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Technical Briefs

Development of a Proof-of-Concept Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Powered Scooter

[+] Author and Article Information
Georgiy Diloyan, Luis Breziner

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Temple University, 1947 N 12th Street Philadelphia, PA

Parsaoran Hutapea1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Temple University, 1947 N 12th Street Philadelphia, PAhutapea@temple.edu

1

Corresponding author.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 9(3), 034502 (Apr 20, 2012) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4006055 History: Received November 14, 2011; Revised December 02, 2011; Published April 19, 2012; Online April 20, 2012

The objective of this project is to develop a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell powered scooter with a designed digital controller to regulate the air supply to PEM fuel cell stack. A 500-Watt (W) electric power train was chosen as a platform for the scooter. Two 300 W PEM fuel cell systems, each containing 63 cells, were used to charge 48-Volt batteries that powered an electric motor. The energy carrier (hydrogen) was stored in two metal hydride tanks, each one containing 85 gs of hydrogen pressurized to 250 psig. The output hydrogen pressure from each tank was maintained at 5.8 psi by a two-stage pressure regulator, and then delivered to each fuel cell stack. To regulate the voltage of each PEM fuel cell under different load conditions, two step down DC/DC converters were used. These converters were connected in series to power the motor controller and charge the batteries. The batteries then supplied power to the 500 W brushless motor mounted to the hub of the rear wheel to save space. After all modifications were completed, most of the parts of the scooter stayed the same except for the panel under the seat—where larger space is needed for accommodating the hydrogen tanks. The weight of the scooter did not change significantly, because the weight of the hydrogen tanks (6.5 kg each) and fuel cell stacks (1.7 kg each) was partially compensated by replacing the batteries from the old ones that weighed 17.5 kg to new ones that weighed 9 kg.

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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

The developed PEM fuel cell air supply controller

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Figure 2

Motor controller’s four – byte command algorithm

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Figure 3

The PEM fuel cell air supply controller algorithm

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Figure 4

Power system schematics of the PEM fuel cell scooter

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Figure 5

The developed PEM fuel cell scooter

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Figure 6

The designed air supply controller mounted to scooter with 300 W fuel cell stack (a) and 300 W fuel cell stack tested using the fuel cell test station (b)

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Figure 7

Power plot for each of 300 W PEM fuel cell stack tested using the designed controller and the fuel cell (FC) test station

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