complete fulfillment of transients in road energy demand through a high-capacity onboard energy storage device. This makes it normally necessary to use Li-ion battery solutions, accepting their restrictions in terms of weight, costs, energy losses, limited lifetime, and environmental constraints. The proposed solution, instead, introduces a partitioning of the hydrogen fuel cell (FC) and novel optimal power control strategy, with the aim of limiting the capacity of the energy storage, still avoiding FC transient operation. The limited capacity of the resulting energy storage systems which, instead, has to answer higher power requests, makes it possible to consider the utilization of a high-speed flywheel energy storage system (FESS) in place of high energy density Li-ion batteries. The proposed control strategy was validated by vehicle simulations based on a modular and parametric model; input data were acquired experimentally on an operating electric bus in real traffic conditions over an urban bus line. Simulation results highlight that the proposed control strategy makes it possible to obtain an overall power output for the FC stacks which better follows road power demands, and a relevant downsizing of the FESS device.

Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Italy

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