Development of Fuel Cell System Control for Sub-Zero Ambient Conditions
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has been developing fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) since 1992. As part of a demonstration program, TMC launched the FCHV-adv in 2008, which established major technical improvements in key performance areas such as efficiency, driving range, durability, and operation in sub-zero conditions. However, to encourage commercialization and widespread adoption of FCVs, further improvements in performance were required. During sub-zero operating conditions, the FC system output power was lower than under normal operating conditions. The FC stack in the FCHV-adv needed to dry the electrolyte membrane to remove unneeded water from the stack. This increased the stack resistance and caused low output power. In December 2014, TMC launched the world’s first commercially available FCV named the Mirai, which greatly improved output power even after start-up in sub-zero conditions.