Joint project HyInnoPEM

  Fuel Cells Test Bench Copyright: © TME

Mobile drives with future-oriented fuel cell systems- condition monitoring and robust control considering degradation


Key Info

Basic Information

01.10.2021 to 30.09.2024
Hydrogen Technologies



Nikolai Weber

Hydrogen Technologies Group Manager


+49 241 80-28032




While decarbonizing the transport sector, hydrogen as an energy carrier offers the possibility of CO2-neutral mobility in the future. In this context, polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell systems (PEMFCS) can play a key role as an emission-free alternative to internal combustion engines and promote the electrification of vehicles. However, despite numerous advantages over purely electric drive concepts, the commercialization and broad market introduction of PEM fuel cell systems in mobile applications has been difficult to date. The main reasons for this are high system costs and aging phenomena that occur during dynamic operation of fuel cells and reduce their service life. However, considerable research efforts are being made to enable market penetration in the near future. In addition to materials science and manufacturing technology, the focus is on novel intelligent control strategies that enable operation with simultaneously high efficiency and dynamics without compromising service life.

The project HyInnoPEM is part of the Hydrogen Cluster4Future, in which hydrogen technologies from all areas of the value chain are to be sustainably transferred into application.

  Logo Hydrogen Cluster4Future  

Project Goals and Methods

In the project HyInnoPEM, a robust model predictive control for a highly dynamic PEMFCS will be developed, which at the same time guarantees a long lifetime of the system. For this purpose, mathematical models for the fuel cell stack and the associated system components will be created and validated based on investigations on the test stand. In addition to the detailed dynamic behavior, these models should also contain important state variables of the degradation and represent the basis of the control system. In addition, a state detection and lifetime prediction will be created, enabling a predictive maintenance strategy. This is to be quantified in the context of a TCO analysis.

The Institute of Automatic Control is responsible for the development, implementation and validation of the model predictive control of the PEMFCS. For this purpose, the developed models are adapted to the behavior of the test bench by identifying parameters and reduced in such a way that all dynamics relevant for the control are available and real-time capability is ensured. A suitable state observer is implemented to provide all system-internal, non-measurable state variables. Finally, the real-time capable control algorithm will be validated simulatively as well as experimentally on the test stand. It will also be investigated to what extent a concept for condition monitoring and lifetime prediction of the PEMFCS can be integrated into the control system in order to enable a condition-based predictive maintenance strategy.

  Sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research  

Innovations and Perspectives

The successful implementation of the project will result in an extended lifetime with simultaneous efficient and dynamic operation of PEMFCS. Furthermore, the overall system costs can be reduced by implementing the predictive maintenance strategy. Together, this represents a further step towards the timely market penetration of PEM FCS in mobile applications.

Project partner

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