A HIL simulator, with integrated FC stack and system model as well as a vehicle model, controls the test bench with the help of a developed control unit. Copyright: © RWTH Aachen | TME

The increasing diversity in the powertrain sector makes it necessary for new systems to be developed in time and resource-saving processes. In particular, virtual development in the area of software development offers high savings potential. In the field of fuel cell control, however, this process has not yet been fully implemented due to the currently low quantities of fuel cell systems and empirical values.

In the ReforceHIL (Realtime for Fuel Cell Hardware-in-the-Loop) project, an exemplary development process for the implementation of control units for fuel cell systems and their testing in a hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) environment will be developed. A real-time, modular, scalable and mathematical-physical model of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEMFC) including its balance of plant components will be developed.

The aim of the model is to be used for the development of model-based algorithms. The developed model will then be put into operation in real time on an HIL test bench and tested with the control system provided for this purpose. The TME is working closely with the research institution Zentrum für Brennstoffzellentechnik (ZBT) and dSPACE GmbH on this, with the focus of the investigations at the TME being on the further development of algorithms for controlling the fuel cell system. In the future, this knowledge can be used to optimize operating strategies for fuel cell systems and to test novel control concepts in a virtual environment.


Realtime for Fuel Cell Hardware-in-the-Loop

Acronym ReforceHIL

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)

Term 02/2021 - 01/2023