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A case study on the hybridization of an electric vehicle into a fuel cell hybrid vehicle and the development of a solar powered hydrogen generating station

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2 Author(s)
Mubenga, N.S. ; Power Div., SSOE, Toledo, OH, USA ; Stuart, T.

Because they do not emit carbon dioxide, electric vehicles (EV) have emerged as a non-emission alternative to internal combustion engines. However, their limited driving range and the long time required to charge the battery bank remains a drawback. One solution to improve the driving range of an EV is to integrate a fuel cell (FC) with the battery. Like EVs, fuel cell hybrid vehicles (FCHVs) produce no pollutants during operation. However, production of the hydrogen for the fuel cells and the charging current for the batteries requires large amounts of electric energy. Since the vast majority of the energy produced by electric utilities in the US comes from fossil fuels (mostly coal), traditional production of the electricity to fuel FCHVs will still result in high levels of pollution. This pollution could be avoided entirely if the energy to fuel the FCHV was produced from renewable energy sources such as wind or solar. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the technical feasibility of FCHV transportation using hydrogen that is produced primarily by solar energy. The first task on this part of the overall project was to implement a fuel cell (FC) on a Kronosport electric vehicle to convert it to a FCHV. The second part of this paper demonstrates the generation of hydrogen using solar energy from a photovoltaic array. The electrolyzer will supply hydrogen that will be transferred to a storage tank on the FCHV via a dispenser (fueling station).

Published in:

Power and Energy Society General Meeting, 2011 IEEE

Date of Conference:

24-29 July 2011