Hybrid Fuel Cell Vehicle Powertrain Development Considering Power Source Degradation
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Vehicle design and control is an attractive area of research in that it embodies a convergence of societal need, technical limitation, and emerging capability. Environmental, political, and monetary concerns are driving the automotive industry towards sustainable transportation, manifested as increasing powertrain electrification in a gradual transition to fossil-free energy vectors. From an electrochemical degradation and control systems perspective, this transition introduces significant technical uncertainty. Initial indications are that the initial battery designs will have twice the required capacity due to degradation concerns. As the battery is a major contributor to the cost of these vehicles the over-sizing represents a significant threat to the ability of OEMs to produce cost-competitive vehicles. This potential barrier is further amplified when the combustion engine is removed and battery-electric or fuel-cell hybrid vehicles are considered. This thesis researches the application of model-based design for optimal design of fuel cell hybrid powertrains considering power source degradation. The intent is to develop and evaluate tools that can determine the optimal sizing and control of the powertrain; reducing the amount of over-sizing by numerically optimization rather than a sub-optimal heuristic design. A baseline hybrid fuel cell vehicle model is developed and validated to a hybrid fuel cell SUV designed and built at the University of Waterloo. Lithium-ion battery degradation models are developed and validated to data captured off a hybrid powertrain test stand built as part of this research. A fuel cell degradation model is developed and integrated into the vehicle model. Lifetime performance is modeled for four hybrid control strategies, demonstrating a significant impact of the hybrid control strategy on powertrain degradation. A plug-in variation of the architecture is developed. The capacity degradation of the battery is found to be more significant than the power degradation. Blended and All-electric charge-depleting hybrid control strategies are integrated and lifetime performance is simulated. The blended charge-depleting control strategy demonstrated significantly less degradation than the all-electric strategy. An oversized battery is integrated into the vehicle model and the benefit of oversizing on reducing the battery degradation rate is demonstrated.