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VIRTUAL-FCS launches open-source platform to design hybrid fuel cell and battery systems

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The Virtual-FCS project consortium has officially launched its open-source platform for simulation of hybrid fuel cell and battery systems.

The Virtual-FCS project is a Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCHJU) project aimed at making hybrid fuel cell and battery system design simpler, cheaper, and faster.

The EU Virtual-FCS project will create a completely open-source software-hardware (cyber-physical) tool for fuel cell device design that can be implemented as a global standard. It allows any system integrator, including those with little to no experience with fuel cells, to quickly design and optimize a fuel cell battery hybrid powertrain for a variety of applications, including heavy and light duty cars, maritime and rail applications.

A Modelica library for modeling hybrid fuel cell and battery systems is included in the first edition. Models for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), lithium-ion batteries, and related balance of plant components are included in the library. The library can be used to create custom fuel cell power system models, which can then be combined with pre-existing or user-defined vehicle profiles to simulate the system’s performance under various conditions. Example vehicle profiles and regular drive cycles are pre-programmed into the library (NEDC and WLTC). The VirtualFCS library can be downloaded from GitHub and used in conjunction with OpenModelica, a free modeling environment.

The platform will be modified on a regular basis. In practice, a new public release of code is expected every three months, along with complete documentation, so that the broader fuel cell community can use and refine it. Every new code release will be accompanied by educational webinars and blog posts that will clarify both the science and engineering behind the new features as well as how to practically execute and use the platform.

In addition, a forum will be established to enable a two-way exchange of best practices and harmonization of models and algorithms between the consortium and platform users, with the ultimate goal of optimizing hybrid fuel cell system design and power management.

One year after the platform’s official launch, the consortium will host a training workshop focused on the practical application of the platform.

Arnes Biogradlija
Creative Content Director at EnergyNews.Biz

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