The role of hydrogen and fuel cells for ultra low carbon vehicles

Shang, Jinlei (2014). The role of hydrogen and fuel cells for ultra low carbon vehicles. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The problems of transport technology were analysed; present vehicles are polluting, inefficient and run largely on unsustainable fossil fuels.

The theory proposed here is that a hydrogen fuel cell battery hybrid system is the best for future vehicles; zero emission, twice as efficient and running on renewable hydrogen from biomass, wind or solar.

Early testing compared a crude Micro-cab prototype (compressed hydrogen, Ballard fuel cell, lead acid batteries and an electric motor) with a hydrogen combustion dual fuel van to assess the technical demands of the proposed technology.

Then a battery scooter was modified and tested to show that a plug-in hydrogen battery hybrid with hydride store could have benefits which were quantifiable. A computer model was developed to predict the performance of this system. Reducing dissipation by removing DC converters was shown to be beneficial.

A prototype Micro-cab was analysed and tested to show how improved drivetrain components could increase the vehicle efficiency.

The main part of the project was to use these ideas to build an urban car driven by a plug-in hydrogen fuel cell lithium ion battery hybrid with efficient motors, no DC/DC converters and belt/pulley drive. The results showed that with a 2kg pressurised hydrogen store at 350bar, such a vehicle had good urban performance and a range of 200miles.

The conclusion was that the overall design concepts were correct and that costs and hydrogen infrastructure were the main future difficulties of future application.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Steinberger-Wilckens, RobertUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Chemical Engineering
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
T Technology > TP Chemical technology


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