Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Quantification on Fuel Cell Degradation and Techno-Economic Analysis of a Hydrogen-Based Grid-Interactive Residential Energy Sharing Network with Fuel-Cell-Powered Vehicles


Hydrogen-based (H2-based) interactive energy networks for buildings and transportations provide novel solutions for carbon-neutrality transition, regional energy flexibility and independence on fossil fuel consumption, where vehicle fuel cells are key components for H2-electricity conversion and clean power supply. However, due to the complexity in thermodynamic working environments and frequent on/off operations, the proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) suffer from performance degradation, depending on cabin heat balance and power requirements, and the ignorance of the degradation may lead to the performance overestimation. In order to quantify fuel cell degradation in both daily cruise and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) interactions, this study firstly proposes a two-space cabin thermal model to quantify the ambient temperature of vehicle PEMFCs and the power supply from PEMFCs to vehicle HVAC systems. Afterwards, a stack voltage model is proposed to quantify the fuel cell degradation for multiple purposes, such as daily transportation and V2G interactions. Afterwards, the two models are coupled in a community-level based building-vehicle energy network, consisting of twenty single residential buildings, rooftop PV systems, four hydrogen vehicles (HVs), a H2 station, community-served micro power grid, local main power grid, and local H2 pipelines, located in California, U.S.A. Comparative analysis with and without fuel cell degradation is conducted to study the impact of dynamic fuel cell degradation on the energy flexibility and operating cost. Furthermore, a parametrical analysis is conducted on the integrated HV quantity and the grid feed-in tariff to reach trade-off strategies between associated fuel cell degradation costs and grid import cost savings. The results indicate that, in the proposed hydrogen-based building-vehicle energy network, the total fuel cell degradation is 3.16% per vehicle within one year, where 2.50% and 0.66% are caused by daily transportation and V2G interactions, respectively. Furthermore, in the H2-based residential community, the total fuel cell degradation cost is US$6945.2, accounting for 33.4% of the total operating cost at $20770.61. The sensitivity analysis results showed that, when the HV quantity increases to twenty, the fuel cell degradation of each HV decreases to 2.50%, whereas the total fuel cell degradation cost increases to 42.8% of the total operating cost. Last but not the least, the cost saving by V2G interactions can compensate the fuel cell degradation cost when the grid feed-in tariff is reduced by 40%. Research results can provide basic modelling tools on dynamic fuel cell degradation, in respect to vehicle power supply, vehicle HVAC and V2G interactions, together with techno-economic feasibility analysis, paving path for the development of hydrogen energy for the carbon-neutrality transition.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View