Study of Efficiency Improvements in a Fuel-Cell-Powered Vehicle Using Water Electrolysis by Recovering Regeneration Energy and Avoiding Partial Load Operation

[+] Author and Article Information
S. Obara

 Tomakomai National College of Technology, 443 Nishikioka, Tomakomai 059-1275, Japanshinya@me.tomakomai-ct.ac.jp

K. Kudo

 Hokkaido University, Graduate School of Engineering, Kita-13, Nishi-8, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-8628, Japan

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 2(3), 202-207 (Mar 03, 2005) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1928930 History: Received May 31, 2004; Revised March 03, 2005

Improvements in efficiency of a fuel-cell-powered vehicle have been studied using water electrolysis as the energy storage mechanism. Three methods are proposed for this purpose: 1. The reformer and fuel cell are divided into two or more units, and the maximum output of each unit is set to be small, which reduces the partial load operation, 2. all the fuel cell units are operated above the low efficiency partial load condition and excess electricity is supplied to another fuel cell unit to generate hydrogen and oxygen by water electrolysis, and these gases are compressed and stored, and arbitrary fuel cell units are supplied and they generate electricity, 3. deceleration periods perform water electrolysis of the fuel cell units using the electric power generated by the drive motor, and both gases are compressed and they store in each cylinder. The LA4 cycle (EPA urban dynamometer schedule) was introduced for the vehicle operation. The energy saving effects of the abovementioned methods were studied and were shown to increase the energy efficiency by 1.23 to 1.72 times compared to that for the conventional method.

Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Fuel-cell-powered vehicle model

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Figure 2

Power system of fuel cell vehicle

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Figure 3

Fuel cell generation and electrolysis

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Figure 4

Cell performance

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Figure 5

Partial load operation and regenerative energy operation

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Figure 6

Energy output route

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Figure 7

Characteristics of electricity using fuel cell

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Figure 8

Characteristics of methanol reformer

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Figure 9

Result of wheel torque and power

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Figure 10

Results of improvement effects in efficiency

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Figure 11

Results of efficiency



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