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Assessment, design and control strategy development of a fuel cell hybrid electric vehicle for CSU's ecocar




Fox, Matthew D., author
Bradley, Thomas H., advisor
Labadie, John, committee member
Zimmerle, Dan, committee member

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Advanced automotive technology assessment and powertrain design are increasingly performed through modeling, simulation, and optimization. But technology assessments usually target many competing criteria making any individual optimization challenging and arbitrary. Further, independent design simulations and optimizations take considerable time to execute, and design constraints and objectives change throughout the design process. Changes in design considerations usually require re-processing of simulations and more time. In this thesis, these challenges are confronted through CSUs participation in the EcoCAR2 hybrid vehicle design competition. The complexity of the competition's design objectives leveraged development of a decision support system tool to aid in multi-criteria decision making across technologies and to perform powertrain optimization. To make the decision support system interactive, and bypass the problem of long simulation times, a new approach was taken. The result of this research is CSU's architecture selection and component sizing, which optimizes a composite objective function representing the competition score. The selected architecture is an electric vehicle with an onboard range extending hydrogen fuel cell system. The vehicle has a 145kW traction motor, 18.9kWh of lithium ion battery, a 15kW fuel cell system, and 5kg of hydrogen storage capacity. Finally, a control strategy was developed that improves the vehicles performance throughout the driving range under variable driving conditions. In conclusion, the design process used in this research is reviewed and evaluated against other common design methodologies. I conclude, through the highlighted case studies, that the approach is more comprehensive than other popular design methodologies and is likely to lead to a higher quality product. The upfront modeling work and decision support system formulation will pay off in superior and timely knowledge transfer and more informed design decisions. The hypothesis is supported by the three case studies examined in this thesis.


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decision support systems
vehicle design
systems analysis
hybrid electric vehicles


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