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Peugeot Citroën and French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) Introduce GENEPAC Fuel Cell Stack

9 January 2006

Genepac
The modular GENEPAC

Jean-Martin Folz, CEO of PSA Peugeot Citroën and Alain Bugat, Chairman of the CEA, unveiled the GENEPAC (Générateur Electrique à Pile à Combustible—Fuel Cell Electricity Generator) fuel cell stack, which offers maximum power of 80 kW.

Developed jointly by PSA Peugeot Citroën and the CEA (Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique—Atomic Energy Commission), the new stack is the result of a 27-month, €12.115 million (US$14.6 million) project the stated goal of which was a medium-power fuel cell with power output of around 60 kW with 55% efficiency and a power density of 1.5 kW/liter and 1 kW/kg.

Genepac3
Four stack module. (Two on each side of the central distributor.)

The current version is close (80kW/57 liters = 1.4 kW/liter).

GENEPAC uses a modular design, consisting of one, two, or four PEM stack modules which are connected to a central fluid distributor. Power output of the modules ranges from several dozen watts to up to 20 kW, depending upon the number of cells used.

Peugeot believes that the 80-kW, four-stack module would be sufficient for standard automotive fuel cell work, if it could further reduce the size of the system. With 5 kg of compressed hydrogen accessible in storage, Peugeot estimates a GENEPAC vehicle would have a range of about 500 km (310 miles).

A one-module, 20-kW stack is, however, sufficient for use as a range extender—an application that PSA will be testing to help refine the GENEPAC.

Genepac2
Coolant flow (center) between stack plates (left and right).

Each base cell consists of an membrane electrode assembly and two bipolar plates. The stacked metal bipolar plates incorporate tiny flow channels that diffuse the air and hydrogen onto the surface of the membrane electrode assembly, and that also isolate the coolant from the membrane without increasing the size of the fuel cell.

To pursue this, PSA Peugeot Citroën built its own fuel cell research facilities, which is inaugurated along with the announcement of the GENEPAC, at its Research Center in Carrières-sous-Poissy, France.

Folz emphasized that fuel cells remain a long-term solution, and pointed again to the use of diesel hybrids in the medium term. PSA Peugeot Citroën will introduce two diesel hybrid prototypes on 31 January (earlier post).

Resources:

  • France Background Paper for IPHE 2004

  • Project Summary: PF-02-84 Faisabilité Technique d'un Générateur Electrique à Pile à Combustible

January 9, 2006 in Europe, Fuel Cells, Hydrogen | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

This is starting to look pretty good. A range of 310 miles would just about do it.

The modular approach could lead to lower cost mass production. When coupled with an efficient Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery pack, it could be a worthwhile alternative for clean PHEVs. If mass produced, how would the cost of small fuel cell + tank & hydrogen compare with ICE generator + cellulosic ethanol for PHEVs?

One obstacle solved, few more to go. Mainly: price of fuel cell, price of producing hydrogen, price of transporting hydrogen.

Does anybody know where can I find more details about GENEPAC??

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