Title: OPTIMIZATION OF FUEL PROCESSOR-BATTERY-FUEL CELL HYBRID DRIVETRAIN FOR EXTENDED RANGE OPERATION
Although tremendous progress has been made in developing compact, efficient and reliable fuel cells, their implementation in automobile applications is constrained by limited driving range between H2 refills. Examination of power and energy requirements of a vehicle, especially under practical driving conditions, shows that a significant amount of energy is required under low power condition which impairs the efficiency of fuel cell system. Since a considerable fraction of low power energy demand comes from auxiliary power consumption, an ethanol reformer based onboard hydrogen generation system is considered in present study to augment a fuel cell power-train. Systematic driving cycle simulations have been carried out with due consideration to power-to-weight, energy-to-weight and power-to-efficiency factors of on-board power sources under simulated load conditions. It is shown that a combination of steadily-operated reformer, a low-power battery continuously charged by excess reformer capacity and selectively-used hydrogen from cylinder can increase the range of hybrid fuel cell power-trains to about 750 km.