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Journal of Energy
Volume 2013, Article ID 162457, 5 pages
Research Article

Experimental Evaluation of Supercapacitor-Fuel Cell Hybrid Power Source for HY-IEL Scooter

1Electrotechnical Institute Wroclaw Division of Technology and Materials Science, M. Sklodowskiej-Curie 55/61, 50-369 Wroclaw, Poland
2Hydrogen South Africa (HySA) Systems and Validation Centre, University of the Western Cape, Robert Sobukwe Road, Bellville, Cape Town 7535, South Africa

Received 30 January 2013; Revised 23 April 2013; Accepted 23 April 2013

Academic Editor: Mattheos Santamouris

Copyright © 2013 Piotr Bujlo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper presents the results of development of a hybrid fuel cell supercapacitor power system for vehicular applications that was developed and investigated at the Energy Sources Research Section of the Wroclaw Division of Electrotechnical Institute (IEL/OW). The hybrid power source consists of a polymer exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stack and an energy-type supercapacitor that supports the system in time of peak power demands. The developed system was installed in the HY-IEL electric scooter. The vehicle was equipped with auxiliary components (e.g., air compressor, hydrogen tank, and electromagnetic valves) needed for proper operation of the fuel cell stack, as well as electronic control circuits and a data storage unit that enabled on-line recording of system and vehicle operation parameters. Attention is focused on the system energy flow monitoring. The experimental part includes field test results of a vehicle powered with the fuel cell-supercapacitor system. Values of currents and voltages recorded for the system, as well as the vehicle’s velocity and hydrogen consumption rate, are presented versus time of the experiment. Operation of the hybrid power system is discussed and analysed based on the results of measurements obtained.