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Design of a PEMFC thermal management system in heavy-duty vehicle application

Andrea Pandolfo

Design of a PEMFC thermal management system in heavy-duty vehicle application.

Rel. Paolo Guglielmi. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Automotive Engineering (Ingegneria Dell'Autoveicolo), 2023

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During the last two decades the interest towards alternative solutions for the propulsion system of automotive vehicles has increasingly grown, in order to face the several environmental problems and the consequent increasingly stringent European regulation. One of the solutions that has been proposed and has risen the biggest scientific interest is the usage of hydrogen fuel cell (more precisely polymeric electrolyte membrane fuel cell, PEMFC). This solution has several advantages: PMEFCs are able to convert the chemical energy of the hydrogen into electrical energy exploiting the reverse principle of electrolysis, producing only water and heat, hence without pollutant emissions; PEMFCs can operate as long as there is hydrogen available in the tank, thus the fuel cell electric vehicles have less autonomy issues than battery electric vehicles; Hydrogen tank can be refilled in few minutes, unlike the battery electric vehicle that takes a lot of time to recharge the batteries. The aim of this master thesis is to develop and design the thermal management system of a heavy-duty vehicle powered by a hydrogen fuel cell in order to minimize the energy cost. Firstly, a general overview of the fuel cell will be presented. Then, the model of the PMFC and its thermal management system will be designed and performed using MATLAB-Simulink. The system will be optimized to minimize the energy required by the auxiliaries and, consequently, the fuel consumption. Generally, the efficiency of a PEMFC is about 0.6. The projected outcome is to increase the efficiency of the system exploiting the heat loss of the fuel cell obtaining a general efficiency of the system of about 0.8. The PEMFC technology has promising characteristics suitable for the automotive field. Thanks to a proper water management and a thermal management system it may become the best solution for the transportation field. However, the production of the components needed is very niche and then its costs are higher than the technologies currently used. In addition, the supply network for hydrogen fuel is still too narrow and should be improved. In conclusion, the PEMFC chemical potential and the easily and fast refillable nature of the hydrogen storage system, provided the efficiency of the system is risen and the knowledge on calculations to reach It is deepened, could constitute a greener and cheaper solution for heavy-duty vehicles’ sector.

Relators: Paolo Guglielmi
Academic year: 2022/23
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 80
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Automotive Engineering (Ingegneria Dell'Autoveicolo)
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-33 - MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: Politecnico di Torino
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/27985
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