For the Gasgoo Awards 2022, the high power density fuel cell stack platform technology for both passenger and commercial vehicles from SHANGHAI HYDROGEN PROPULSION TECHNOLOGY CO.，LTD. (“SHPT”) has applied for the Top 100 Players of China’s New Automotive Supply Chain.
Photo credit: SHPT
Based on commercialization of both passenger and commercial vehicles, Shanghai Hydrogen Propulsion Technology Co. Ltd developed a brand-new fuel cell stack platform – PROME M4 – and is ready for mass production. The power density of this stack platform reaches 5.1kW/L and the peak power output of a single stack can be increased to 200kW. PROME M4 meets all the stringent technical requirements from commercial and passenger vehicles including higher power output, faster power response, longer durability, and stronger environmental versatility. In addition, the application of this M4 stack expands into non-vehicle field.
Photo credit: SHPT
1. Low Pt-loading, high performance, long durability MEA design and mass production technology
The team developed a comprehensive simulation model to analyze the performance and predict the durability of MEA by bridging the physical-chemical relations between raw material properties, manufacturing process of catalyst ink, catalyst layer structure and MEA performance. Also, the team built up the testing, evaluation and failure analysis capability of all important raw materials, catalyst ink, catalyst structure, membrane-electrode-assembly part. Thanks to the adoption of the ultra-thin PFSA membrane and improved water maintenance method, the MEA has self-water-balance function that enables its operating range cover extremely high temperature, low humidification, and ensures longer durability under such severe conditions. The new generation MEA has the power density of 1.3W/cm2, pt-loading of 0.27gPt/kW and 15000hr durability (comparing with 1W/cm2, 0.3gPt/kW for previous generation).
2. High performance, long durability bi-polar plate design
The team adopt a super-narrowed wiggle flow field design (repeating distance ≤1.35mm) with local optimization structure. For durability, the team developed coating design methodology, acceleration testing condition. Based on the test results, the operating voltage window is established for the bipolar plate. In combined with stack operating condition and control strategy optimization, the durability of coating is greater than 15000hrs.
3. High power density, strong reliability stack integration technology
1) Performance design methodology: developed multiple numerical tools specifically for fuel cell product design, including 1+1 dimension simulation tool, 3 dimensional full scale multi-phases model, fluid dynamic model, solid mechanics model etc. With all the tools being utilized, the team is able to solve several scientific and engineering problems such as the precise definition of the product specification, simulation of the “gas-water-heat-electricity” multi-physical coupled process, calculation and detection of the stack assembly force. As a result, the PROME M4 stack shows the obvious characters such as high performance without cathode humidification, low voltage variation and long lifetime. M4 Stack has 34% higher volumetric power density and 50% longer lifetime, comparing with previous generation.
2) Structural design methodology: invented high integrated stack enclosure structure with both positioning and limiting function; developed current collector-insulator-endplate combined structure; developed stack compress force compensation technology. With these innovated designs, the M4 stack meets all customer requirements: SAE J2380, IP67, GB/T2423.17, GB38031, GB/T33978.
The fuel cell stack technology platform for commercial and passenger vehicles can solve the technical problems from both sources, by increasing the volumetric power density and durability at the same time.
1. For vehicle application: based on the technology developed from the platform, the power density of the stack has increased to 5.1kW/L. The M4L stack based FCS which has peak power of 90kW, can meet the passenger vehicle application requirement. In the meantime, the 200kW M4H stack developed from the platform meets the commercial vehicle specifications, which typically require 150kW system power output and 200kW stack power output. The in-situ durability test of the stack and system has reached 15,000 hrs, which meets the requirement of commercial vehicle with all different tonnage levels.
2. For non-vehicle application: there are a few fuel cell exhibition programs on cargo, distributed power generation and emergency power supply system, etc. The technology from the platform covers all the application scenarios above and the fuel cell product will have very high potential in there application areas.
As a type of clean energy, hydrogen is a key part in realizing the “Carbon Peaking and Carbon Neutrality” goals. Fuel cell vehicle is becoming a complement of pure electric vehicle because of its outstanding performance and is an important path of new energy vehicle development. As an efficient energy conversion device, fuel cell is the core of fuel cell vehicle and hydrogen industry development. The technology developed by SHPT can be benchmarked with the global leadership and has realized mass production with automotive standard. Based on 5 year lifecycle and thousand per year sale volume, it can create over 10 billion worth of supply chain. Hydrogen industry is showing good development momentum and has very broad future applications.