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Project 10:
Fuel Cell Vehicle Technologies and Infrastructure

Objective

Investigate state-of-the-art fuel cell vehicle technologies, and current infrastructure developments. Conduct comparative study of fuel cell vehicles and battery electric vehicles in terms of technical and economic viability.

Brief Description

Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) moved from concept demonstration to commercialization in 2015. This project evaluated state-of-the-art of fuel cell (FC) vehicles technologies and current and future fuel station infrastructure roll-out for the deployment of large scale fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). Focus has been placed on two topics: (1) Hydrogen fueling station infrastructure which investigated hydrogen fueling station cost, station technical and operational challenges and safety codes and standards associated with the stations. This work identifies current and proposed fueling station locations, government policies, funding sources and installation incentives. (2) Comparative analysis of fuel cell vehicles and battery electric vehicles in which a techno-economic study was conducted on fuel cell vehicles, fuel cell range extender electric vehicles, and battery electric vehicles. Both results can be used to quantify the impactof hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles in the future transportation sector. The present research effort focuses on new fuel cell battery hybrid powertrains and requirements for hydrogen fueling infrastructures.

Research Results

Project results are presented in four publications referenced below and as follows:

Fuel Cell Vehicles -- Based on an analysis of over a hundred fuel cell vehicle concepts and models, the fuel cell/battery hybrid or the fuel cell/super capacitor hybrids were adopted in more models than a pure fuel cell power train. For pure fuel cell cars, the fuel cell sizes range from 80-100 kW, while for fuel cell/battery hybrid cars, the fuel cell sizes range from 20 to 100 kW. See: Analysis of Fuel Cell Vehicle Developments (FSEC Report No. FSEC-CR-1987-14).

FC or Range Extender -- EVTC researchers performed modelling of a 2012 Chevy Volt with a fuel cell stack as a range extender using FASTSim program. The fuel cell range extender significantly increases the fuel economy of the current Chevy Volt. Additional range for a fuel cell does not result in a significant decrease in fuel economy, or a significant increase in cost. Thus, it is possible to achieve greater range more economically by utilizing a fuel cell rather than through additional batteries. Cold climate operation is also benefited by a fuel cell, as the waste heat from the fuel cell can be used to heat the vehicle cabin, thereby retaining battery energy for transportation. See: Fuel Cells as Electric Vehicle Range Extenders, (FSEC Report No. FSEC-CR-1995-14).

Hydrogen Fueling Stations -- The biggest obstacle to introducing FCEVs to the market is the lack of hydrogen fueling infrastructure. EVTC research identified the most feasible types of hydrogen fueling stations as: (1) stations relying on hydrogen delivered via liquid hydrogen trucks, compressed hydrogen tube trailers, or pipelines; (2) stations with onsite hydrogen production from water electrolyzers or steam methane reformers. The onsite hydrogen production stations are most suitable for remote areas with smaller consumer base while delivered hydrogen stations are more suited for urban areas with high demand. Smaller scale fueling stations (100-350kg/day) are likely to be installed to accommodate early markets. Larger stations with 1000+ kg/day capacity will be economically favored as more consumers adopt FCEV transportation. The hydrogen fueling station clusters with strategically placed fueling stations will serve as seeding elements to spur FCEV market growth. California is the leading state in implementing hydrogen fueling infrastructures with sixty-eight stations on the drawing board, forty-five of which will be concentrated in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas. The lessons learned during the station planning, building, and operation will be valuable for other states planning on constructing or expanding their hydrogen infrastructures. See: Hydrogen Fueling Stations Infrastructure (EVTC Report No. EVTC-RR-02-14).

The project's continuing activities are focused on hydrogen production, storage and economic analysis including life-cycle analysis (LCA). For the LCA over 50 peer-reviewed papers and reports have been examined with the results being consolidated into a review paper. The goal is to predict how FCEVs may affect the U.S. transportation in the near- and mid-term future, and to identify research gaps and future opportunities. In the meantime, a Hydrogen at Scale (H2@Scale) concept proposed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has gained attention. EVTC researchers have been actively involved in contributing to this concept by including the FCEVs into the hydrogen ecosystem. The research effort currently focuses on new fuel cell battery hybrid powertrains and their impact on the future requirements for hydrogen fueling infrastructures. The new powertrain is being studied using ADVISOR, a vehicle simulator developed by NREL.

Impacts/Benefits of Implementation

The hydrogen fuel station results will be valuable for planning, building, and operation as applied to organizations planning on constructing or expanding their hydrogen infrastructures. The fuel cell results can be used to quantify the impact of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles in the future transportation sector.

Reports

Brooker, P., (2015) Fuel Cells as Electric Vehicle Range Extenders, (FSEC Report No. FSEC-CR-1995-14). Cocoa, FL: Florida Solar Energy Center.

Qin, N., Brooker, P., & Srinivasan, S., (2014) Hydrogen Fueling Stations Infrastructure (EVTC Report No. EVTC-RR-02-14). Cocoa, FL: Florida Solar Energy Center.

Qin, N., Raissi, A., & Brooker, P., (2014) Analysis of Fuel Cell Vehicle Developments (FSEC Report No. FSEC-CR-1987-14). Cocoa, FL: Florida Solar Energy Center.

Brooker, P., Qin, N., & Mohajery, N. "Fuel Cell Vehicles as Back-Up Power Options," The Electrochemical Society Interface, Vol 24, No 1, Spring 2015, pp 57-60.

 

Project Title:
Fuel Cell Vehicle Technologies and Infrastructure

University:
University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL

Principal Investigator:
Nan Qin

PI Contact Information:
nqin@fsec.ucf.edu
321-638-1505
321-638-1010 (Fax)

Florida Solar Energy Center
1679 Clearlake Rd.
Cocoa, FL 32922

Funding Source:
Research and Innovative Technology Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Denise Dunn
denise.e.dunn@dot.gov

Total Project Cost:
$205,393

Agency ID or Contract Number:
DTRT13-G-UTC51

Start date:
October 1, 2013

End date:
September 30, 2018