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Technical Paper

Implementation and Optimization of a Fuel Cell Hybrid Powertrain

A fuel cell hybrid powertrain design is implemented and optimized by the University of Waterloo Alternative Fuels Team for the ChallengeX competition. A comprehensive set of bench-top and in-vehicle validation results are used to generate accurate fuel cell vehicle models for SIL/HIL control strategy testing and tuning. The vehicle is brought to a “99% buy-off” level of production readiness, and a detailed crashworthiness analysis is performed. The vehicle performance is compared to Vehicle Technical Specifications (VTS).
Technical Paper

Fuel Cell Hybrid Control Strategy Development

Supervisory control strategies for a hybrid fuel cell powertrain are developed and simulated using Simulink models and the Powertrain Systems Analysis Toolkit (PSAT). The control strategy selects the power splitting ratio between a 65kW Hydrogenics fuel cell power module and a 70kW Cobasys Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery pack. Simple control algorithms targeting a battery pack State of Charge (SOC), or maximizing the instantaneous powertrain efficiency are initially considered and analyzed. A comprehensive control strategy optimizing powertrain efficiency, vehicle performance, emissions, and long-term reliability is then developed and simulated. The simulated vehicle using the comprehensive control strategy with reliability considerations exhibits a 21% mileage improvement as compared to a simple rule-based control algorithm.
Technical Paper

Fuel Cell Hybrid Powertrain Design Approach for a 2005 Chevrolet Equinox

A fuel cell-battery hybrid powertrain SUV vehicle is designed using an optimized model-based design process. Powertrain and fuel storage components selected include a 65 kW Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) power module, two 67 kW electric traction motors, a 35 MPa compressed hydrogen storage tank, a 70 kW nickel metal hydride battery pack, and a University of Waterloo in-house DC/DC converter design. Hardware control uses two controllers, a main supervisory controller and a subsystem controller in addition to any embedded component control modules. Two key innovations of this work include the hybrid control strategy and the DC/DC converter. The final powertrain characteristics are expected to meet a set of Vehicle Technical Specifications (VTS).
Journal Article

University of Waterloo's Hydrogen Fuel Cell Choice Meets the Reality of Canada's Winter by Using Model-Based Design

Developing a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in three years is not a trivial task for any group of engineers. It is even worse still when you consider the climate it will be subjected to in Canada. For four months of the year, our vehicle remains inside of a heated garage, away from the cold ice and snow. Actual vehicle data is collected during the eight warm months of the year to construct empirical models. Software-in-the-loop and hardware-in-the-loop methodologies were used to tune our vehicles using the models that were constructed using actual vehicle data. Without MATLAB and Simulink from The MathWorks, our winters would be a lot less productive. In this paper, you will find a brief overview of our vehicle's architecture as well as how model-based design was valuable to our design and inplementation of our vehicle.