Intelligent Energy is expanding its PEM fuel cell offerings with a new 100 kW automotive fuel cell architecture. Designed to deliver primary motive power within an advanced electric driveline, the 100 kW fuel cell architecture and core technology will be available to vehicle manufacturers through technology licensing programs and joint development agreements.
The 100 kW platform takes full advantage of Intelligent Energy’s stack technology, which offers leading power density of 3.5 kW/l (volumetric) and 3.0 kW/kg (gravimetric), while being engineered for low cost, high volume series production. As points of comparison, the US Department of Energy (DOE) 2020 technical targets for an automotive fuel cell stack are 2.5 kW/l and 2 kW/kg. Toyota says that its new fuel cell stack in the Mirai offers 3.1 kW/l (2.2 times higher than that of the previous Toyota FCHV-adv limited-lease model) and 2.0 kW/kg. (Earlier post.)
The Intelligent Energy system builds upon the company’s prior work developing automotive fuel cell solutions both independently and with its automotive customers. As examples, earlier generation, lower-powered stacks were implemented in the London Taxi fuel cell hybrid (30 kW stack) and a Peugeot Partner electric van (10 kW stack).
|The new 100 kW fuel cell unit. Click to enlarge.|
Intelligent Energy said it developed the new architecture in response to increasing market demand for high power automotive fuel cell solutions. The key enabler for these high power densities is the company’s proprietary, evaporatively-cooled (EC) technology.
Compared to conventional liquid-cooled fuel cell stacks, the EC design removes the need for individual cooling channels between each cell. This delivers an advantage in terms of stack mass and volume, and helps contribute to the stack power density which translates into in-vehicle packaging and weight advantages.
|The 100 kW stack, which uses evaporative cooling. Click to enlarge.|
Intelligent Energy has a long association with the automotive industry, including an eight-year relationship with the Suzuki Motor Corporation. The collaboration has seen the introduction of the world’s first type approved fuel cell powered scooter, powered by 4kW fuel cell systems that are based on Intelligent Energy’s complementary air-cooled (AC) technology.
The two companies have also established a joint venture business that manufactures stacks and fuel cell systems from a ready to scale production facility in Japan.