Energy management strategy for fuel cell-supercapacitor hybrid vehicles based on prediction of energy demand

Journal Article (2017)


Journal of Power Sources





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Offering high efficiency and producing zero emissions Fuel Cells (FCs) represent an excellent alternative to internal combustion engines for powering vehicles to alleviate the growing pollution in urban environments. Due to inherent limitations of FCs which lead to slow transient response, FC-based vehicles incorporate an energy storage system to cover the fast power variations. This paper considers a FC/supercapacitor platform that configures a hard constrained powertrain providing an adverse scenario for the energy management strategy (EMS) in terms of fuel economy and drivability. Focusing on palliating this problem, this paper presents a novel EMS based on the estimation of short-term future energy demand and aiming at maintaining the state of energy of the supercapacitor between two limits, which are computed online. Such limits are designed to prevent active constraint situations of both FC and supercapacitor, avoiding the use of friction brakes and situations of non-power compliance in a short future horizon. Simulation and experimentation in a case study corresponding to a hybrid electric bus show improvements on hydrogen consumption and power compliance compared to the widely reported Equivalent Consumption Minimization Strategy. Also, the comparison with the optimal strategy via Dynamic Programming shows a room for improvement to the real-time strategies.


dynamic programming, power transmission control, storage automation.

Author keywords

Fuel cell-supercapacitor hybrid vehicle; State constraint; Energy management strategy; Fuel economy; Drivability

Scientific reference

M.G. Carignano, R. Costa, V. Roda, N.M. Nigro, S. Junco and D. Feroldi. Energy management strategy for fuel cell-supercapacitor hybrid vehicles based on prediction of energy demand. Journal of Power Sources, 360: 419-433, 2017.