Theoretical analysis and optimum integration strategy of the PEM fuel cell and internal combustion engine hybrid system for vehicle applications

Xiuqin Zhang, Meng Ni, Wei He, Feifei Dong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The hybrid system comprised by a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell and internal combustion engine shows many advantages for vehicle applications. The hybrid system can recover the un-reacted hydrogen from fuel cell, utilize heat in the combustion product from cylinder, or combine the advantages of both. Based on thermodynamics and electrochemistry, an indirect integration system of the PEM fuel cell and Otto cycle is established for vehicle applications. The irreversibilities such as the entropy production and overpotentials in the fuel cell, the finite-rate heat transfer between the air in the Otto cycle and combustion chamber wall, the irreversible compression, expansion, and regeneration processes in the Otto cycle are considered. The excellence of the PEM fuel cell compared with internal combustion engine is shown in terms of energy conversion efficiency. When the vehicle is speeding or launching suddenly, not only the flow rate of natural gas into the hybrid system should be increased but also a specific coupling mode between two powertrain systems should be found.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1664-1672
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Energy Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Irreversible loss
  • Optimum integration strategy
  • Otto cycle
  • PEM fuel cell
  • Steam reforming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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