Thursday, June 27, 2013

NREL moves into the future with fuel cell of EVs

Thursday, June 27, 2013
There are currently efforts underway at the Department of energy national renewable energy laboratory (NREL) to the rapid advances in the research, development and testing of the hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.

House of more than 10 years of fuel cell technologies Dezernat Office on these topics, NREL received support four fuel cell hybrid vehicles - advanced (FCHV-adv) borrowed from Toyota. These vehicles are NREL research capacity related to hydrogen fueling infrastructure, renewable hydrogen generation and vehicle features help to improve.

Are rapidly developed emission-free fuel cell vehicles

The Toyota vehicle is another step toward the commercialization of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). Hydrogen fuel is produced in most cases with domestic resources and can be produced with clean, renewable energy technologies. When hydrogen is used, makes a FCEV, has the vehicle tailpipe emissions.

Fuel cell in the Highlander FCHV-ADV are representative of the FCEV designs that so this design an excellent platform for NRELs research today is shown around the world, car companies. Toyota also plans to introduce an FCEV sedan in the civilian US market in 2015.

Emission-free FCHV-ADV, based on a platform mid-size sport utility vehicle (SUV) has driving over an expected range of 325 miles and a fuel consumption, an estimated 60 miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent (GGE) to. GGE is a method for the measurement of fuel consumption of alternative fuels in comparison to petrol and represents the amount an alternative fuel equal to the energy in a liquid gallon of gasoline.

The vehicle is powered by a fuel cell system with lightweight, high-pressure hydrogen tanks, an electric motor, a nickel-hydride battery and a power-control unit, which determines the distribution of electricity from the battery or fuel cell stack to propel the vehicle.

Explore broad research platform NREL

The four FCEVs on a two-year loan from Toyota as part of a collaborative research and development (CRADA) with NREL, provided by a broad platform of testing and analysis in the laboratory. The vehicles were originally used in California in 2009 and have as part of this CRADA, NREL were redeployed.

'' We look refuelling on the entire system - from renewable hydrogen production and vehicle equipment on the effects of driving patterns and behavior characteristics of the vehicle, '' said Keith Wipke, NREL Laboratory Program Manager for fuel cell and hydrogen technologies. "Because the vehicles are four or five years old at the time our loan ends, we will be able to watch longer service life and reliability, which are for the commercial success of these types of vehicles."

Tests include watch, how the infrastructure and fuelling vehicles work stations that pressures on different interact. While most is currently produced hydrogen from natural gas at NREL, renewable hydrogen vehicles be fueled manufactured Technology Center from wind and solar energy in the wind hydrogen of laboratories national wind project. This project uses wind turbines and solar cells to make electrolysis, the splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen.

"These cars are emission-free, but in most cases, you have more emissions during the production of hydrogen," said Wipke. "You have the potential to be truly emission-free source of energy If you hydrogen make can use of renewable resources. We are pleased to have the opportunity to investigate this potential further."

Other tests will investigate how drivers interact with the vehicles and performance during the test period to influence. Researchers will look at the vehicle energy storage and propulsion systems affecting the environment and driving behavior and show the operational capability of the vehicles in real activities.

On behalf of the Department of energy NREL plans also publicity and education efforts to better prepare for the market for the provision of these types of vehicles. NREL offer first-hand exposure to hydrogen and fuel cell vehicle technologies for a variety of audiences, including the general public, scientific, and the automotive industry.

Getting ready for our transportation future

FCEVs use hydrogen, stored in high-pressure tanks made of carbon fiber-resin, which is fed to the fuel cell stack, where it combines with oxygen from the air. The electricity produced by this chemical reaction is used to the power of the electric motor and charge the battery.

"For someone like me, who is not electric, it's really a fascinating technology" said Wipke. "Hydrogen atoms interact with a membrane coated with small amounts of Platinum, which splits the hydrogen into protons and electrons." The protons pass through the membrane and the electrons go a different route and useful electrical work. Finally they meet together with a little heat on the other side with oxygen from the air and water, the only byproduct of the process."

Fuel cell technologies and the use of hydrogen as a fuel will be increasingly apparent as automobile manufacturers move closer on the market these concepts.

But while this fuel-cell technologies are proven and effective, there are still challenges in providing them, in particular with regard to reduce the costs and service life increases. NREL the long-term durability tests for FCEVs provide important data against these two interconnected issues.

Another important issue with the deployment of these technologies is the need to develop the infrastructure for hydrogen production, delivery, and refuelling stations.

"We need a lot of infrastructure for FCEVs, to have widespread acceptance," said Wipke. "The most hydrogen fueling TV stations use hydrogen instead of local production supplied." Now this is the most economical way, but with our capabilities here at NREL we can full of opportunities for in-place production."

Despite the challenges, Wipke sees a strong future for FCEV technology.

"Most car manufacturers commit to get, these vehicles to market before this decade. The positive is,"said Wipke. "The main reasons that are so excited about this option for the future of this area and recharge time is play no role in comparison to other new transportation technologies." This facilitates a potentially very consumer-friendly transport technology, one that act much like what driver to use today."

"It is an exciting way to help to advance these technologies, and we are pleased that you have an important role in NREL."

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