Degradation model of the E-45 Nuvera fuel cell due to operation and conductivity

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Type vacancy
Graduation assignment
Hogeschool van Arnhem & Nijmegen
Education field
Automotive Engineering

Project Description:
The Nuvera E-45 fuel cell engine [1], can provide primary power for a vehicle or be used in combination with batteries to extend the range of electric vehicles. Hyster-Yale design, engineers and manufacture heavy mobile vehicles where it utilizes Nuvera fuel cells as the power source.
Heavy mobile vehicles not only require energy for forward/driving movements but also transient and high-frequency peak power due to moving heavy objects, such as shipping containers. A hybrid drivetrain, a hydrogen-electric power is under study for an Empty Container Handler (ECH) application. The availability of these machines during the run shifts is high priority for the companies. To fulfil this requirement, the downtime of the machine should be minimized. For reducing the downtime of the machine, a maintenance prediction model for a Fuel cell in a Fuel cell- battery hybrid driveline needs to be investigated.
Objective: Develop degradation model for a fuel cell operating in fuel cell-electric driveline taking into account the effects of operation and membrane conductivity.
Influence of high power, variable load cycle, start-up procedure etc. (operations), and temperature (membrane conductivity) should be considered.
Write a detailed test plan with schematic and list of components, to test and execute the respective degradation on the fuel cell.
Prepare the hardware for the testing to be conducted on the fuel cell set-up.

- Literature study to define load cycle of the machine.
- Literature study to understand the durability of fuel cells, and develop a mathematical model of single cell of the fuel cell stack, that can predict its degradation considering impact of operational factors and membrane conductivity into account.
- Research variable(s) that help predict degradation and relate other influencing factors/parameters with it.
- Simulate and analyse the results using literature.
- Validate with load cycle from the machine and analyse.
- Perform an analysis on the factors/parameters/ variables with respect to fuel cell to suggest the optimal operating ranges and good practices for enhanced durability.

- Appropriate level of knowledge of the fuel cells.
- Motivated to work with hardware if needed.
- Basic knowledge of hybrid drivelines
- Ability to analyse system and results
- Experience with Matlab-Simulink software
- Fluency in English language

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