Peripheral Systems for a Fuel Cell Powered Vehicle 2004-01-1010
Fuel cell powered vehicles have the potential of being the answer to vehicle emissions and dependence on fossil fuels. The hydrogen powered proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell is the fuel cell of choice for vehicle applications. It uses hydrogen and air to produce electricity with by products of water and heat. However, there are many issues that must be resolved to make fuel cell powered vehicles a viable alternative. One of the major issues involves all of the peripheral systems necessary for a fuel cell powered vehicle to actually function. Each system must operate under very controlled conditions. Conditions such as flow rates, temperatures, pressures, and humidity of the elements in the reaction process directly affect the performance of the fuel cell. Therefore it is necessary to meet operating specifications as closely as possible and to monitor the processes closely to counteract any change in operating conditions.
This paper discusses the peripheral components used in this conversion and the issues associated with them. Test results on the vehicle are presented.