1989-08-01

Fuel Cell Power Plants for Public Transport Vehicles 891658

Fuel cell power plants offer several advantages over conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) and battery power plants for public transport vehicles. Higher efficiencies and lower pollutant emissions can be realized along with long life, low maintenance and quick refueling. Fuel cells can operate from a variety of fuels such as methanol, methane, or pure hydrogen. The main disadvantages are the required higher capital outlays and the slower response times compared to ICE- or battery powered vehicles.By combining a suitable battery in a hybrid configuration, the current generation phosphoric acid fuel cell (PAFC) is already practical for meeting the operational needs of transit buses.An advanced design for a small urban transit bus has been developed under a contract with the U.S. Department of Energy. Design and packaging considerations along with performance projections will be presented and compared with diesel transit buses in this paper.

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