Peak Power Based Fuel Cell Hybrid Propulsion System

Joeri Van Mierlo, Jean-Marc Timmermans, Gaston Maggetto, Peter Van Den Bossche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Hybrid electric propulsion systems are interesting solutions to increase the energy efficiency of the road transportation technology [ , ]. Peak power units (e.g. super-capacitors) can be introduced in the propulsion system to supply the peak power demands for vehicle acceleration [ , ].. This form of hybridisation of the power system allows increasing the life-time of the main energy source in case of a battery-electric vehicle or allows improving or optimizing the dynamic performance of the fuel cell system in case of a fuel cell electric vehicle.

In this paper, several series hybrid propulsion system topologies are analysed on the basis of the vehicle simulation programme VSP. Especially the use of a DC/DC converter connected between the DC-bus and the fuel cell stack, the super capacitor or both are investigated together with its control algorithms. Both the advantages and drawbacks of the different topologies are presented in this paper.

The Vehicle Simulation Programme, VSP, allows simulating the behaviour of electric (battery, hybrid and fuel cell) as well as internal combustion vehicles (petrol, diesel, CNG, etc.).

The validated model of the battery electric passenger car power system has been modified by adding a super-capacitor and a fuel cell system. This results in a series hybrid propulsion system topology where the super-capacitor provides the peak power for acceleration and the fuel cell provides the moving average driving power.

Finally the proposed power management control strategy is validated on the basis of experimental results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-61
Number of pages8
JournalWorld Electric Vehicle Journal
Issue numberMay 2007
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Super Capacitor
  • DC Dc converter
  • Modelling and Simulation

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