Browse Publications Technical Papers 2019-26-0087
2019-01-19

Development of a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Stack for a Range Extender for Electric Vehicles 2019-26-0087

Severe air pollution in cities caused largely by vehicular emissions, which requires urgent remedial measures. As automobiles are indispensable modes of personal and public mobility, pre-emptive efforts are necessary to reduce the adverse effects arising from their operation. A significant improvement in air quality can be achieved through large-scale introduction of vehicles with extremely low emission such as hybrid-electric and zero emission vehicles. Range extension of electric vehicles (EVs) is also of utmost importance to alleviate the handicap of restricted mileage of purely plug-in EVs as compared to conventional vehicles. This paper presents Tata Motors development of a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack used for the range extender vehicles. The Fuel cell stack for range extender vehicle operated in a dead end mode using hydrogen and air as open cathode. Stack is to design to meet various performance requirements such as frequent start-stop, ramp-up rate, drive cycle conditions, vehicle dynamics and a longer operation life. Air-cooled stack development employs cell flow channels design analysis(anode and cathode), membrane selection, gasket design and leak analysis, bipolar plate design, current collectors, thermal analysis, end plates and losses are evaluated using single cell test setup. The feasibility of a fabricating 2.5 kW stack was confirmed through various cell performance evaluations. Testing results confirmed the cell design current density of 250 mA/sqcm. The assembled 60 cells unit was tested in a test bench simulating the different power demands as per steady state and vehicle drive train. Preliminary tests of the full unit generated a power of 2.5 kW at 30 V, which is capable of extending the range of Tata Magic Iris REEV to 285 Km with 1.8kG on-board hydrogen. Keywords: Polymer electrolyte fuel cells, Air-cooled stack, Stack design, Electric vehicles

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