FUTURE OF VEHICLES? Intelligent Energy has developed a new 100kW fuel cell model for electric vehicles. Image: Newspress.
LONDON, England - An innovative 100kW automotive fuel-cell architecture from energy technology group Intelligent Energy could provide automakers with an alternative high-performance option for the next generation of fuel-cell electric vehicles - also known as FCEVs.
The report says the architecture has been developed in response to market demand for next generation high-power automotive fuel-cell solutions and is the result of extensive research and engineering undertaken by Intelligent Energy’s Motive division in Loughborough, England.
The company also has operations in India, Japan and Singapore, a commercial office in Silicon Valley, California and research facilities in Florida, USA.
The system builds on the company’s successes in developing advanced zero-emissions solutions both independently and with its automotive customers. It was designed to deliver primary motive power within an advanced electric driveline and the 100kW fuel-cell architecture and core technology will be available to vehicle manufacturers through technology licensing and joint development.
The developers say the 100kW platform takes full advantage of Intelligent Energy’s "superior stack technology" which offers world leadership in power density of 3.5kW/l (volumetric) and 3.0kW/kg (gravimetric) while being engineered for inexpensive, high volume, series production.
The key enabler for such densities is the company’s proprietary evaporatively-cooled 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.
With 25 years of experience in the development and delivery of high-power density, scalable, fuel cell systems, the report says, Intelligent Energy already has non-exclusive, collaborative commercial relationships in place with a number of global vehicle manufacturers.
MD of Intelligent Energy's Motive division, James Batchelor, said: "Our capability and proven technology provides a cost-effective opportunity for any vehicle manufacturer without a presence in this fuel cell powerband to jump ahead of its competitors.
"Our 100kW platform provides automotive OEM's with a fast track to our next generation evaporatively-cooled stack technology, integrated into a compact system architecture.”
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.
Batchelor said: “The concept, design, technology elements and IP package are all in place to enable the platform to be applied to customer vehicle programmes today.”
Intelligent Energy says it 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 four kW fuel-cell systems based on Intelligent Energy’s complementary AC tech.
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.