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Hydrogen Fuel Cell Power System for Electric Vehicles

Technology Overview

Despite the advantages of Hydrogen fuel cells for future mobility (higher driving range compared to Lithium batteries, fast refueling downtime and zero emissions), the number of fuel cell vehicles on public road remains insignificant due to 2 major stumbling blocks: system complexity and high cost.

The technology provider specialises in Hydrogen fuel cell systems for Aerospace and Mobility applications has developed a solution that tackles these issues. A fully operational prototype has been developed and the technology provider is seeking collaboration partners (Zero emission vehicle OEM, Tier 1 supplier, fleet vehicle operator, system integrator etc) to integrate its Hydrogen fuel cell solution and co-develop new products (fuel cell bus, trucks etc).

Technology Features & Specifications

The technology provider has designed a fully integrated plug-and-play module comprising of fuel cell stack and all its peripherals (i.e. Hydrogen gas cylinder, oxidant supply, heat management radiators, power electronics etc). It utilises liquid-cooled Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack with a 56% efficiency for the developed fuel cell system. The key innovation lies in recyclable single cell-design and allows for unlimited start-stop cycling. The membrane electrode assembly comprises of electrodes with proprietary flow fields, gas diffusion layers, catalyst coated membranes, separator plates and sealing gasket.

The fuel cell architecture is designed to be fully reusable, eliminating waste and solving battery disposal/recycling issues at the same time. Additionally, reusable fuel cell architecture will reduce the $/mile operating cost of the fuel cells by more than 70%. The fuel cell modules are available in different power range for various vehicle sizes and can be easily installed into any electric vehicle platform as range extenders.

Technology Features:

  • Electrolyte: Solid polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM)
  • Membrane Electrode: Expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)
  • Catalyst: Platinum/Ruthenium on Carbon substrate
  • Bi-polar Plate: Hybrid of expanded graphite, composite graphite and metal (stainless steel/Titanium)

Potential Applications

  • Automotive/ New Energy/ Electric Vehicles: Bus, truck, taxi, buggy, automated guided vehicle (AGV), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), forklift, train, ship, logistic van, aircraft
  • Range extenders for existing battery bus/truck/van
  • Stationary power/ micro-grid

Market Trends and Opportunities

According to Global Market Insights, the fuel cell vehicle (FCV)  market is projected to be US$18B by 2023. Additionally, Research and Markets estimated that there will cumulatively be 22M Hydrogen FCVs sold or leased worldwide by 2032. This presents a significant market opportunities for hydrogen fuel cell for electric vehicles.

Customer Benefits

Fuel cell developer typically only provides the fuel cell stack, and the customer (i.e. electric vehicle maker) needs to source and procure the other peripherals themselves. The fuel cell module developed by the technology provider is comprehensive, inclusive of Hydrogen gas cylinder, cooling radiators, power module (e.g. DC-DC converter) and hybrid battery for regenerative braking.

The technology is suitable for direct plug-and-play integration into any electric vehicle platform, allowing the customer to simply install the fully integrated module, significantly reducing their time-to-market and task complexity. The unique reusable fuel cell architecture also allows the customer to amortize cost over several lifecycles, reducing embodied carbon footprint as well as technology adoption cost.

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