Direct hybridization of a PEM fuel cell and supercapacitive storage module: comparative study of ageing in urban driving cycling and optimal management of hydrogen consumption.

Pile à combustible / Fuel cell

Pile à combustible / Fuel cell

Context, Integration in the project dynamics

Economic reliability of PEM fuel cells requires operation at higher energy yield and improved durability. The subject is in full consistence with the objectives of the axis devoted to “fuel cells” of the Impact project by coupling a chemical engineering approach to process investigation of electrochemical conversion of energy.


Innovative aspects and cross-disciplinary collaborations

The concept of direct hybridization of a fuel cell by a supercapacitor has been proposed and validated by GREEN scientists. Synergy with LRGP is to allow a valuable answer to the (restricted) durability issue of fuel cells together with optimal strategy for hydrogen consumption in power production.


Targeted scientific advances from the state of art

Up to now the two purposes of the PhD project have never been described in literature. Papers on direct hybridization were only published by GREEN and focused on the feasibility of the method and the transient regime.


Description of the subject

The direct hybridization of a fuel cell to a supercapacitor allows to smooth the voltage transients at sudden variation of the electric demand and to possibly avoid electronic converters of power. The proposed PhD project is aimed first at investigating the degradation of the active part (diffusion layers, electrodes and membrane) of the fuel cell in urban cycling mode, and on the other hand at developing an optimal strategy for hydrogen supply for a fixed power production. Long-term runs will be carried out with evaluation of the state of health of the cell components along the run and post-mortem investigations. Besides control laws of the hydrogen flow for its minimal consumption will be searched, then applied to the models to be developed: the theoretical approach will have to be validated by experiment.



PhD supervision: Prof. Stéphane Raël GREEN (UL)
PhD co-supervision: Dr. Caroline Bonnet LRGP (UL CNRS)
Laboratory in which the thesis will be prepared: LRGP
Doctoral School: IAEM


How to apply

In order to prepare a PhD thesis within the Lorraine Université d’Excellence Program, the interested candidate should consult the PhD topics offered in each social and economic challenges.
These PhD thesis topics are proposed by faculty members or researchers accredited to supervise research.

Candidate application period: according to graduate school schedule

Each candidate may submit an application on up to three separate research topics.

Application analysis period by each graduate school
The graduate school reviews the applicants for a doctoral contract in the relevant disciplines. They check the level of supervision for each supervisor and the situation of trained doctors. Each candidate will meet the laboratory director, supervisor and a representative from the graduate school. This interview is to identify the candidate’s motivations and suitability as a candidate for the PhD project proposed by the supervisor. A recommendation will be made to the graduate school. This will summarize the strengths and/or weaknesses of the application.

PhD grants will include monthly income for the PhD student (roughly 1700 € for research only, complement can be provided for teaching missions) and environment for research in the research unit.

Please be aware that in order to offer a variety of subjects, more positions are posted here than available funding. The LUE executive committee will make the final choice on the granted funding (up to 12 positions), based on the recommendations by the doctoral schools.