Influence of the Main Design Factors on the Optimal Fuel Cell-Based Powertrain Sizing Articles uri icon

publication date

  • November 2018


  • 11


  • 11

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1996-1073


  • The design of the optimal power distribution system (PDS or powertrain) for fuel cell-based vehicles is a complex task due to PDS comprising one or more power converters, several types of secondary energy sources, a fuel cell, several control loops, and protections, among others. The optimized powertrain design tries to minimize the mass, volume, and cost, and also to improve system efficiency, fuel economy (both hydrogen and electricity), and vehicle autonomy. This paper analyzes the influence of four different factors that deeply affect the optimal powertrain design, in particular: the minimum power delivered by the fuel cell, the storage of the recovered energy from the regenerative braking periods, the battery technology, and the maximum battery state-of-charge variation. The analysis of these factors is carried out over a set of 9 different fuel cell-based architectures applied to a light vehicle, and a 10th architecture corresponding to a pure electric vehicle. This analysis provides the knowledge of how these design factors affect the mass, volume, and cost of the optimal power distribution architectures, and how they can be considered in the design.


  • sizing; battery and supercapacitor; fuel cell; powertrain; power distribution system; vehicles