Browse Publications Technical Papers 2012-01-1227

Development of a Vehicle-Level Simulation Model for Evaluating the Trade-Off between Various Advanced On-Board Hydrogen Storage Technologies for Fuel Cell Vehicles 2012-01-1227

One of the most critical elements in engineering a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle is the design of the on-board hydrogen storage system. Because the current compressed-gas hydrogen storage technology has several key challenges, including cost, volume and capacity, materials-based storage technologies are being evaluated as an alternative approach. These materials-based hydrogen storage technologies include metal hydrides, chemical hydrides, and adsorbent materials, all of which have drawbacks of their own. To optimize the engineering of storage systems based on these materials, it is critical to understand the impacts these systems will have on the overall vehicle system performance and what trade-offs between the hydrogen storage systems and the vehicle systems might exist that allow these alternative storage approaches to be viable.
To gain a better understanding of the interactions that exist between various materials-based hydrogen storage systems and the vehicle system as well as the engineering challenges that exist when integrating one of these systems with a vehicle, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) developed a vehicle-level model designed to be sensitive to these issues. The Hydrogen Storage Simulation Model (HSSIM) was developed under the Hydrogen Storage Engineering Center of Excellence (HSECoE) as a specialized tool that could be used to assist in the design and engineering of materials-based hydrogen storage systems being considered by the HSECoE. This tool is designed to not only allow for understanding key trade-offs, but also to have a seamless integration with the HSECoE fuel cell and detailed hydrogen storage system models and to evaluate progress towards the U.S. Department of Energy's hydrogen storage technical targets. This model has been integrated with a fuel cell model developed by Ford Motor Company in a HSECoE common modeling framework developed by United Technologies Research Center and other HSECoE partners.
This paper focuses on the development, structure, and validation of the vehicle model HSSIM and summarizes its integration within the framework. HSSIM and the framework are then used to obtain trade-offs for various specific materials-based storage system designs. This includes hydrogen storage sizing analyses, mass compounding analyses, range versus volume studies, and vehicle and component performance analyses, such as acceleration rates and fuel cell and energy storage interactions.


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