The purpose of this SAE Information Report is to provide an overview of special requirements and practices in fuel cell vehicle thermal management. This document is primarily directed to fuel cell applications in motor vehicles.
Fuel cells (FCs) have been used in vehicles with special air quality needs, such as warehouse forklifts, and in space applications. For general transportation, fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) offer the following advantages:
As the most abundant element on earth, hydrogen can be generated from a variety of sources, including natural gas, nuclear, coal, and renewable sources (e.g., solar, wind, biomass, hydro, and geothermal).
Ultra-low to zero tailpipe emissions.
Good ride experiences including smooth and quiet operation of electrical motors and good acceleration.
Longer ranges, comparable to vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICEs).
Shorter fueling times, in minutes, comparable to vehicles with ICEs.
A good backup electrical power supply in case of an emergency.
As of February 1, 2019, about 3000 FCVs and 6000 FCVs had been sold and leased in Japan and U.S., respectively . Chinese OEMs produced 629, 1272, 1527, and 3000 commercial FCVs in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, respectively [2, 3, 4]. More FCVs of various kinds are being developed worldwide. A good reference is needed for the industry to understand the special requirements and practices in fuel cell vehicle thermal management.