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Technical Paper

Basic Research on the Release Method of High Pressure Hydrogen Gas for Fuel Cell Buses in the Case of a Vehicle Fire

Fuel cell vehicles that use high pressure hydrogen gas as a fuel should be able to immediately release hydrogen gas from the cylinder through pressure relief devices (PRDs) in the event of a vehicle fire. The release through PRDs prevents the cylinder from exploding due to the increased pressure of hydrogen gas, but the method of releasing the gas needs to be specified in order to avoid secondary disaster due to the spread of fire. Since hydrogen cylinders for fuel cell buses are different in terms of installation location and size from those for ordinary vehicles, the location of PRDs and the release direction of hydrogen gas should be separately examined. For example, the improper locations of PRDs would raise the possibility of explosion because of a delay in temperature rise, and the direct release of hydrogen gas from a cylinder installed on the rooftop of the bus may disperse the flame over a wide area.
Journal Article

Hydrogen Concentration Distribution in Simulated Spaces for a Hydrogen System Installed in a Large Bus in Case of Hydrogen Leakage

For fuel cell vehicles, which have attracted attention in recent years, the prevention of hydrogen leakage is an essential safety issue. Large fuel cell buses will require a large space to store the hydrogen system. The behavior of hydrogen that has leaked into such a large space is unknown. In this report, we studied hydrogen concentration distribution by leaking hydrogen into simulated spaces in two cases: (1) when hydrogen gas tanks are installed on the roof of the bus, and (2) when an electricity-generating system, such as fuel cell stacks, etc., is installed at the rear of the bus. The results of the experiments show that hydrogen concentration distribution is kept at a constant level throughout each location in the simulated space, depending on the opening area and hydrogen leakage rate. It was also found that the diffusivity of hydrogen in air is extremely high.
Technical Paper

Optimization of Hydrogen Jet Configuration by Single Hole Nozzle and High Speed Laser Shadowgraphy in High Pressure Direct Injection Hydrogen Engines

A new ignition-combustion concept named PCC (Plume Ignition Combustion Concept), which ignite rich mixture plume in the middle of injection period or right after injection of hydrogen is completed, is proposed by the authors in order to reduce NOx emissions in high engine load conditions with minimizing trade-offs on thermal efficiency. In this study fundamental requirements of hydrogen jet to optimize PCC are investigated by using single and multi-hole nozzle with a combination of high speed laser shadowgraphy to visualize propagating flame. As a result, it was infered that igniting the mixture plume in the middle of injection period with minimizing jet penetration to chamber wall is effective reducing NOx formation even further.
Journal Article

Summary and Progress of the Hydrogen ICE Truck Development Project

A development project for a hydrogen internal combustion engine (ICE) system for trucks supporting Japanese freightage has been promoted as a candidate for use in future vehicles that meet ultra-low emission and anti-global warming targets. This project aims to develop a hydrogen ICE truck that can handle the same freight as existing trucks. The core development technologies for this project are a direct-injection (DI) hydrogen ICE system and a liquid hydrogen tank system which has a liquid hydrogen pump built-in. In the first phase of the project, efforts were made to develop the DI hydrogen ICE system. Over the past three years, the following results have been obtained: A high-pressure hydrogen gas direct injector developed for this project was applied to a single-cylinder hydrogen ICE and the indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP) corresponding to a power output of 147 kW in a 6-cylinder hydrogen ICE was confirmed.