Dynamic characteristics of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) system can impact fuel economy and load following performance of a fuel cell vehicle, especially if those dynamics are ignored in designing top-level energy management strategy. To quantify the effects of fuel cell system (FCS) dynamics on optimal energy management, dynamic programming (DP) is adopted in this study to derive optimal power split strategies at two levels: Level 1, where the FCS dynamics are ignored, and Level 2, where the FCS dynamics are incorporated. Analysis is performed to quantify the differences of these two resulting strategies to understand the effects of FCS dynamics. While Level 1 DP provides significant computational advantages, the resulting strategy leads to load following errors that need to be mitigated using battery or FCS itself. Our analysis shows that up to 5% fuel economy penalty on New York city cycle (NYCC) and 3% on supplemental federal test procedure (US06) can be resulted by ignoring FCS dynamics, when the dominant dynamics of the FCS has settling time as slow as 8 seconds.

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