Highly Integrated Fuel Cell Analysis Infrastructure for Advanced Research Topics 2017-01-1180
The limitation of global warming to less than 2 °C till the end of the century is regarded as the main challenge of our time. In order to meet COP21 objectives, a clear transition from carbon-based energy sources towards renewable and carbon-free energy carriers is mandatory. Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) allow an energy-efficient, resource-efficient and emission-free conversion of regenerative produced hydrogen. For these reasons fuel cell technologies emerge in stationary, mobile and logistic applications with acceptable cruising ranges as well as short refueling times. In order to perform applied research in the area of PEMFC systems, a highly integrated fuel cell analysis infrastructure for systems up to 150 kW electric power was developed and established within a cooperative research project by HyCentA Research GmbH and AVL List GmbH in Graz, Austria. A novel open testing facility with hardware in the loop (HiL) capability is presented. Vehicle, driver and driving cycle as well as powertrain components like battery, electric engine, transmission and different balance of plant (BoP) components can be simulated in real time. Ambient conditions and media supply temperatures can be adjusted dynamically in the range of –40 °C to 85 °C. Moreover, cathode air humidity can be varied in the range of 5 % to 95 %. The test bed allows research and development on topics from energy management to thermal management, from complete vehicle to sub-system control and calibration, from vehicle integration to the investigation of dynamics, cold start and lifetime.