Fuel Cell System Development for Heavy-Duty Vehicles

The aim of this project is to promote the adoption of hydrogen fuel in heavy duty vehicles that can significantly reduce CO2 and pollution emission in the transportation sector. We will focus on the proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) and study

  • fuel cell reaction system control, and
  • power electronics integration with fuel cell.  

The deliverables in these tasks will form a unified automation system to drive the motors of heavy-duty vehicles under high loads. Besides, we will train students in the Electrical Engineering (EE) and Chemical Engineering (CHE) Departments to learn practical knowledge of fuel cells for transportation applications.

Principal Investigator: 
Yu Yang
PI Contact Information: 


CSU Long Beach

January 2024 to December 2024
Implementation of Research Outcomes: 

The proposed project has significant intellectual merits in technology development for sustainable transportation. Our study will deliver three modules:

  • a new control-oriented model for hydrogen-air reaction,
  • a new control algorithm for fuel cell reaction, humidity, and temperature management, and
  • a power electronics controller based on FPGA.

Our research will answer the following questions:

  • How to efficiently manipulate the fuel injection and avoid hydrogen starvation?
  • How to adjust fuel cell stacks voltage output suitable to the heave duty load, and
  • How can the FPGA be used for the motor control?
Impacts/Benefits of Implementation: 

The proposed research also has broad societal impacts. It aligns with SB1 objectives in a multifaceted manner. First, the electrification of heavy-duty trucks is still challenging. Using fuel cells instead of lithium-ion batteries is a promising manner to significantly reduce charging time and battery recycling problem to the environment. Second, the southern California trade corridor is heavily dependent on heavy-duty trucks to deliver cargos to the entire USA. An effective fuel cell automaton system will improve the vehicle’s energy efficiency and speed up the delivery time. Third, the automation system of fuel cells is a multidisciplinary research topic covering both chemical reaction and power electronics. The proposed project will enable the collaboration and teamwork between chemical and electrical engineering students in the workforce training.

Project Number: 



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