Joint project Hy-FCD

  Material handling machine at a scrap yard while sorting scrap metal Copyright: © Terex Deutschland GmbH

Heavy-Duty Hydrogen Fuel Cell Drives


Key Info

Basic Information

01.08.2022 to 31.07.2025
Hydrogen Technologies



+49 241 80-28012




In the course of decarbonization of the transport sector, H2 FC drives offer an opportunity to address the climate protection goals of the German federal government in the use of mobile machines compared to diesel engine drives.

The cross-domain and cross-discipline MBSE (Model-Based-System-Engineering) development approach links technical with techno-economic aspects in a system model. MBSE creates a uniform data basis (single source of truth), formal model specifications (model ontologies) and modeling language (SysML). The complexity becomes manageable and the model documentation systematic and transparent, which favors knowledge exchange. This system analytical approach is applied and further developed in the project for R&D of H2 FC drives. The project thus contributes to the goal of developing system analytical tools with cross-disciplinary participation in the 7th Energy Research Program of the German government.


Project Goals and Methods

Sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Economics Affairs and Climate Action

The overall objective of the project is to develop and apply an MBSE system model for the purpose of redeveloping economical machine concepts of mobile machines with H2 FC drives. This enables the linking of technical (robustness, dynamics, safety, operational management) and techno-economic (costs (LCC), environment) perspectives on hybrid H2 FC drives. Thus, technical requirements are met and system complexity is manageable. Suitable domain-spanning submodels represent the views. The methodical development is used in the project to develop a hybrid H2-BZ drive for a material handling machine and to convert it.
The Institute of Control Engineering is responsible for developing a model-based control of a hybrid drive as an operating strategy for a material handling machine and testing it on a demonstrator. The operating strategy is responsible for the efficient provision of the requested drive power. To do this, it receives information from the vehicle, driver and, if necessary, the environment, processes the data and calculates the actuating signals for the actuators.
The overriding control objectives are the optimal power supply from the battery and fuel cell as well as the power distribution to the traction, working and auxiliary drives. In this context, dynamics, safety, efficiency and robustness are the factors describing optimal operation. On the one hand, the fuel cell should follow the intermittent power demands as dynamically as possible. At the same time, its operation should be within the limits of a safe working range, especially in the transient case, in order to minimize its wear. In this case, the battery absorbs the power peaks that occur. The smaller these peaks are, the smaller the battery can be designed. This can reduce life cycle costs and improve economic efficiency. Since the harsh operating conditions typical of work machines (rough terrain, dirt, rock movements) influence operating behavior and can result in large load jumps, the control system must be designed robustly to ensure the most stable possible operating behavior in different situations.


Innovations and Perspectives

The following three project components required for a broad market ramp-up of fuel cell-powered mobile machines, can be achieved effectively and efficiently in terms of cost and risk particularly well in a network of industry and with the involvement of research institutions. These are:

  1. the development and construction of a prototype of a mobile working machine with H2 FC drive.
  2. the production, assembly, and testing of this prototype.
  3. the development of a system model to ensure the economically and technically optimal system design under current and future boundary conditions.

The MBSE model generated in the project creates and accompanies transformation processes toward hydrogen mobility in the field of mobile machinery. This reduces the development effort, time, and risk of new drive concepts at the system level. The transfer of H2 FC drives to further mobile machines is favored, which increases the market penetration in the future and thus accelerates the cost degression of the H2 technology. The application areas of H2 FC drives will be expanded, and hydrogen will be established as an energy carrier. In line with the objectives of the funding call "Technology Offensive Hydrogen" and the National Hydrogen Strategy, a contribution to the competitiveness of hydrogen, especially in Germany, is created.

Project partners