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FUEL CELL ELECTRIC VEHICLE

Authors: S.R.Sitaaraman, S.Sudharsan, PSNA CET, Dindigul. Contact number: 9677322435, 7871291809
Abstract

1. Introduction:
In todays geopolitical context, it is an urgent necessity and a technological challenge to reduce dependence in oil from the current level of 98 % by using alternative fuels and improving the energy efficiency of methods of transport. The hydrogen economy is only planned to start around 2020 and to be established on 2050. Fortunately, much of the common electric drives technology preparing a future shared with a hydrogen economy are already in development today.

3. Fuel cells in cars:


Fuel cell electric vehicles use a completely different propulsion system than conventional vehicles, which can be two to three times more efficient. Unlike conventional vehicles, they do not produce harmful exhaust emissions. Fuel cell electric vehicles are fuelled with pure hydrogen gas stored directly on the vehicle. Fuel cell electric vehicles fuelled with pure hydrogen emit no pollutants, only water and heat. These vehicles have the capability to refuel in as little as three minutes and can achieve a range of more than 300 miles on a single tank. The most common type of fuel cell for vehicle applications is the polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell. In a PEM fuel cell, an electrolyte membrane is sandwiched between a positive electrode (cathode) and a negative electrode (anode). Hydrogen is introduced to the anode and oxygen (usually from air) to the cathode. The hydrogen molecules break apart into protons and electrons because of an electrochemical reaction in the fuel cell catalyst. Protons, travel through the membrane to the cathode.

Hydrogen is a versatile energy carrier that can be used to power nearly every end-use energy need. The fuel cell energy conversion devices that can efficiently capture and use the power of hydrogen is the key to making it happen.

2. Fuel Cell
A fuel cell is a device that generates electricity by a chemical reaction. Every fuel cell has two electrodes, one positive and one negative, called, the anode and cathode respectively. The reactions that produce electricity take place at the electrodes. Every fuel cell also has an electrolyte, which carries electrically charged particles from one electrode to the other, and a catalyst, which speeds the reactions at the electrodes. Hydrogen is the basic fuel, but fuel cells also require oxygen. One great appeal of fuel cells is that they generate electricity with very little pollutionmuch of the hydrogen and oxygen used in Generating electricity ultimately combines to form a harmless by-product, namely water.

Polymer Electrolyte Membrane type fuel cell uses sulfonic acid as electrolyte and it takes natural gas, hydrogen, methanol as fuel. It operates at 800C to 1000C. This type of fuel cell is used in vehicles. The electrons are forced to travel through an external circuit to perform work (providing power to the car) then recombine with the protons on the cathode side, where the protons, electrons, and oxygen molecules combine to form water. Type of fuel cell PAFC (Phosphoric acid fuel cell) Ortho phosphoric acid 180 210 C PEM (Polymer electrolyte Fuel cell) Sulfonic acid in polymer 80 100 C MCFC (Molten carbonate Fuel cell) Li and K Carbonates 600 700 C 50 60%

Electrolyte used

Operating temperature Efficiency

40%

80%

6. Comparison: 4. Working of Fuel cells in Cars:

This above graph show the Efficiency curve of Fuel cell vehicle compared with ordinary vehicles

7. Advantages of Fuel cell Vehicles


FCVs look like conventional vehicles from the outside, but inside they contain technologically advanced components not found on today's vehicles. The most obvious difference is the fuel cell stack that converts hydrogen gas stored onboard with oxygen from the air into electricity to drive the electric motor that propels the vehicle. The major components of a typical FCV are illustrated below. Parts in FCV: Power control unit Hydrogen storage tank Electric motor Fuel cell stack High output battery Fuel cell has no memory effect when they are getting refuelled. Fuel cells eliminate pollution caused by burning fossil fuel, the only by product is water. A fuel cell can be used to move a vehicle by generating electricity to power electric drive motors, as well as powering the remainder of the vehicles electrical system. Fuel cell operating temperature vary from around 800C for low temperature PEM Fuel cell around 10000C for MC Fuel cell. Temperature inside combustion engine may reach over 20000C Most fuel cells operate silently, compared to Internal Combustion Engine. 8.

5. Working of FCV:
Like battery electric vehicles, fuel cell electric vehicles use electricity to power a motor located near the vehicle's wheels. In contrast to other electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles produce their primary electricity using a fuel cell powered by hydrogen, rather than a battery. During the vehicle design process, the vehicle manufacturer controls the power of the vehicle by changing the fuel cell size and controls the amount of energy stored on board by changing the fuel tank size. This is different than a battery electric vehicle where the amount of power and energy available are both closely tied to the battery size. In our fuel cell car, the hydrogen, stored in car is taken to the Fuel Cell Stack (a series of fuel cell arranged to get more power). The Oxygen is taken from the atmospheric air. The reaction takes place at the fuel cell stack as stated above. Then the produced energy is used to run the electric motor, which is fixed near the wheels to drive the car. A power control unit maintains the flow of electricity in constant manner.

Disadvantage of Fuel Cell Vehicles

Fuelling fuel cells is still a major problem since the production, transportation, distribution and storage of hydrogen is difficult. Some fuel cell use expensive materials. The technology is not yet fully developed.

9. Conclusion
Fuel Cell vehicles are the car of future. The Vehicles of this type has no pollution. The operation of the fuel cell car is simple and requires less maintenance. The efficiency of this car is 80%. The operating temperature of the car is 800C 1000C, which is less than the normal internal combustion engine. The only disadvantage of the vehicle is its hydrogen storage. The future of vehicle has started its hydrogen economy, which is more efficient and renewable to use.

10. Reference
www.adc.energy.gov Second Edition of Automotive and fuel emission control by James D. Halderman and Jim linder, Pearson automotive. How Does a Fuel Cell Work. http://www.utcfuelcells.com/fuelcell/how_fl.shtml American Honda motor co., Inc. Avere.org Hybrid vehicles.pdf