Integration of Fuel Cell Technology into a Hybrid Electric Vehicle
The Virginia Tech Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team (HEVT) has integrated a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell as the auxiliary power unit (APU) of a series hybrid design to produce a highly efficient zero-emission vehicle (ZEV). This design is implemented in a 1997 Chevrolet Lumina sedan, renamed ANIMUL H2, using an efficient AC induction drivetrain, regenerative braking, compressed hydrogen fuel storage, and an advance lead-acid battery pack for peak power load leveling. The fuel cell is sized to supply the average power demand and to sustain the battery pack state-of-charge (SOC) within a 40-80% window. To optimize system efficiency, the fuel cell is driven with a load-following control strategy. The vehicle is predicted to achieve a combined city/highway fuel economy of 4.3 L/100 km or 51 mpgge (miles per gallon gasoline equivalent).