FC vehicle hybridisation: An affordable solution for an energy-efficient FC powered drive train

G. Pede, A. Iacobazzi, S. Passerini, A. Bobbio, G. Botto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)


Fuel cells (FCs) have potential as clean and efficient energy sources for automotive applications without sacrifice in performance or driving range. However, the complete FC system must operate as efficiently as possible over the range of driving conditions that may be encountered while maintaining a low cost. To achieve this target, a storage unit can be introduced in the FC system to reduce the size of the fuel cell that is the most expensive component. This "hybrid" concept would not only reduce the drive train total cost but it also allow the recover of the braking energy and the operation at the voltage-current point of maximum efficiency for the FC system. Pro-and-cons of the "full-power" versus the "hybrid" configuration are shown in this work. The "Hybridisation rate" or "Hybridisation degree", a parameter expressed by the relationship between two installed powers, the generation power and the traction power, is also introduced and it is demonstrated that for each category of hybrid vehicles there is an optimal value of hybridisation degree. The storage systems considered are based on high power batteries or ultra capacitors (UCs) or a combination of them. A preliminary design of a sport utility vehicle (SUV) using a combined storage system and a FC energy source (called Triple Hybrid), is proposed. Finally, the experience of the Italian industry in this field is also reviewed. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280 - 291
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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