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Technical Paper

Development of Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle by Toyota -Durability-

Various issues must be resolved before sustainable mobility can be achieved, the most important of which are reacting to energy supply and demand, and lowering CO2 emissions. At present, the fact that the vast majority of vehicles run on conventional oil is regarded as a problem for which Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) is developing various technological solutions. Fuel cell (FC) technology is one of the most promising of these solutions. A fuel cell is an extremely clean device that uses hydrogen and oxygen to generate power without emitting substances like CO2, NOx, or PM during operation. Its energy efficiency is high and it is widely expected to form the basis of the next generation of powertrains. Since 1992, TMC has been working to develop the main components of fuel cell vehicles, including the fuel cell itself, and the high pressure hydrogen tank and hybrid systems.
Journal Article

Development of System Control for Rapid Warm-up Operation of Fuel Cell

Cold weather operation has been a major issue for fuel cell hybrid vehicles (FCHV). To counteract the effects of low temperatures on FCHV operation, an approach for rapid warm-up operation based on concentration overvoltage increase and conversion efficiency decrease by limiting oxygen or hydrogen supply was adopted. In order to suppress increases in exhaust hydrogen concentration due to pumping hydrogen during rapid warm-up, dilution control using bypass air and reduction of concentration overvoltage by a minimum voltage guard were implemented. These approaches effectively control waste heat generation and suppress exhaust hydrogen concentrations during cold start and warm-up. These developments were incorporated into the 2008 Toyota FCHV-adv and it was confirmed that the rapid warm-up operation strategy allowed the FCHV-adv to be successfully and repeatedly started at -30°C.
Journal Article

High-Efficiency and Low-NOx Hydrogen Combustion by High Pressure Direct Injection

Hydrogen can be produced from various renewable energy sources, therefore it is predicted that hydrogen could play a greater role in meeting society's energy needs in the mid- to long-term. Conventional hydrogen engines have some disadvantages: higher cooling loss results in low thermal efficiency and abnormal combustion (backfire, pre-ignition, higher burning velocity) limits high load operation. Direct injection is an effective solution to overcome these disadvantages, but combustion methods that enable both high efficiency and low NOx have yet to be studied in enough detail. In this research, high-efficiency and low-NOx hydrogen combustion was investigated using a prototype high-pressure hydrogen injector (maximum 30 MPa). Experiments were carried out with a 2.2-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine equipped with a centrally mounted hydrogen injector, a toroidal shape combustion chamber, and a spark plug in the glow plug position.
Technical Paper

Ignition Characteristics of Hydrogen Jets in an Argon-Oxygen Atmosphere

The ignition delay and combustion characteristics of hydrogen jets in an argon-oxygen atmosphere were investigated to provide fundamental data for operating an argon-circulated hydrogen internal combustion engine. Experiments were conducted in a constant-volume combustion vessel to study the effects of ambient temperature, ambient pressure, oxygen concentration and injection pressure on a pre-burning system. The hydrogen-jet penetration and flame were also investigated based on high-speed shadowgraph images. The experimental results indicated that the ignition delay (τ) increases as the ambient temperature (Ti) decreases, similar to the results obtained in an air atmosphere. The heat-release rate results also exhibited similar trends.
Technical Paper

Improvement of Adhesion Properties between Epoxy Resin and Primer and between Primer and Ni Plating in Hybrid Vehicle Power Semiconductor Module under High Temperature Conditions

In this report, adhesion mechanism between epoxy resin and primer and between primer and Ni platting in Hybrid vehicle (HV) was investigated. Adhesion forces are thought to be a combination of mechanical bond forces (such as anchor effect), chemical bond forces and physical bond forces (such as hydrogen bonding and Van der Waals force). Currently there is insufficient understanding of the adhesion mechanism. In particular, the extent to which the three bond forces contribute to adhesion strength. So the adhesion mechanism of polyimide primers was analyzed using a number of different methods, including transmission electron microscope (TEM) and atomic force microscope (AFM) observation, to determine the contributions of the three bonding forces. Molecular simulation was also used to investigate the relationship between adhesion strength and the molecular structure of the primer.
Journal Article

Study of Oxide Supports for PEFC Catalyst

Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEFC) systems for fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) require both performance and durability. Carbon is the typical support material used for PEFC catalysts. However, hydrogen starvation at the anode causes high electrode potential states (e.g., 1.3 V with respect to the reversible hydrogen electrode) that result in severe carbon support corrosion. Serious damage to the carbon support due to hydrogen starvation can lead to irreversible performance loss in PEFC systems. To avoid such high electrode potentials, FCV PEFC systems often utilize cell voltage monitor systems (CVMs) that are expensive to use and install. Simplifying PEFC systems by removing these CVMs would help reduce costs, which is a vital part of popularizing FCVs. However, one precondition for removing CVMs is the adoption of a durable support material to replace carbon.