Optimization of IDRApegasus: Fuel Cell Hydrogen Vehicle 2013-01-0964
Given the growing concern for environmental issues, the automotive industry is working more deeply on the development of innovative technologies that reduce gas emissions and fuel consumption. Many car manufacturers have identified hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and fuel cell vehicles as the most promising solutions alternatives. IDRApegasus is a fuel cell hydrogen vehicle developed at the Politecnico of Turin. It participated at the Shell Eco-marathon Europe in Rotterdam (Netherlands) from 17-19 May 2012, a competition for low energy consumption vehicles and also an educational project that joins the value of sustainable development with a vehicle that will use the smallest amount of fuel and produce the lowest emissions possible. The vehicle raced in prototype category with the objective to complete ten laps of a representative urban circuit in the normal driving direction, covering a total distance of 16.3 km in a maximum time of 39 minutes, with an average speed of approximately 25 km/h. The IDRApegasus vehicle, characterized by a carbon fiber monocoque, has a powertrain composed by a hydrogen fuel cell with a high efficiency DC electric motor. The electronic system uses ARM micro controllers that are perfect for needs of performance and especially low power consumption.
A 1D simulation model of the vehicle and its subsystems has been carried out in AMESim in order to analyze the behavior of the vehicle during the race. Special attention has been paid to accurately model: the dynamics of the vehicle, the race track, the fuel cell and the electric system. Using Optimus the model has been optimized in order to minimize the fuel consumption of the vehicle. A parameterized current intensity profile for the different sectors of the lap along with start and end points of each sector have been chosen as design parameters. The optimization leads to find the right combination of these factors in order to achieve the least fuel consumption, taking into account the constraints of time, average velocity, highest velocity to perform a corner and physical limits of the electric motor. Finally, the simulation results in term of consumption have been compared with the results obtained on the track during the competition and they showed a considerable match (337 km/kW h).