Browse Publications Technical Papers 2002-01-1930

Cost Modeling of PEM Fuel Cell Systems for Automobiles 2002-01-1930

Cost is one of the critical factors in the commercialization of PEM fuel cells in automotive markets. Arthur D. Little has been working with the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Transportation Technologies to assess the cost of fuel-flexible reformer proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell systems based on near-term technology but cost modeled at high production volumes and to assess future technology scenarios. Integral to this effort has been the development of a system configuration (in conjunction with Argonne National Laboratories), specification of performance parameters and catalyst requirements, development of representative component designs and manufacturing processes for these components, and development of a comprehensive bill of materials and list of purchased components. The model, data, and component designs have been refined based on comments from the Freedom Car Technical Team and fuel cell system and component developers. The baseline results from the project were reported in the first Future Car Congress in 2000.
In this presentation, we provide an overview of changes resulting from comments from the fuel cell development community. A sensitivity and Monte Carlo analysis on the revised baseline model is presented. The results of this analysis include a ranking of the most important cost factors and the minimum and maximum fuel cell system cost given the uncertainty in our model assumptions. The impact of various system scenarios on the fuel cell system cost ($ / kWe) and power density were assessed, including the effect of unit cell voltage at rated power (i.e., power density versus efficiency tradeoff) and system power rating (i.e., hybridization). The results of these analyses are presented and their implications discussed.


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