Ultracapacitor Boosted Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle
With the escalating number of vehicles on the road, great concerns are drawn to the large amount of fossil fuels they use and the detrimental environmental impacts from their emissions. A lot of research and development have been conducted to explore the alternative energy sources. The fuel cell has been widely considered as one of the most promising solutions in automobile applications due to its high energy density, zero emissions and sustainable fuels it employs. However, the cost and low power density of the fuel cell are the major obstacles for its commercialization. This thesis designs a novel converter topology and proposes the control method applied in the Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicles (FCHVs) to minimize the fuel cell's cost and optimize the system's efficiency. Unlike the previous work, the converters presented in the thesis greatly reduce the costs of hardware and energy losses during switching. They need only three Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistors (MOSFETs) to smoothly accomplish the energy management in the cold start, acceleration, steady state and braking modes. In the converter design, a boost converter connects the fuel cell to the DC bus because the fuel cell's voltage is usually lower than the rating voltage of the motor. In this way, the fuel cell's size can be reduced. So is the cost. With the same reason, the bidirectional converter connected to the ultracapacitor works at the buck pattern when the power is delivered from the DC bus to the ultracapacitor, and the boost converter is selected when the ultracapacitor provides the peaking power to the load. Therefore, the two switches of the bi-directional converter don't work complementarily but in different modes according to the power flow's direction. Due to the converters' simple structure, the switches' duty cycles are mathematically analyzed and the forward control method is described. The fuel cell is designed to work in its most efficient range producing the average power, while the ultracapacitor provides the peaking power and recaptures the braking power. The simulation results are presented to verify the feasibility of the converter design and control algorithm.
Chen, Bo (2009). Ultracapacitor Boosted Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from