Low voltage system design in fuel-cell powered vehicle

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Texas Tech University

Fuel cell vehicles have the potential of being highly efficient compared to current vehicles. Their higher efficiency results in lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions of gaseous pollutants and the greenhouse gas CO2.

The system inside a fuel cell vehicle is complicated, which consists of several accessory subsystems to ensure its performance. The low voltage subsystem is important for providing electric energy for the operation of the other electric subsystems in a fuel cell vehicle. This thesis describes the use of a novel low voltage system to help running a homemade, student-developed fuel cell vehicle. First, the background of fuel cells and fuel cell powered vehicles is introduced. After that, the design of the low voltage system is demonstrated, which was central to conducting the reported thesis research. Dynamic testing results for investigating the working of low voltage components, such as sensors, actuators are presented, and the fuel cell working conditions during the vehicle running are studied. Finally, conclusions and recommendations for future work are provided.