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Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles

Khalil Raza Fuel Cell Science & Technology ME - 6580

Brief History
Fuel Cells were first invented back in 1839 by a German scientist Christian Friedrich Schonbein. In 1960 first fuel cell was used by NASA in space flight. The First modern fuel cell for ground vehicle was used in Allis-Chalmers tractor 15 kW fuel Cell. Early 2000s first prototype of hydrogen fuel cell vehicle was developed.

Current Vehicles
High speeds Pulling heavy loads Undergoing rapid acceleration

Concerns: CO2 Emissions 302 Million Metric Tons Oil Price Hike Global warming - a real problem

Conventional Vehicles

Conventional Vehicles Vs Fuel Cell Vehicles

Fuel Cell Vehicle
Fuel Fuel Cell System Electric Motor Wheels

Fuel Cell to Power Vehicles

Why do we need Fuel Cell to power our vehicles: No GHGs Emissions To reduce dependence on foreign oil Direct conversion of fuel into electricity Efficient. Fossil Fuel Depletion. Clean and Quiet

Fuel Cell for Vehicles

PEMFC (Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell) is the commonly used Fuel Cell in the vehicles. Most suitable type of fuel cell for vehicular application lower operating conditions 80 90 C. Each cell can produce maximum of 1.16 volts of electricity. Fuel Cell rely on the simple combination of hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity along with water and heat as by product.

The Major Components

Temperature Thermal Management Catalyst Material Platinum Fuel Pure Hydrogen Gas Startup time it takes several minutes Ballard power systems startup time 40 seconds. Weight: 80 kW fuel cells weighs nearly 220 kg.

Ballard Power System

Ford, GM, Honda, Toyota, etc

Fuel Cell Power Output

Several things to consider for power output of fuel cell: No of Ultra capacitors Combination of fuel cell and ultra capacitors should not exceed 100 kW. The Vehicle Weight

The Motor
Motor is the prime component for mechanical power in Fuel Cell Vehicles The motor have relatively high torque outputs and Wide RPM range DC Motors AC Motors

DC Motor
Simpler to install Less expensive Easy to control Can reach their rated limits for short time acceleration

DC motors of the bigger size to power a vehicle are not mass manufactured. Require more maintenance. Cannot be used for Regenerative braking systems.

AC Motor
Great Efficiency Can be used for regenerative braking. Mass manufactured in size, weight, and power requirements. Downside: Expensive

AC Motor Controller
Controller sends signal from accelerator to motor. Actuates the acceleration. Controls the fuel flow Controls the Regenerative braking.

FC vehicles dont use conventional transmission systems. Transmission for FCVs is much simpler. Electric motors has flat power curve and can create the highest torque at lower RPMs It uses a fixed gear box to provide more efficient use of motors torque. Saves a lot of weight and friction

Regenerative Braking
Is an energy conversion mechanism slows down the vehicles. Energy is used to turn a generator and charge up a battery or stored in upltracapitors. It is little weight Enhances the overall efficiency and performance. 2500 lb car braking generates energy to light a 100W bulb for an hour.

Intermediate Energy Storage

FCV can run directly off the fuel cell without any electrical energy storage. Not a good Idea Allow for the addition of regenerative braking to system. Provide Additional Power to support the fuel cells during acceleration

Ultracapacitors are used to store the power generated by regenerative braking. Higher power density than batteries. Can charge and discharge the power much faster in matter of seconds. Longer life

Cooling System
Motor, Controller and fuel cells requires water cooling. Water cooling can be integrated the same way as in conventional cars. Doesnt need large radiator and cooling system. The heat released during the process can be supplied to drivers cabin when required.

Hydrogen has a very low density Requires high pressurized tank dangerous Takes a lot of space Metal Bound Hydrogen storage Storing as a liquid Carbon Nanotubes

Hydrogen is highly flammable gas. Requires a very high strength storage tank.

Demonstration of a hydrogen and a gasoline fire in a vehicle. The hydrogen burns upward and is unlikely to ignite other parts of the car. The gasoline fire spreads around the entire vehicle and is an obvious danger to anyone.

Promising Features
No energy lost while car is idle. Much higher efficiency than conventional vehicle. Less mechanical parts, reducing the overall loss due to friction.

Sources of Hydrogen
48% of hydrogen produced comes from natural gas and 30 % from oil. Not enough oil reserves for the future. Clean production of hydrogen. Electrolysis of the water.

The vast majority of price for fuel cell vehicles comes from the fuel cells. Most of the components used in FCVs are not massproduced. An 80 kW fuel cell costs between $200,000 to 300,000.

Bibliography Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Vehicles The future of Transportation by Sam Glidden and Jared Delahanty Fuel Cell How stuff works Fuel Cell Fundamentals.

New Materials Cheap and Efficient Market for FCVs Almost all major automotive manufacturer are involved in fuel cell research. Green Economy Opens a new avenues for all kinds of engineers to come up with better designs. Its near future! Thanks!