This is a three-day course which provides a comprehensive and up to date introduction to fuel cells for use in automotive engineering applications. It is intended for engineers and particularly engineering managers who want to jump‐start their understanding of this emerging technology and to enable them to engage in its development. Following a brief description of fuel cells and how they work, how they integrate and add value, and how hydrogen is produced, stored and distributed, the course will provide the status of the technology from fundamentals through to practical implementation.
Day 1 will have a brief introduction to fuel cells and then go through fundamentals of fuel cells: the thermodynamic principles involving the electrochemical potential, the kinetics of electrode reactions, principles of electrocatalysis, and electrochemical methods of characterization. Included will be the set of governing equations that define the physical processes involved in single cells.
Day 2 will focus on fuel cells stacks incorporating polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMFCs). It discusses the functional aspects of the stack key components, including the membrane, porous electrodes, gas diffusion media, current collectors and water and thermal management. It also points to the key design requirements affecting performance, cost and reliability, as well as the methods and costs of manufacturing.
Day 3 will focus on those aspects which relate to the use of fuel cells in systems specifically designed for transportation and discusses typical system architectures, performance requirements, critical parameters and specifications, and system controls. Reference is made to the most recent implementations and advances in the industry, including efforts by Toyota, Hyundai and SAIC. Issues relating to achieving technical readiness are described, and ample references are given to enable the participant for follow-up after the course.
By attending this seminar, you will be able to
Identify the concepts and terminology of fuel cells in automotive applications
Describe the key components of fuel cells stacks
Explain the key design requirements that affect cost and reliability.
Explain the major failure modes limiting performance and reliability.
Design and develop fuel cells in systems specifically intended for transportations
Follow the development of this subject in the open literature with ample references and examples
Day I: Fundamentals
Introduction to Fuel Cells
How fuel cells work, types of fuel cells
Why PEM fuel cells are chosen for transportation and how they integrate and bring value
Hydrogen as an energy carrier: its production, storage and distribution
The Electrochemical Potential
Fuel Cell Thermodynamics and the Nernst Equation
The effects of pressure and concentration
Kinetics of Reactions
Transition Rate Theory, the Butler-Volmer equation and the polarization curve
Fuel cell power and efficiency
The role of catalysts, heat of adsorption and volcano plots, the oxygen reduction reaction
Current Distribution and Mass Transport
The Nernst-Plank equation, concentration over-potentials, and fuel cell operating conditions
Voltammetry, current-interrupt and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
Day II: The Fuel Cell Stack and its Key Components
Polymer Electrolyte Membranes
Nafion and its structure, conductivity mechanisms and methods of deterioration
Water and Thermal Management
Flooding, drying, and stack health; cold startup and hot shut down
Functional requirements of electrodes, nanostructure, and the triple phase boundary
Methods of manufacture
Catalyst Types and Loading
Platinum and its alloys, particle size effects and degradation mechanisms
The impact of platinum loading on cost, performance and availability
Strategies for reducing platinum loading and improved performance
Methods of catalyst support and impacts on electrode degradation
Gas Diffusion Media
Functional requirements, materials and structure
Methods and cost of manufacture
Functional requirements, alternative materials and flow fields
Methods and cost of manufacture
Fuel Cell Stack Design and Integration Considerations
Integration of stack, air and fuel handling systems, thermal and water management, and controls
Fuel cell system sizing
Day III: Fuel Cell Systems for Transportation
Current fuel cell applications
Toyota, Hyundai and SAIC and Domestic Players
Requirements for automobiles, buses and trucks
Key target metrics for performance, cost, durability and safety
Typical System Architectures
Hybrid Fuel Cell Systems and Control Strategies
DOE Systems and Manufacturing Studies
Standard architectures for cost comparison studies; cost outlooks; manufacturing methods
Fuel Cell Controls
Methods of system integration and control, including model predictive control
Advances in stack power density, materials, catalyst design and water management
Current state of the art and future challenges
Dr. John F. Elter & Dr. Bin Du
Dr. John F. Elter is currently President of Sustainable Systems, LLC, and consults in the area of strategy, technology, and product development for sustainable systems. He is also an NSF independent reviewer for small business proposals in energy generation and robotic systems. He has recently published the chapter on PEM Fuel Cells for the Encyclopedia of Sustainability published by Springer. He is also a recognized as a certified Foreign Expert.
For seven years he was Vice President of System Architecture at Plug Power, where he was responsible for fuel cell system architecture and technology development for PEM fuel cell systems. As the Chief Technology Officer, he established Centers of Excellence in hydrogen generation, fuel cell stacks, controls and fundamentals. He was co-chair of a Gordon Conference on Fuel Cells and has lectured on fuel cell systems in the US, Europe, and Asia. After Plug Power, he became Professor of Nanoscale Engineering at SUNY 's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering where he taught courses in electrochemical systems and served as Executive Director of the Center for Sustainable Ecosystem Nanotechnologies, focusing on Nano-scale electrode structures for electrochemical systems.
Prior his work at Plug Power, he was at Xerox Corporation where, as Technical Program Manager, he delivered the fastest production duplicator in the world, capable of producing bound books and the engine for the digital DocuTech which created the print on demand industry. As VP and Chief Engineer of Strategic Programs, he was engaged in the conceptualization, design, and delivery of award winning internet connected platform products for Xerox's heartland.
He is a member of SAE, IEEE, a Fellow of the ASME, and a former member of the ASME Board of Governors, Chair of the ASME Foundation and its Industrial Advisory Board. He received his BSME from Purdue University, where he was named Engineer of the Year in 2007, his MSME from New York University, and his PhD from the University of Rochester, where he was named a Distinguished Alumni.
Dr. Bin Du is the distinguished expert of the 10th Thousand Talents Program. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Nanjing University and a Ph.D. from the Ohio State University. He has been involved in the development and application of eco-friendly materials and new energy technologies. In 2002, he joined Plug Power Inc, a NASDAQ listed and the largest fuel cells company in America where he held a number of positions including Senior Researcher, Director of Excellence R&D Center, Manager of Asia Region and Director of Global Sourcing and gained over 20 years of experience in technology and business management. Previously, he was the Chief Scientist/Project Manager for several R&D projects funded by U.S. Department of Energy/Department of Defense. He has participated in several technology transfer and development projects, bringing over his knowledge of the cell fuels and related core technologies. In his position as a project manager, he completed the transfer of hybrid battery management technology to CITIC Guo’an, which successfully served as a provider of hybrid power cells for the bus fleet for the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games.
He holds 7 U.S. patents and has published 68 papers including over 10 keynote and invited speeches. He was invited to write green energy and fuel cell chapters for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Durability and Materials for the Hydrogen Economy. He was an independent expert for the review committee of American National Standards Institute, member of the industrial advisory committee of the new energy research center under the National Science Foundation (NSF) and managing director for the New York State New Energy Association. He is invited to be a longtime visiting research fellow for three universities in the United States.
In 2013, Dr. Du was selected as a distinguished expert under the Thousand Talents Program. In 2014, he established the Nanjing Gates High-Tech Environmental Co., Ltd. In 2015, he was on the list of Jiangsu Industry Professor Program (Nanjing University). He was selected in Jiangsu Province Innovative and Entrepreneurial Talent Project, Jiangsu Province Six Talent Peaks Project, Nanjing High-level Entrepreneurial Talent Program in 2016. In 2017, he was appointed as an expert reviewer for the talent inviting project under the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs and a distinguished expert under the Think Tank for Wulanchabu Municipal Government.