DOE releases Hydrogen Program Plan
Electrification Coalition report: barriers and solutions to accelerate adoption of electric trucks in freight sector

Cummins and Navistar to collaborate on fuel-cell heavy-duty Class 8 truck

Cummins and Navistar will work together on the development of a Class 8 truck powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

The project will be funded in part through an award from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced earlier this year (earlier post), as part of DOE’s H2@Scale initiative to develop affordable hydrogen production, storage, distribution and use.

This vehicle will feature our next generation fuel cell configuration and provides a springboard for us to advance our hydrogen technology for line haul trucks. We are also excited to build on our strong relationship with Navistar, which dates back 80 years, and work together to lower costs and make hydrogen-powered vehicles more accessible for fleets to adopt.

—Amy Davis, Vice President and President, New Power at Cummins

The award is one of two DOE grants awarded to Cummins, totaling more than $7 million, and will aid in the development of an integrated fuel cell electric powertrain for heavy-duty trucks with operational performance and total cost of ownership that supports near-term, rapid, and substantial penetration of the truck markets.

This includes development of a solution that is highly manufacturable and scalable with a proven range of 300 miles or more and improved fuel economy over current heavy-duty trucks.

The powertrain will be integrated into an International RH Series and uses two HyPM HD90 power modules, made up of HD45 fuel cell stacks connected in series.

Instead of having a single large fuel cell operate at an inefficient partial load, individual HD45 power modules can be turned on/off to provide adequate power at an efficient full load.

The prototype fuel cell Class 8 truck will ultimately see a year-long field test. The truck will be integrated into Werner Enterprises’ fleet of more than 7,700 tractors and operated in real-world local and/or regional delivery operation out of Fontana, California.

Major objectives of the DOE award include achieving, meeting or exceeding conventional diesel powertrain performance requirements and reducing the upfront capital costs by 35% to make the adoption of zero-emission fuel cell technologies viable for commercial fleets.

Comments

Davemart

'Instead of having a single large fuel cell operate at an inefficient partial load, individual HD45 power modules can be turned on/off to provide adequate power at an efficient full load.'

Great use of modularity! Having most of the modules switched off most of the time should also presumably increase their lifetimes.

I am a bit surprised though, as I thought the efficiency curve was pretty flat, and more efficient at low loads?

Any info, anyone?

gryf

Fuels cells do reach peak efficiency at low loads probably at around 33% peak capacity and then drop off somewhat, then with relatively flat curve. Of course then you want to operate the fuel cell in a 30-60% power range, using the battery to handle acceleration and zero load states (like a hybrid auto). Here is a good reference, though based on a railroad FC, "Energy efficiency and fuel consumption of fuel cells powered test railway vehicle", (http://www.railway-research.org/IMG/pdf/ps.2.26.pdf).
The Cummins HyPM HD90 Fuel Cell Power Module (originally a Hydrogenics FC, now a subsidiary of Cummins) has been operating in Scania trucks since the start of this year in Norway (https://fuelcelltrucks.eu/project/scania-four-hydrogen-gas-trucks-with-asko-in-norway/) and in Chinese Blue-G buses.
Cummins/Navistar will be a real Class 8 FC truck, similar to the Toyota/Kenworth truck unlike some others.

Davemart

Thanks gryf.

That is pretty much an ideal performance curve when topped off with battery power for the use of modularity to further increase lifetime.

SJC

Good comment gryf.

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