Due to the Paris Agreement, the German federal government has developed a Climate Action Plan that calls for mobility to be largely greenhouse gas-neutral by 2050. In line with current knowledge, it will not be possible to achieve this objective through battery electric powertrains alone, as the energy density of current and even future battery generations is not sufficient for long-distance mobility and goods transport.
In order to achieve independence from fossil energy carriers and the associated release of CO2 despite this, energy carriers generated from electricity from renewable sources such as wind or solar energy are a prudent solution. As the currently discussed energy conversion paths predominantly envisage the generation of hydrogen through electrolysis as a first step, it is sensible to research energy converters that are capable of directly transforming hydrogen into forms of energy that can be used in the vehicle – such as the hydrogen-powered combustion engine or the fuel cell.
Onboard electricity generation through a fuel cell has various advantages over a battery electric powertrain, from quick refuelling or the high energy density, all the way up to operation independent of the outside temperature. However, the costs for low-temperature fuel cells suitable for use in vehicles are currently so high that profitable large-scale production still does not seem possible.
The highly application-oriented collective research into fuel cells initiated by the FVV therefore has the objective of considerably lowering the costs of future generations of fuel cells through innovative solutions. This focuses on various technical approaches such as the use of control engineering to optimise the behaviour of the entire system and of subsystems, e.g. thermal management, the optimisation of peripheral systems for the hydrogen and air supplies and the development of suitable simulation models that enable new ideas to be assessed quickly.
Research on fuel cells has made giant leaps over the last few years and the first commercial applications are now available. To reduce costs further, the entire system must now be even more in tune. One of the development tools required for this is currently being created in a research project at the ZSW in Ulm, sponsored by FVV.Read more
Late last year, the Research Association for Combustion Engines (FVV) launched its new Fuel Cell Planning Group with the primary objective of making carbon-neutral long haul and cargo mobility affordable through industrial collective research. The research projects initiated so far have revealed considerable potential for cost reductions in the field of fuel cells.Read more
Projects of Planning Group 7 »Fuel Cells«
Research Association for Combustion Engines eV
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