A new 100kW automotive fuel cell architecture from Intelligent Energy provides vehicle manufacturers with a high-performance option for their next generation of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).
The architecture has been developed in response to increasing market demand for next-generation, high-power automotive fuel cell solutions and is the result of extensive research, engineering, cost reduction and test activities undertaken by Intelligent Energy’s Motive division. The system builds upon the company’s successes in developing advanced zero emission solutions both independently and with its automotive customers.
Designed to deliver primary motive power within an advanced electric driveline, the 100kW fuel cell architecture and core technology will be available to vehicle manufacturers through technology licensing programs and joint development agreements.
The 100kW platform takes full advantage of Intelligent Energy’s stack technology, which offers world leadership in power density of 3.5kW/l (volumetric) and 3.0kW/kg (gravimetric), whilst being engineered for low-cost, high-volume series production.
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 a considerable advantage in terms of stack mass and volume, and helps contribute to Intelligent Energy’s leadership in stack power density which translates into in-vehicle packaging and weight advantages.
With 25 years of experience in the development and delivery of high power density, scalable fuel cell systems, Intelligent Energy already has non-exclusive, collaborative commercial relationships in place with a number of global vehicle manufacturers.
“Our capability and proven technology provides a cost-effective opportunity for any vehicle manufacturer without a presence in this fuel cell power-band to jump ahead of its competitors,” says James Batchelor, managing director of Intelligent Energy’s Motive division. “Our 100kW platform provides automotive OEMs with a fast-track route to our next-generation, evaporatively-cooled stack technology, integrated into a compact system architecture.”
Intelligent Energy employs world-class engineers and technology specialists, led by seasoned professionals with expertise in fuel cell technologies and the automotive field. The 100kW architecture is being announced at a time when consumer awareness of FCEVs is growing, boosted by new vehicles being launched by Toyota, Hyundai and Honda.
“The concept, design, technology elements and IP package are all in place to enable the platform to be applied to customer vehicle programs today,” Batchelor added.
Intelligent Energy has a long association with the automotive industry, including a successful 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.