Automotive Engineering

Fuel Cell

Integrated course, 3.00 ECTS


Course content

The lecture is started with an overview on hydrogen as energy source with its specific characteristics, followed by the idea of a “Hydrogen Economy” transition as enabler for large scale H2 mobility. Furthermore, various fuel cell electric mobility applications and trends are being discussed. The core of the lecture is dealing with structure, main operating principle and characteristics of fuel cells with strong focus on Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel cells (PEMFCs), as they are mainly used in automotive context. A summary on fuel cell system behavior and development trends provides insight into challenges of automotive fuel cell application and dynamic operation, followed by an overview on hydrogen storage methods and safety requirements.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course students should be able to:

- understand the general context of hydrogen as energy source, preconditions for sustainable  hydrogen production, the hydrogen economy idea framework,

- understand options and limits of fuel cell powertrains in various mobility concepts,

- understand structure, main operating principle and characteristics of fuel cells in general,

- have specific knowledge of structure, specific operating principle and characteristics of PEM fuel cells in detail,

- know all main components of a fuel cell powertrain system and key operational parameters,

- perform technical discussions on fuel cells in the group,

- document dedicated fuel cell self-study research topics in form of brief summary one-pager documents.

Recommended or required reading and other learning resources / tools

Kurzweil, P. (2016) Brennstoffzellentechnik - Grundlagen, Materialien, Anwendungen, Gaserzeugung. 3. Auflage. Wiesbaden:  Springer Vieweg ? ISBN 9783658149352

Hacker, V.; Mitsushima, S. (2018) Fuel Cells and Hydrogen. Amsterdam: Elsevier ? ISBN 9780128114599,

Barbir, F. (2013) PEM Fuel Cells (Second Edition). San Diego: Academic Press ? ISBN 9780123877109,

Mench, M.M. (2008) Fuel Cell Engines. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc. ? ISBN 978047168958,

Breeze, P. (2017) Fuel Cells London: Academic Press, ? ISBN 978047168958,

Spiegel, C. (2008) PEM Fuel Cell – Modeling and Simulation Using MATLABâ London: Academic Press, ? ISBN 9780123742599,

Adolf, J. et al. (2017) SHELL HYDROGEN STUDY - ENERGY OF THE FUTURE? ? Sustainable Mobility through Fuel Cells and H. Hamburg: Shell Deutschland Oil GmbH., retrieved 25th of May 2020.

Mode of delivery

Integrated course: lectures and tutorials

Assessment methods and criteria

Written exam