Automotive Ambient-Pressure PEM Fuel Cell Development at UTC Fuel Cells 2002-01-1898
UTC Fuel Cells (UTCFC) is committed to the commercialization of fuel cell power plants for transportation applications. The focus of our program is an ambient-pressure power plant system using proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology. The primary fuels being considered are hydrogen and gasoline. The use of gasoline requires a fuel processing system to convert the gasoline to a hydrogen rich gas. The gasoline fuel processing system utilizes fuel-flexible reforming technology that can be modified to accommodate fuels such as methanol, ethanol and natural gas. The program addresses the technology development and verification of each of the necessary components, subsystems and, ultimately, fully integrated power plant systems.
Under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Transportation Technologies, UTCFC built and operated a fully-integrated, 50 kW gasoline fueled PEM fuel cell power plant. This power plant is a critical element to our overall program. The fuel was California Reformulated Gasoline Phase II (RFG II). Using an automatic controller, the power plant was started and stopped, and operated under steady state conditions from idle to rated power and exercised through up and down load transients, all as part of a system verification test program. The power plant was delivered to DOE's Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) for continued evaluation tests.
The second phase of the DOE program is focused on UTCFC's delivery of an advanced gasoline fueled power plant. This power plant will incorporate advances in technology in the PEM cell, cell-stack, fuel-processing system and balance-of-plant components.