|Nuvera’s Andromeda II fuel-cell stack offers 85–95kW continuous power, 100–125 kW peak.|
Nuvera Fuel Cells announced it has reached a multi-year agreement with Fiat Powertrain Technologies and Centro Ricerche Fiat to research and develop a high-efficiency hydrogen fuel-cell propulsion system for fuel-cell vehicles.
Nuvera is privately-held, and owned by Amerada Hess, Gruppo de Nora and Renault. The company provided the fuel-cell stack for the Fiat Seicento hydrogen fuel-cell prototype which took first in the compressed hydrogen vehicle category at this year’s Monte Carlo and Fuel Cell Hybrid Rally. (Earlier post.)
Together, the partners will be the exclusive supplier of the new fuel-cell powertrain to the Fiat Group, which includes Fiat Auto, IVECO, and Case New Holland. The partnership shall also be open to discuss possible supplies to OEMs worldwide.
The goal of this wide-reaching program is to enable Nuvera, Fiat Powertrain Technologies and Centro Ricerche Fiat to further develop a fuel-cell powertrain system that will allow automakers to develop a technically, economically and environmentally viable fuel-cell vehicle in the near future.
The system will combine the recently released Nuvera Andromeda II stack (earlier post) with the specific plant and control system developed by Fiat Powertrain Technologies and Centro Ricerche Fiat which includes all necessary auxiliaries satisfying automotive standards, including a low pressure and high efficiency air compressor.
According to Centro Ricerche Fiat and Fiat Powertrain Technologies technical experience, and after several years of work with Nuvera and benchmarking with other fuel-cell stack providers, the Andromeda II technology represents one of the most promising fuel-cell stacks available today.
Centro Ricerche Fiat underlines that the hydrogen fuel-cell propulsion system has been developed with an air delivery system that was specifically designed to match the requirements of the fuel-cell stack. By designing the air system completely around the fuel-cell stack, the purpose-built compressor delivers exactly what the fuel-cell system requires across the entire operating range, allowing the highest efficiency and lowest cost, compared to other currently available compressor technologies.
The new fuel-cell system operates at low pressure and without external humidification, which allows simplification of the plant’s architecture. The reduction in parts also reduces parasitic power losses and simplifies the control of the system, resulting in higher efficiency and enhanced reliability.
This technology, along with Nuvera’s low cost, non-coated metallic stack architecture and Centro Ricerche Fiat’s simplified plant architecture, would allow OEMs to introduce viable fuel-cell vehicles more quickly than once thought possible.