Fuel cell-powered vehicles are a complement to pure battery electric-powered vehicles in electromobility. An electrochemical reactor is used to generate electrical energy that is available for the drive and other vehicle systems. The interaction of this reactor in the fuel cell stack with the other components in the powertrain is tested on test benches. In this example, you will learn how the necessary measurements are carried out simply and synchronously.
Numerous fuel cells connected in series are combined in the fuel cell stack. In a so-called "cold combustion", electrical energy is generated in these cells from hydrogen and atmospheric oxygen. In order to control this process, the supply of hydrogen and atmospheric oxygen must be precisely regulated and the entire fuel cell stack must be kept within a defined temperature range.
The fuel cell-electric drive is usually a complete component of a vehicle provided by a supplier. In combination with the other components of the vehicle powertrain, the result is the overall vehicle performance and dynamics. The characteristics, functions and properties of the fuel cell-electric drive are verified on test benches up to production release with various tests. To do this, current, voltage and power, as well as other measured variables such as temperatures, flow rates, pressures and humidity, must be acquired at various points in the fuel cell stack and powertrain.
Acquisition of current, voltage and power as well as other measured variables to test characteristics, functions and properties of the fuel cell drive.
The functional tests cover all operating functions such as cooling circuit, cooling control, heating, hydrogen paths (anode path), air paths (cathode path), high-voltage electrical paths, sensor technology and fuel cell control unit. High-precision measurement of a wide range of physical parameters is required for functional testing and validation of the fuel cell drive system. In addition to temperatures, volumetric flows, humidity and pressures, high-voltage measurements of currents and voltages in the high-voltage circuits are necessary. From these, the delivered energy, power and efficiency are calculated.
With validation, the system requirements such as performance parameters, reaction speed to load changes or service life are proven with tests and endurance runs.
to check correct operation in the various operating phases. For example, the characteristic curve of the power during the warm-up phase, for start-up, load changes, partial load and peak load as well as various other distinctive operating points.
Ultimately, the specified efficiency curves of the fuel cell-electric drive are demonstrated. The efficiency is the energy delivered in relation to the hydrogen consumed. It depends on the load point and the optimal supply of the different media: hydrogen, atmospheric oxygen, humidity and cooling. A non-optimal supply, for example of stack humidification, leads to a drop in stack voltage.
With measurement modules and other components from the Vector CSM E-Mobility Measurement System, the numerous measurement variables required can be acquired and the parameters precisely analyzed.
With the conventional and high-voltage measurement modules from CSM, the test bench can be equipped exactly according to the measurement requirements. High-voltage measurement modules are used where measurements are made in high-voltage environment. Fast EtherCAT measurement modules allow a high sampling rate to assure that high-speed transient data is not missed.
Thanks to the finely harmonized components of the Vector CSM E-Mobility Measurement System, the measurement setup can be scaled to specific applications and easily expanded as needed. For accurate power analysis, Vector's vMeasure exp software with the eMobilityAnalyzer is ideal.
Here you find the complete application report for download as PDF.
XCP-Gateway is the interface between the data acquisition software (e. g. vMeasure, CANape®, INCA®, Vision® ...) and the EtherCAT® measurement modules from CSM. It includes an EtherCAT® master and an XCP-on-Ethernet slave.
Safe acquisition of analog signals on high-voltage components: CSM’s HV AD measurement modules offer all-round measurement technology for sensors with analog voltage outputs or measurements of analog voltages up to ±90 V in high-voltage environments.
Safe temperature measurements with thermocouples on high-voltage components: the high-voltage-safe temperature measurement modules are specifically designed for the reliable acquisition of temperatures in electric and hybrid vehicles.
The HV Breakout Modules (BM) type 1.2 have been specially designed for safe and precise single-phase measurement in separated HV+ and HV- power cables. Inner conductor current and voltage are measured directly and the instantaneous power is calculated in the module.
The HV Breakout Module (BM) type 1.1 has been specially designed for safe and precise single-phase measurement in single HV voltage power cables. Inner conductor current and voltage are measured directly and the instantaneous power is calculated in the module.
CSM’s AD MiniModules of the AD CAN MM (MiniModule)-Series offer a wide range of applications for measuring analogue signals (voltage, current, pressure, flow rate, etc.).
Swift configuration of measurement chains: CSMconfig is the reliable configuration software for all CAN and EtherCAT® based measurement modules from CSM. The clearly arranged and easy-to-use user interface allows an easy setting of all measurement parameters. This helps speeding up the measurement setup considerably.
vMeasure exp, developed by Vector Informatik, is an easy-to-use software tool for the acquisition and analysis of measurement data that can be used in combination with all CAN- and EtherCAT®-based CSM measurement modules. CSMconfig was integrated directly to ensure swift configuration.