Comparison of Fuel Consumption and Fuel Cell Degradation Using an Optimised Controller

Tom Fletcher, Rob Thring, Martin Watkinson, Iain Staffell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (SciVal)
17 Downloads (Pure)


The Energy Management Strategy (EMS) of any hybrid vehicle is responsible for determining the operating state of many components on board the vehicle and therefore has significant effect on the fuel economy, emissions, ageing of components and vehicle drive-ability. It is generally accepted that Stochastic Dynamic Programming (SDP) can be used to produce a near-optimal control strategy provided that an accurate Markov model of the drive-cycle is available, and the cost function used for the optimisation is representative of the true running cost of the vehicle. The vast majority of research in this field focussing solely on the optimisation of the fuel economy, however for a fuel cell hybrid vehicle, the degradation of the fuel cell contributes significantly to the overall running cost of the vehicle, and should therefore be included in calculation of the running cost during the optimisation process. In this work, an optimised controller using SDP is developed for a campus passenger vehicle in order to minimise the lifetime cost of both fuel consumption and fuel cell degradation. The vehicle is then simulated over a number of typical journey's obtained from data logging during its use on the University of Birmingham's campus. It is shown that the expected lifetime cost due to fuel cell degradation massively outweighs the cost of the fuel consumed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number85
JournalECS Transactions
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2016


  • Fuel Cells
  • Hydrogen
  • Stochastic Dynamic Programming
  • Hybrid Strategy
  • Energy Management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Automotive Engineering


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