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Preliminary Design of a Fuel Cell/Battery Hybrid Powertrain for a Heavy-duty Yard Truck for Port Logistics


The maritime transport and the port-logistic industry are key drivers of economic growth, although, they represent major contributors to climate change. In particular, maritime port facilities are typically located near cities or residential areas, thus having a significant direct environmental impact, in terms of air and water quality, as well as noise. The majority of the pollutant emissions in ports comes from cargo ships, and from all the related ports activities carried out by road vehicles. Therefore, a progressive reduction of the use of fossil fuels as a primary energy source for these vehicles and the promotion of cleaner powertrain alternatives is in order. The present study deals with the design of a new propulsion system for a heavy-duty vehicle for port applications. Specifically, this work aims at laying the foundations for the development of a benchmark industrial cargo–handling hydrogen-fueled vehicle to be used in real port operations. To this purpose, an on-field measurement campaign has been conducted to analyze the duty cycle of a commercial Diesel-engine yard truck currently used for terminal ports operations. The vehicle dynamics has been numerically modeled and validated against the acquired data, and the energy and power requirements for a plug-in fuel cell/battery hybrid powertrain replacing the Diesel powertrain on the same vehicle have been evaluated. Finally, a preliminary design of the new powertrain and a rule-based energy management strategy have been proposed, and the electric energy and hydrogen consumptions required to achieve the target driving range for roll-on and roll-off operations have been estimated. The results are promising, showing that the hybrid electric vehicle is capable of achieving excellent energy performances, by means of an efficient use of the fuel cell. An overall amount of roughly 12 kg of hydrogen is estimated to be required to accomplish the most demanding port operation, and meet the target of 6 h of continuous operation. Also, the vehicle powertrain ensures an adequate all-electric range, which is between approximately 1 and 2 h depending on the specific port operation. Potentially, the hydrogen-fueled yard truck is expected to lead to several benefits, such as local zero emissions, powertrain noise elimination, reduction of the vehicle maintenance costs, improving of the energy management, and increasing of operational efficiency.

Funding source: This research has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 826339, project H2Ports - Implementing Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Technologies in Ports. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and Spain, Denmark, Netherlands, Italy. T
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Italy

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