Fuel Cell Hybrid Systems for Vehicle Applications 2009-26-0040
For low carbon transportation, fuel cell technology offers the best long term prospects as a replacement for the internal combustion engine. If the vehicles are configured as a plug-in hybrid then for short journeys or for the first part of longer trips all of the energy can be provided from the battery, thus offering high energy efficiency. For longer journeys the fuel cell can be used to provide the primary power. If pressurised hydrogen is used as the fuel, the energy storage density can be substantially higher than any available battery technology and refuelling of the hydrogen can be achieved in a few minutes compared to several hours for current battery technology.
By using a full hybrid plug-in configuration the power of the fuel cell system can be reduced so that it provides the average power for the vehicle. For urban vehicles the power requirement can be quite low, whereas vehicles that operate continuously at high speeds will require significantly more power.
By combining the best characteristics of the battery and fuel cell technologies this type of plug-in fuel cell hybrid offers the best combination of efficiency, cost, refuelling capability and performance.
Details are presented showing the performance and operation of Intelligent Energy's fuel cell system in both laboratory conditions and during vehicle testing.