This work presents the proof-of-concept of an electric traction power system with a high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell range extender, usable for automotive class electrical vehicles. The hybrid system concept examined, consists of a power system where the primary power is delivered by a lithium ion battery pack. In order to increase the run time of the application connected to this battery pack, a high temperature PEM (HTPEM) fuel cell stack acts as an on-board charger able to charge a vehicle during operation as a series hybrid. Because of the high tolerance to carbon monoxide, the HTPEM fuel cell system can efficiently use a liquid methanol/water mixture of 60%/40% by volume, as fuel instead of compressed hydrogen, enabling potentially a higher volumetric energy density. In order to test the performance of such a system, the experimental validation conducted uses a down-sized version of the battery pack used in the Mitsubishi iMiEV, which is subjected to power cycles derived from simulations of the vehicle undergoing multiple New European Drive Cycles (NEDC).
International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 2014, Vol 39, Issue 4, p. 1856-1863